July 27, 2023

By Kashif Koki Khel


Tirah Valley on Tuesday, in the Khyber district, echoed with slogans of Gwaro Gwaro Aman Gwaro.

Thousands chanting “We want peace” came out against the recent spate of terrorism, bomb blasts, target killings and extortion.

A rally, which comprised thousands from the Afridi tribe, left Bara Bazar and reached the Tirah Valley in six hours.

Speakers demanded a halt to the increasing targeted killings and extortion occurrences, as well as the “free” movement of terrorists in Tirah and other areas of the Khyber tribal district. They pleaded with the authorities, in particular the security apparatus, to put a stop to the murders of innocent tribesmen as well as the

“second phase of a proxy war imposed in tribal districts to attract foreign aid.”

Speakers also urged for the swift restoration of peace in the area, claiming that the locals were tired of the increasing number of terrorist attacks, targeted killings, and extortion.

The tribal communities can no longer withstand unreal promises of growth and rehabilitation, said former Federal Minister and Member of Parliament, Hamidullah Jan. He further stated that Khyber district’s locals could no longer suffer the treatment they were receiving at security checkpoints.

Dawood Afridi, a member of the Zuwan Koki Khel Ittehad, said that peace is being sabotaged in the tribal areas once again after the American withdrawal from Afghanistan. Target killings are on a worrying rise, the business community is being harassed by extortionists, schools are receiving threatening letters and the police are being attacked.

In the past week alone, there were two suicide attacks on the police in which four personnel including an additional Station House Officer (SHO) lost their lives, while several people have also received extortion calls.

Addressing the rally, the President of the political alliance Shah Faisal Afridi stated that he too is receiving extortion calls, but remains firm for the sake of peace. At the same time, the former commander of the Tirah Peace Organization also arrived at the rally to deliver a speech, however the participants deterred him by chanting slogans.

Members of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Awami National Party (ANP), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F), Khyber Union, Qaum Kukikhel and Zwan Kukikhel Alliance attended the peaceful demonstration.


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