5 November 2022

By Arshad Mohmand

SWABI: A Pakhtun peace march was held by political parties in Swabi district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa over the rise in terrorism incidents in the province.

A large number of workers and activists from the Awami National Party, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakhtun Tahafuz Movement, and parents of Army Public School martyred children participated in the peace procession at the Swabi interchange on the Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway on November 4. The ANP gave the call for the peace march to press upon the government to crush growing terrorism in the province.

Addressing the Aman March rally, former KP chief minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti said people gathered here to demand peace and condemn the incidents of terrorism in Pakistan.

“The Pakhtuns want to convey this message today, that they feel the pain of their compatriots whenever their blood is spilled is spilled in Balochistan, Sindh, and Punjab,” Hoti said.

Citizens have held a series of peace marches in the province since August when reports of the presence of Taliban in the Swat district were received. A video of the Taliban militants taking security forces hostage in Swat became viral on social media.

The hostage incident sparked protests by worried citizens in Swat, Buner, and the tribal districts.

The participants of the peace marches demand to ensure peace in the province, which is the primary responsibility of the state.

ANP Provincial President Aimal Wali Khan noted that they wanted a policy that could guarantee peace for his fellow Pakhtuns. “Today, the people of Pakhtunkhwa have come out for peace and this peace march is proof of it,” he maintained, adding that locals were ready to make any sacrifice for the sake of peace on their land.

“Unlike Imran Khan’s march, we have not come out for power, but for peace. This is the difference,” he said.

On the occasion, advocate Salim Khan, a social activist, said that the people of the province could bear any more unrest. “The terrorism happening in the country is creating a war economy but we want political and economic stability,” he told Voicepk.net.

He said they would achieve economic stability once Pakhtuns unite without any discrimination. “We must be given control over our resources and once we have power over resources Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would turn into the richest province,” he added.

According to the data of FATA Research, a non-governmental organization that monitors incidents of terrorism, there have been fewer incidents of terrorism in the tribal districts in October in comparison to September. The main reasons behind a drop in terrorism incidents have been attributed to protests and peace marches.

Zard Ali Khan, a social and political activist, said that the protests would continue until terrorism declined in the province.

“All Pakhtuns are on alert this time because they can’t bear any more bloodshed and economic losses as seen in previous periods of unrest in the province,” he said. The social activist pointed out that the Pakhtun nation had suffered the most in the war on terror. Unfortunately, the media tends to highlight killings elsewhere, and not that is happening here,” he said. Zard Ali Khan said the government has seriously ignored the problems faced by the Pakhtuns.

Both the federal and provincial governments have claimed that the authorities remained in control of territories including Swat and tribal districts. The security forces are taking vigorous action against terrorists. In addition, the Swat police have announced that tourists could visit the scenic valley without any fear.


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