Mardan: Civil society protests against Mardan blast

Mardan02MARDAN: A protest rally and condolence meeting was held at Mardan, the second largest city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, to condemn yesterday’s suicide blast near the main gate of District Mardan Law Chamber that took 13 lives including lawyers, policemen and a prominent political leader of Awami National Party, Arshad Ali Khan.

The protest was organized by a youth-led civil organization MardanWal Khalaq (People of Mardan). Lawyers also joined in to protest against yet another security lapse which took the lives of innocent civilians and lawyers – ironically again Pashtuns. The protesters converged at Bacha Khan Chowk and moved towards Kacharo Chowk near Mardan District Courts where it converted into a public meeting.

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The protesters held play cards which questioned the Federal government’s National Action Plan against terrorism and why Pashtuns are being singled out in this proxy war of world powers. Revolutionary Pashto poetry was also written on the placards. They also hurled slogans against terrorism, extremism and Pashtun genocide as well as in favor of peace.

The friends and relatives of those perished were also present on this occasion. Basit Khan aka Safi, President MardanWal Khalaq (MWK) and Junaid Mandoori, General Secretary MWK spoke to the angry and traumatized protesters. They lauded the efforts of volunteers who responded to the appeal of MardanWal Blood Society and donated blood for the injured victims of the blast that saved many precious lives. They questioned the success of National Action Plan as claimed by Pakistan Army. They appealed the international community that Pashtun youth want peace and education without which prosperity of Pashtun land is not possible. Office bearers of Mardan Bar Council recorded their frustration at the failure of federal government and security agencies to stop the onslaught of terrorists attacks on Pashtuns especially on students and lawyers.

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Suhaib Akhtar Advocate, a survivor and eye-witness of the attack told The Pashtun Times that the federal, provincial government and security forces are responsible to protect lives of civilians whether these attacks are carried by religious extremists or alleged proxies of Indian spy agency RAW. “We cannot blame India for such attacks as we pay our taxes to Pakistan to protect our lives,” said Akhtar. He claimed a police constable Junaid shot the suicide attacker before he could enter the crowded area saving dozens of lives and government should announce highest honor for the martyred hero.

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Volunteers of MardanWal Khalaq laid flowers at the site next to the pictures of the ones killed in the blast. A condolence meeting was held at Mardan Bar Room where political leaders, civil society and prominent personalities like Reham Khan met the lawyers’ community and prayed for the deceased.

THE PASHTUN TIMES

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