BANNU - While backing out of his earlier decision to combat the security forces during the ongoing military operation, 'Zarb-e-Azb' in North Waziristan, militant commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur has once again announced to remain in peace until the 10th day of Ediul-Fitr, according to Utmanzai Aman Jirga.
To counter the ongoing military offensive in North Waziristan, Shura-e-Mujahedeen (SeM) of Hafiz Gul Bahadur last Friday (June 20) had announced counter-offensive against the security with the name of Zarb-e-Momin
However, Utmanzai Aman Jirga of North Waziristan, leding by Haji Sheer Muhammad, during its meeting with SeM at an undisclosed location at the tribal agency on Sunday (June 21) succeeded in convincing the 'good Taliban' to take back its decision. "During a successful meeting with SeM, the Jirga convinced Hafiz Gul Bahadur to remain in peace", said Naik Muhammad Fida, the spokesperson of Utmanzai Aman Jirga.
"The mujahedeen will not attack the security forces during the holy month of Ramadan. We will remain in peace until the 10th day of Eidul-Fitr (probably August 8)", the spokesperson of Jirga quoted Hafiz Gul Bahadur as saying.
Pakistani security forces had launched operation Zarb e Azb on June 15 that caused mass exodus of the tribesmen.
According to Fata Disaster Management Authority (FDMA), so far 394,319 tribesmen have left the restive tribal district for safer places in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. "Since the launch of military operation the Taliban have shown no resistance and so far they are peaceful", said Naik Muhammad Fida.
He further said that eighty percent area of the entire North Waziristan has been cleared. "Around 50 per cent of the area has been cleared from the (troublemakers) through its peace initiative while 30 per cent area has been cleared by the security forces activities". North Waziristan has an area of 4,707 square kilometers with an estimated population of 840,000.
On May 30, Hafiz Gul Bahadur had warned the locals to leave North Waziristan within the next 10 days due to a possible military operation. However, on June 10, he further extended the deadline up to June 20 but before that deadline was reached, the security forces had kicked off the operation Zarb-e-Azb that forced Hafiz Gul Bahadur to announce a war on the security forces.
Hafiz Gul Bahadur known as 'good Taliban commander' signed a peace agreement with the government of Pakistan in October 2006. The peace accord was renewed in August 2007 that remained intact until the launch of military operation Zarb-e-Azb.
--The writer is a freelance contributor.