Peshawar: Locals and human rights activists staged a major rally at the Takhtbhai tehsil in the Mardan district of Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The demonstrators opposed the military operation titled Azm-e-Istehkam being orchestrated by the defence forces of Pakistan, Pakistan-based The Nation reported.

The protests were organized under the banner of "Amn Pasoon" (Peace Movement) and the demonstrators highlighted that the province survived the displacement caused by military actions. In addition, protesters also highlighted that the people in the province have been suffering from rampant and high inflation.

The leaders of the protest severely criticized the military operations of the Pakistani defence forces acting in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. They emphasized that Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have been the centre for over 90 per cent of terror-related attacks and provinces rich in natural resources have been unfairly targeted.

The protesters also accused several defence personnel of gathering wealth from these provinces and leaving the country after retirement, The Nation reported. The demonstrators in the same protest highlighted how the Pashtun community had lost both life and property due to previous military operations.

The protesters stated that the people have been suffering due to severe load-shedding, inflation, and heavy taxation and now the military operation Azm-e-Istehkam could cause another major problem for innocent civilians.

According to The Nation, participants in the protest included members from various political parties, the Grand Awami Jirga, trader organisations, the Youth Parliament, peace councils, and representatives from the media and legal sectors.

Key speakers included former MNA Mian Nadir Shah Bacha, Awami National Party central council member Muhammad Ayub Khan Yousafzai, Jamaat-e-Islami Mardan District Amir Haji Ghulam Rasool, Grand Jirga convener Noman Yousaf, and Takhtbhai Traders Association President Haji Muzaffarullah Khan.

In a post on X, a social and human rights activist stated, "The people have started resisting the dollar war boldly and if the political parties of Pakhtunkhwa do not deceive the people by colluding with GHQ, then the result of this war will be the division of Pakistan and the army and only Punjab will be left in Pakistan's part."

During the protest in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the demonstrators also condemned the Jalala bombing and demanded that an unbiased and thorough investigation be conducted into the matter.

Additionally, plans were proposed for organising a peace rally and a complete shutterdown strike citywide. The protesters marched along the Mardan-Malakand Road, carrying placards and banners demanding peace.

Faizan Khan, one of the protesters, stressed that the government should focus on bringing societal change through education and development instead of launching military operations. He said that the people of Torghar are against terrorism and do not relate to anti-social elements. However, a military operation would lead to widespread displacement in the tribal districts, including Torghar.

The protest came after Pakistan's top civilian and military leadership decided to launch a new multi-faceted nationwide counterterrorism campaign amid the country's deteriorating security situation.

This report is auto-generated from a syndicated feed