Mohmand Agency tribes divided over troop deployment
GHALANAI: The division among several Mohmand Agency tribes over the deployment of the army to block the possible infiltration by Al Qaeda and Taliban operatives, deepened with anti and pro-government jirgas on Tuesday.
Two separate jirgas of tribal elders, one supporting and one opposing the troop deployment, were held at different places in the agency. A Khuwazai tribe jirga held at Bhai Qilla, addressed by Malik Zaidil Khan, Malik Gul, Malik Haji Dilawar Khan, Malik Tajawal Khan, Malik Nabi and Malik Sultan, vowed to resist the troop deployment at all cost. They said the law and order situation in the agency would deteriorate if the political administration deployed troops without the people’s approval.
They accused some tribal elders of agreeing to the troop deployment after getting huge sums of money from the administration. They said the agency’s people themselves were capable of defending their areas and did not need any Pakistani or other forces to defend their land. However, they wanted to solve the issue through negotiations with the political administration and added if the troops were deployed forcibly, the people would resist with force.
The pro-government jirga was held at the agency headquarter, Ghalanai, which was addressed by former MNA Malik Fazli Manan, Malik Muzaffar Khan Sial, Malik Zareen Safi, Malik Tamash Khan and other elders. They said they were ready to cooperate with the government and would allow the army in their areas. They accused some anti-state elements and former Taliban commanders for misguiding the people and instigating them to oppose the troop deployment in the agency.