On Friday, thousands of people in Wana, South Waziristan, protested against the most recent wave of terrorism and demanded that the peace in the area be restored right away.
The protest comes at a time when terrorism is once again taking hold in the country, particularly in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leaders based in Afghanistan are believed to have planned and directed the rise in terrorist attacks across Pakistan.
Over 100 attacks were carried out by the TTP last year, most of which occurred after August when the group’s peace talks with the Pakistani government began to falter. The TTP has ideological ties to the Afghan Taliban. The TTP officially ended the ceasefire on November 28.
In a raid in South Waziristan yesterday, security forces killed 11 militants, including a key commander of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan. Five officials were injured in two separate attacks on police in Lakki Marwat and Dera Ismail Khan.
Residents of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have taken to the streets to demand that the government do more in response to the emergence of terrorism. In the Bajaur district, thousands of people demonstrated yesterday in support of peace.
The peace march that was organized today attracted people from all walks of life in Wana, including political workers, social activists, traders, and young people. Participants chanted slogans in support of peace and against the new wave of terrorism in the region, particularly in the tribal districts, while waving white placards and flags.
The rally was addressed by PPP, PTM, PML-N, and AWP leaders. They asserted that terrorism was unacceptable at any cost and that the government was in charge of ensuring the region’s safety and security.
The speakers mentioned that attacks on security personnel were getting worse in Wana and that ordinary people were being kidnapped for extortion.
They said that the government had not been able to control the situation, and they said that protests would continue in the area until a police force was set up to get rid of both the “good Taliban” and the “bad Taliban” from the area.
Awami National Party leader Ayaz Wazir, who was also at the protest, told Dawn.com that no one in Wana was safe, including political leaders, traders, tribal leaders, and contractors.
“Thousands of people have taken to the streets today to demand that there be peace. He continued, “Until the government guarantees peace, we will not sit quietly.”
Mohsin Dawar, a lawmaker from North Waziristan, stated via Twitter that Wana residents have resisted being “used as cannon fodder and scapegoats in the new great game being imposed on the region.”
He went on to say, “More power to the people of Wana, South Waziristan, for their resistance to terrorism.”