Janikhel tribesmen end protest

Our Correspondent

The Janikhel tribesmen on Sunday called off the protest sit-in they had been staging in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bannu district for nearly a month after the authorities released four missing men of the Janikhel area, according to tribal elders and officials.

Bannu Division Commissioner Shaukat Ali Yousufzai confirmed the development, saying Janikhel tribesmen had decided to end their protest after successful negotiations with the local administration.

The commissioner told media that a jirga of the Ahmedzai Wazir tribe had held talks with the government on behalf of Janikhel protesters and both sides had reached an agreement.

He said the government had released the four missing persons as part of the agreement. However, he did not share the names, ages and other details of the released men.

“A seven-member jirga, comprising Ahmedzai Wazir tribesmen, will oversee the implementation of the accord and other issues between both the sides,” he said, adding that another deal between the government and Janikhel tribesmen reached earlier in March, following protests over the killing of four boys belonging to the Janikhel tribe, would remain valid.

The development was also confirmed by a local resident present at the site of the protest on Miranshah Road in Bannu.

He said the protesters were returning to Janikhel town and intended to bury the body of slain tribal leader Malak Naseeb Khan, whose killing sparked the latest protest. He added that Khan’s funeral would be held today.

Khan was an active tribal leader and had been at the forefront of the sit-in staged by the tribesmen against the killing of the four teenage boys in the area. He was shot dead by gunmen in the area about a month ago.

The tribesmen had been protesting since then, refusing to bury the body until the killers were taken to task.

On June 23, they started a march towards Islamabad with the body to protest what they termed the police’s failure to arrest the culprits, and to demand action against militants in the area and the arrest of Khan’s killers.

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