Islamabad Sit-in Continues

Muhammad Zafar Khan
The members of the Pashtun ethnicity especially of meshed tribe are sitting in front of national press club Islamabad for the last few days. This sit-in was the end of the long-march which started from Dera Ismail khan. This march was ignited by the murder of a 27-year aspired model Naqeeb Ullah.
Naqeeb ullah embraced martyrdom in a fake police encounter in Karachi.  Naqeeb was taken into custody along with his friends from a tea stall; kept in illegal custody for more than ten days and then his dead body was found by a road side. Police declared him a terrorist and told the media that Naqeeb was killed in an encounter with the police. When social media exalted the issue, Sindh police was compelled to make a joint investigation team, which probed in to the matter and declared it a fake encounter with in fourteen hours, staged by an infamous encounter specialist SSP Rao Anwar
The case of Naqeeb’s Martyrdom just played the role of a burning match stick on the stock of petrol. Actually, the grievances of the tribal Pashtuns, either in Karachi, Lahore or in their own tribal areas, were more than enough. They have been in hot water since the initiation of the military operations in FATA. The tribal people were displace and they had to live in miserable conditions in camps. They had no alternatives but to wait in the long queues for the meager ration.
Some of these displaced people moved to urban centers like Karachi and Lahore, but there they faced the ethnic biases of the police and local population. Many a times they have been taken in to custody by police and law enforcement agencies without any solid charges. After passing through all these hardships some tribal people settled there and are having successful businesses. The local population feared the domination of markets by the new ethnicity; looking at the latter’s hardworking nature, so they discouraged the presence of the new ethnic group both at individual and institutional level.
After the successful clearance of the tribal areas, army took the control of the belt. Looking at the circumstances tribal people wished to return to their homes. Watan card was issued to each individual after thorough investigation- Pakistani Identity card is not enough being a tribal. When they returned to their areas they were unable to identify their villages, houses and shops–as everything was ruined during the operation. The crop of land mines was sown in the whole patch. Every now and then the mines blast taking several lives and leaving others paralyzed and disable.
The tribal have become fed up of such miseries and have decided to raise their voice, but no one is ready to listen. Especially The role of the state channeled media is pathetic which is totally unconcerned. There is a total media blackout at the peaceful sit-in, going on under their very nose. The protestors want nothing but a few simple and legitimate constitutional rights. Firstly, they want the murderers of Naqeeb mehsud behind the bars. Secondly, they demand all the missing Pashtun youths to be produced in courts. Thirdly, the whole area be cleared form the deadliest land mines.  And finally, there should be no curfew in the area after any unfortunate incident, which is vogue in the territory. All their demands are legitimate and constitutional but still no one is ready to listen to or negotiate with them. This is the point where the puzzle gets mysterious.
A committee should be formed comprising- the leaders of Pashtun nationalist parties, the tribal leaders and youths, which will aggregate the demands of the oppressed tribal population. A meeting of this committee immediately be arranged with Prime minister, Chief of Army staff, and other concerned authorities.
The only remedy to all these problems is the urgent merger of FATA with KP so that reforms could be introduced. Army immediately be withdrawn from the tribal areas and efficient civil law enforcement agencies – KPK model, be put into immediate action. The sooner this belt will pacify the prosper this country will be. The later we get the more benefits our enemy gets.
The writer is a student of BA Honors Political science in GCU Lahore.
DisclaimerViews expressed in this article are those of the author and Balochistan Voices not necessarily agrees with them.
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