AWP for firm action against extremists, end to siege of IDPs camps in Bakkakhel

ISLAMABAD, Nov 16: The Awami Workers Party (AWP) has expressed deep concern at the recent wave of religious extremism and resurgence of fascist forces in Pakistan. The party criticised the government and security agencies’ inaction against these regressive forces.

The resurgence of the Taliban in South Waziristan Agency (SWA) under the garb of “peace committee” that has imposed their own brand of shariah and sit-in by religious zealots at Faizabad paralyzing the twin cities of Rawalpindi-Islamabad need immediate attention of the government and law enforcement agencies, who are silent on these developments.

AWP Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa President Shahab Khattak Advocate in a statement here on Wednesday condemned the restrictions imposed by the so-called peace committee on cultural and social activities in Wana.

The AWP leader also condemned the inhuman treatment of internally-displaced persons (IDPs) of Shaktoi Small and Bobarah villages of Ladha (SWA), who are forcibly kept in Bakkakhel camp under siege as they are not allowed by the security personnel to move to other areas or go back to their homes.

He said the Mehsud and Waziri tribes are being treated inhumanely and demanded immediate lift of restrictions on their movement and provision of facilities to the displaced families.

According to media reports a faction of the Taliban has apparently made a comeback to the tribal agency and issued tough guidelines through pamphlets in Wana town and banned music, movement of women in public spaces, traditional dance in wedding ceremonies and other festive occasions.

He said the operation Rah-e-Najat launched eight years ago to free the agency from the grip of the Pakistani Taliban. Thousands of people were displaced and many security personnel were killed in the operation.

The AWP leader said the resurgence of the Taliban is a worrying development and belies the claims of the security apparatus that the ‘backbone of the extremists had been broken’.

Khattak said that if the extremist groups’ activities were not curtailed, they may spread their operations to other areas.

He demanded the government and the security agencies to respond quickly against the extremist groups and provide security to the people.

AWP Central Deputy General Secretary Ismat Shahjehan also condemned restriction imposed on the movement of women by the so-called peace committee and the jirgas. She said the women of KP, in general, and Fata in particular, are facing hardships from Taliban and the tribal patriarchal system.

She said that it is evident now that the various operations launched in the tribal region have proven unproductive and farce.

“Extremism and terrorism in the tribal region and other parts of the country cannot be curbed unless their nurseries are shut; the state narrative of history, curriculum and foreign policy are changed,” she exerted.

She also demanded that the tribal region should be merged into Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa immediately and brought on a par with the rest of the country socially, economically, politically and administratively, and constitutional amended be immediately made in this regard.

The AWP leaders said that all progressive democratic forces have a duty to get united against the monsters and weed out the seeds of extremism that were sowed across the length and breadth of the country during the military dictatorships.