Killing of teenagers triggers protests in South Waziristan, Pakistan

The paramilitary Frontier Core admitted that its personnel were responsible for ‘accidentally’ killing two tribal youths near a shop front in Bibi Zai Raghzai

May 02, 2021 by Peoples Dispatch
Teenagers killed S Waziristan Pakistan
(Photo: Dawood Pashteen/Twitter)

Three-day long protests against the killings of two teenagers in a tribal district in Pakistan’s South Waziristan ended last week on April 29. The paramilitary Frontier Core admitted that its personnel were responsible for ‘accidentally’ killing the youth near a shop front in Bibi Zai Raghzai. 

The two teenagers have been identified as Kalam-ud-din and Inam-ullah, both hailing from the Mehsud tribe of the federally administered tribal village of Makin. 

In response to the killings, the community decided not to bury the bodies of teenagers till their demands for justice were met. 

Protesters assembled in hundreds and organized a sit-in in Makin against law enforcement agencies, chanting slogans like “Inam your blood will bring revolution”. They demanded the arrest of the perpetrators, along with compensation to the bereaved families. They also demanded security forces to vacate the houses being allegedly occupied without consent of the local people

According to Faisal Ahmad, one of the organizers, the state police barred Pashtun activists from joining the sit-in protest. However, several rights activists like Manzoor Pashteen, Abdullah Nangiyal and Alamzaib Mehmood expressed solidarity with the protesters and condemned the killings. 

The protests were finally called off after South Waziristan officials reached an agreement with tribal elders and elected parliamentarians of the tribal district late on April 28 which ensured compensation to the victims and murder charges brought against the accused security personnel. 

Earlier in March, four youths from the Bannu Jani Khel area were killed allegedly by the security forces. Even at that time, the protestors decided not to bury the dead bodies for at least seven days and demonstrated and marched on major roads in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, seeking justice for the victims.

“Pashtun people were initially killed in explosions but now that they are killed in different tactics such as target killings and often the individuals are murdered in a number of the judicial killings goes unnoticed. When will the country’s judiciary take action on this?” activist Manzoor Pashteen tweeted.