JAMRUD: The tribal elders on Tuesday staged a protest demonstration at Bab-e-Khyber to record agitation against what they called the forcible and undemocratic merger of erstwhile Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The protesters gathered at Bab-e-Khyber, burned tyres on the road and blocked it for all kinds of traffic due to which the commuters and transporters faced difficulties in hot weather.

Speaking during protest, tribal notables including Khyber Qaumi Jirga Chairman Malik Bismillah Khan, Malik Salahuddin, Malik Israrullah, Malik Shujaa, Malik Pervaiz, Malik Daud, Malik Syed Kabeer, Malik Tehmash Khan Shalmani, Malik Aseel Khan and others said the people of merged districts are strictly against the patwar and police system. They said the Khassadar and Levies personnel are subjected to injustice. They said policemen are appointed in merged districts from other districts of KP which is a usurpation of the rights of the local youth.

The tribal elders said blocking the scholarships of the children of the martyrs is a big injustice. They said there was no problem in the scholarships of the families of martyrs before the merger, but now they are made to run from pillar to post for this purpose.

Malik Bismillah Afridi said the people of tribal districts have ended up on losing side after merger. He said the students of merged districts are particularly facing many difficulties. He said there is no facility of internet for students of merged districts due to which they are lagging behind in their studies from students of other areas.

Malik Bismillah said the transport system of tribal districts is also below par and people suffer a lot due to this system.

Malik Daud said the people of merged districts would not allow raids by police against tribal traditions.

The tribal elders said at the end of the protest that the merger must be reversed and status of a separate province must be given to merged districts. They said they will continue their protests till they get ‘justice’.

After merger of erstwhile Fata with KP, there was a sizable population which was still against the merger and continued protests against it. The anti-merger people stage protests against the system after regular intervals.