Mir Ali protesters end sit-in after authorities promise to end target killings

Around 3,000 tribesmen lunched their sit-in against target killing in North Waziristan

CJ Dost Ali

MIR ALI: Thousands of protesters in the tribal belt along the Afghan border ended their days-long sit-in on Friday against recent target killings.

Around 3,000 tribesmen launched their sit-in on Sunday last in Mir Ali after three tribal elders were shot dead by unidentified gunmen in separate incidents. The incidents of target killings also sparked protests in North Waziristan where tribesmen asking the security agencies to take measures.

The protesting elders said that the authorities have assured them of more security and an end to target killings.

Officials at the political administrations said that the protesters ended their sit-in after written assurance by the security agencies and promise of more patrols in the area.

At least eight tribesmen were killed, enraging locals who say authorities have not done enough to ensure their security. Not a single suspect has so far been arrested.

“We have lost nears and dears, spent years in tents and suffered miseries and if their is still no peace and security then what have lost and suffered are useless,” said Ibrar Wazir, a protester.

The agreement available with TNN reads that the security forces will launch joint-patrols with tribal militias along with the deployment of more military troops and police officers in Mir Ali.

As per the agreement, the authorities promised to speed up payment of compensation to families whose homes were damaged or destroyed in recent military operations.

North Waziristan was once a stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban, Al-Qaeda and Haqqani network where the extremist groups operated with impunity and allegedly murdered hundreds of tribal elders.

The army launched an operation in mid-2014 in a bid to wipe out militant bases in the area and end the near decade-long insurgency that has cost Pakistan thousands of lives. Following the successful military operations, around one million displaced people from the region have been repatriated by the government. The recent spell of target killing worried the returning populations and started protesting against it to pressure government for ensuring security in the agency.

 

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