SWABI - Speakers at a jirga organised by Pakhtun Jirga Forum (PJF) on Sunday said that the restoration of a true jirga system is the only panacea to the problems of Pukhtuns, living in war-ravaged Afghanistan, tribal regions, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

Members of various local jirgas and Pakhtun intellectuals graced the occasion. They spoke on the importance of a jirga and proposed as to how this forum could play a constructive role in the prevailing circumstances while facing the emerging challenges and protecting their young generations in the rapidly changing technological environment. They said leaders of the political parties failed to work for strengthening the jirga system. It was the negligence of the political leadership of Pakhtuns that a jirga turned weak. On the other hand, the foreign countries adopted well-calculated strategies to destroy both jirga and hujra, they observed.

Jamaluddin, founder of the PJF, and convener Asif Ali Khan said that they already organised such gathering in Nowshera and the tribal region. They were scheduled to hold jirga in Bannu, Malakand, Kohat and Quetta.

After the completion of this process, they have planned to organise a grand jirga in Peshawar, which would adopt resolutions for solutions of Pakhtuns’ problems.

Faiz Muhammad, president of Shewa Jirga, said that there was a dire need to build up the jirga system and induct honest people for making it more productive and problem-resolving forum. “Honesty is the prerequisite for the jirga members because without truthfulness they could not make neutral decisions,” he said. “Jirga remains jirga only with the straightforward people.”

Hassan Khan, Managing director of a private TV said that Pakhtuns have been facing internal challenges and they must create unit in their ranks for foiling the anti-Pukhtun communities who bent upon to exploit their weakness and disunity. “We neither need aid from the developed world nor other help from

World Bank and IMF once we put our heads together. If we failed we would confront more serious challenges in the future,” he warned. Thania advocate and Ayaz advocate said Pukhtuns have been divided and ruled by the foreigners in past. “If they (foreigners) were British, Mughals, Changaiz Khan and Halaku Khan all applied the same policy. The irony was that all of them were successful.”

Col (Retd) Shamas said Pakhtuns strive for peace and rendered numerous sacrifices. Pukhtuns were always invaded and they gallantly fought and emerge victorious from Alexander the Great to Americans occupation of Afghanistan. “Alexander who crossed the River Indus at Hund could not defeat Pakhtuns. His mother advised him that he should move back,” he said.

Kifayat, advocate, said the political leadership failed to protect Pakhtuns and their only objective was to deceive them during the election, then leaving them high and day for five years. Leadership of the political parties was responsible for continued war on the Pakhtun soil, he lamented.