Momand Dara protest called off; highway reopens
JALALABAD: After the appointment of a probe committee, the Shinwari tribe has ended its protest and the Jalalabad-Torkham highway has reopened, officials said on Thursday.
Led by Provincial Peace Committee chief Haji Malik Nazir, the body persuaded the Shinwari tribespeople to call off their demonstration against Afghan Local police (ALP) Commander for Achin district Bilal Pacha.
The commander and his father Jalal Pacha have been accused of killing and beating innocent people and as well robbing residents of their valuables.
At least 68 people were killed and 165 others wounded when a suicide bomber targeted the protest rally on Tuesday afternoon in Momand Dara district.
Attaullah Khogyani, the governor’s spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News the committee had convinced the Shinwari tribesmen to end their protest in the Daka area of Momand Dara.
He said Governor Hayatualah Hayat, Cabinet Secretary Nasrullah Arsali, officials and some tribal elders visited Shinwairi leaders and youth. The attended a condolence ceremony and conveyed President Ashraf Ghani’s condolences to the victims’ families, the gubernatorial spokesman added.
Haji Akhtar Jan, Mullah Islam Gul and other elders of the Shinwari tribe spoke on behalf of their protestors. They stressed implementation of influential figures’ demands.
If the demands, including harsh action against the ALP commander, were not met, the tribe would keep the road blocked, the speakers warned. Khogyani said Governor Hayat promised the tribesmen their demands would be met and the ALP commander’s father Jalal Pacha arrested as soon as possible.