Iftikhar thanks Mehsuds for their cooperation
PESHAWAR: Iftikhar Hussain Shah, governor of NWFP, appreciated the cooperation of the Mehsud tribes, especially the Jalalkhel tribe, in dealing with the kidnapping of Chinese engineers and thanked tribal elders on Sunday.
The Jalalkhel tribe has cooperated with the government before against suspected foreign militants. On October 1, when four children were killed in an explosion, the tribe chased the foreigners who were responsible, killing some of them, and captured a Tajik militant whom they handed over to the government. This time too, the tribe helped law enforcement agencies and dissociated itself from Abdullah Mehsud who masterminded the kidnappings.
The tribes helped keep the abductors confined to a particular location and did not allow them freedom of movement. The governor paid tributes to the entire tribe and hoped that they would continue to support the government in the future as well.
The governor addressed a grand jirga of Daray Mehsud at Tank during a brief visit to the town. He met delegations of Jalalkhel elders and members of a 21-member peace committee. The governor said the government’s stance against foreign militants was justified and said terrorism would not be allowed to prosper. “We have been repeatedly warning the tribesmen of South Waziristan Agency that these foreigners have taken refuge in their areas and need to be flushed out,” he said.
“They have put up a façade claiming jihad, but in fact have some other agenda to fulfil,” Shah said, adding that the abduction of Chinese engineers had proved the government’s apprehensions right. He said China was a time-tested friend of Pakistan’s and had constantly helped in the development of Pakistan, especially in defence. The foreigners had tried to upset this friendship, which was an act against national interests.