12 January 2023
By Abdul Qadoos Wazir
Residents of the Wana region in Pakistan’sSouh Waziristan have been protesting for the past seven days against the increased militancy and terrorist attacks in the area. The protests have resulted in the blockage of major roads and have been joined by political parties and groups such as ANP, NDM, and PTM.
The increase in terrorist attacks has been linked to the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which has claimed responsibility for over 100 attacks in 2022 despite being in a ceasefire with Pakistan from August to December.
The protesters are demanding that authorities restore peace, end incidents of kidnapping for ransom and extortion from the business community, and ban all armed groups in the area. They have also called for the ease of trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan from the Angoor Adda border crossing. North Waziristan lawmaker Mohsin Dawar has tweeted about the situation, stating that the “Pashtuns of South Waziristan came out in large numbers today in Wana to protest against terrorism and Talibanisation in our areas. Our people refuse to be used as cannon fodder and scapegoats in the new great game being imposed on the region,” he wrote.
The local administration has reportedly been in talks with the protestors to end the sit-in, while authorities have responded with a communication blackout and internet shutdown.