PESHAWAR - The tribal elders from North Waziristan were on Friday given a 15-day deadline to expel foreign fighters from the region.
The 64-member grand jirga was told that military action will be taken if peace in the North Waziristan region is not established within 15 days. The jirga was also told to ensure safety of government installations and the convoys of security forces.
The North Waziristan grand jirga, led by Haji Sher Muhammad, met Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Sardar Mehtab Abbasi and Corps Commander Peshawar Lt General Khalid Rabbani in Peshawar.
Governor Mehtab called upon tribal elders to come forward and play a role to restore peace in tribal areas.
He said that restoration of peace in tribal areas is a pre-requisite for progress and development of the country. Certainly repatriation of IDPs, progress and development is impossible without having peace in Fata.
Additional Chief Secretary Fata Arbab Muhammad Arif, Principal Secretary to Governor Dr Mohammad Fakhar-e-Alam, MNA Nazir Khan, Political Agent NWA Siraj Khan and other prominent tribal elders were also present on the occasion. They apprised the governor of the problems and difficulties the people of the region were facing. The governor assured the delegation of taking necessary action to address their grievances.
The governor said that peace is the topmost priority of government and every possible step will be taken to bring the people of Fata into the mainstream. "We need to give greater attention for lasting peace in tribal areas as stability in the country is directly related to development," he said.
The governor said that the government is fully determined and serious for the socio-economic uplift of the people of the area, and austerity measures would be taken to ensure the provision of best infrastructure, health centres, schools, colleges, hospitals, employment opportunities and other modern facilities in the tribal areas.
He said the services and sacrifices of the tribal people were highly valuable and these would always be remembered. The jirga assured the governor of complete cooperation with local political administration in restoration of peace and security in the agency.
Earlier, the tribal elders met Corps Commander Peshawar Lt General Khalid Rabbani and discussed with him the prevailing situation in the wake of the likely military operation in North Waziristan.
An Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement said that Lt Gen Rabbani, during his meeting with the jirga at the corps headquarters, urged the tribal elders to play their role in eradicating Taliban militancy from North Waziristan.
He was quoted as saying, “With the support of tribal brethren, all terrorists from North Waziristan agency will also be cleansed as they have disrupted the law and order in the entire region.”
“We will stand by the tribes to restore writ of the state and rehabilitate and rebuild the agency like in Swat and rest of Fata…on the model as done in areas cleared earlier.”
The jirga pledged full support to the Pakistan Army and assured that they will stand shoulder to shoulder with the security forces, said the statement.
8 MILITANTS DIE IN FRESH
Fresh clashes between the Pakistani Taliban and a breakaway faction killed at least eight militants in the country's restive northwest on Friday, officials said.
The infighting erupted in the Wacha Mela area 65 kilometres (40 miles), west of Miranshah, the capital of North Waziristan tribal district.
"The fresh clashes left seven militants dead, five of them belonging to Hakimullah group,” a local intelligence official said. A militant source also confirmed the fatalities.
Separately, militant commander Saeed Khan, alias Al-Qaeda of Khalid Meshud, was gunned down in the town of Mir Ali by rival group, a militant source and local intelligence officials said. A day earlier, Ashiqullah Mehsud of Shaheryar Mehsud group was killed in a deadly clash in Mirali tehsil of North Waziristan Agency.
The fighting between Shaheryar Mehsud and Waliur Rehman factions started in April and 100 militants from both sides have reportedly been killed.
Khalid Mehsud’s group last week split from the umbrella Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Analysts described the move as a victory for the Pakistani military's strategy of sowing divisions among insurgent factions.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government began negotiations with the TTP through intermediaries in February, with a ceasefire beginning on March 1, but breaking down a month later.
North Waziristan is one of the seven rugged semi-autonomous tribal areas along the Afghan border, an area long tagged by Washington as the most dangerous place in the world.
Pakistan has been battling a homegrown Islamist insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives in the past decade.