By Ashrafuddin Pirzada
KHYBER: The Qabail Tahafuz Movement (Tribal Protection Movement) held a grand jirga here on Saturday to raise voice against the merger of tribal districts into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa(KP)
Speaking on the occasion, Sardar Asghar Afridi, Malik Haji Muhammad Hussain Afridi, Malik Haji Aslam Khan Shinwari, and others raised their concerns and said the government had not taken the tribal people into confidence when the ex-Fata was merged into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Malik Ikramuddin, Malik Umar Habib from Frontier Region Kohat, Malik Noor Zaman, Malik Shaheen from Bajaur, Malik Umar Bilal Orakzai, Malik Wazir Ahmad, Malik Shah Nawaz North Waziristan, and Malik Ziat Gul Momand were also speaking on the occasion.
They said tribal people would not accept slavery in the form of integration which was done without their consent. They added that the status of tribal areas(Ex-Fata) should be restored.
The speakers said the tribal people rendered matchless sacrifices in decads long militancy that destroyed their homes, business, and other infrastructure for the sake of the country.
They claimed the tribal people had already suffered but on the other side, the government pushed them into darkness and merged in the backward provinces.
They said a grand jirga should be constituted to restore the old identity of the Fata people.
“We want our own independent tribal identity,” the leaders placed this demand also.
Rejecting the forced slavery imposed on the tribal belt, the speakers said they would give sacrifices for their legal and constitutional rights.
The elders said the main purpose of the jirga was to bring unity and harmony among the tribes residing in ex-Fata.
The participants stressed that it was important to bring together all the tribal people who had anti-integration thinking and want to maintain their tribal identity.
The speakers said in consultation with all the tribal elders, a Loya Jirga(grand council) would be established to find solutions to all the problems as well as to chalk out plans for the future.