PESHAWAR: Two separate meetings of a 64-member tribal jirga from North Waziristan Agency with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan and Peshawar Corps Commander Lieutenant General Khalid Rabbani concluded that the tribal elders will oust foreign fighters from the area in 15 days and play their role in restoration of peace in the agency.
The jirga comprising elders of Uthmanzai Wazir and Dawar tribes from North Waziristan, led by Haji Sher Muhammad, the successor of the Faqir of Ipi, met with the corps commander to discuss the rumoured military action in the agency. Speaking on behalf of the tribesmen, Haji Sher said that military operation has never been a solution to the problem the agency was facing. “The tribal elders should now be given the opportunity to restore peace,” he added.
Haji Sher claimed the jirga he was leading has clout and the agency’s tribesmen will try to force the foreign militants out, secure government installations and put an end to attacks carried out on security forces’ convoys.
“If we fail to do so, the government can go forward and launch a military operation in North Waziristan,” he offered.
Corps Commander Rabbani said the elders had 15 days to normalise the situation and that after the passage of the stipulated time, the elders would report their progress to the general officer commanding (GOC) of North Waziristan who will decide the future course of action accordingly. “The tribesmen in FATA have always been loyal to the soil of the country and even now they will play their role in the restoration of peace and elimination of militancy,” Rabbani hoped.
In a separate meeting, the jirga assured the KP governor that all efforts would be made for restoration of peace in the agency.
The jirga demanded that the government stop likely military operation in North Waziristan and let the matter settled through dialogue. Jirga member Maulana Din Haqqani said that the tribal elders have assured the KP governor that they will expel foreign jihadists from their soil within 15 days.
He said that the jirga would also take up the issue of infighting with the different Taliban groups in North Waziristan and try to pacify the situation.
The jirga members also claimed that the governor has assured them that there would be no military operation in the North Waziristan.
Pir Aqil Shah, another jirga member and also a contestant for the NA-40 seat, said that the meetings remained successful. He claimed that the jirga has the backing of Taliban Shura in North Waziristan Agency and it would convey the message of peace to the tribesmen and the Shura. According to a handout issued from the Governor House, Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan urged the tribal elders to play their role for restoration of peace in the region. He said that restoration of peace and normalcy in the region was government’s top priority and all efforts would be made to achieve it.
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