PESHAWAR (Online) - Tribal leaders will discuss a strategy Saturday to end support for militants, their biggest gathering since the US invaded Afghanistan in 2001 and removed the Taliban from power. At least 3,000 elders representing the 20 largest tribes in North West Frontier Province and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas will hold a meeting known as a 'jirga in Peshawar, Naeem Gul, one of the organisers, said in an to Bloomberg on Friday. Tribal support is crucial to efforts by Pakistans Army to prevent insurgents from regrouping after an offensive in the region, focused on Swat Valley and South Waziristan, against groups blamed for 80 percent of nationwide terror attacks. Elders failed to stop the rise of militancy after the Taliban fled Afghanistan and thousands of tribesmen joined their ranks, killing scores of pro-government leaders. We plan to reach a consensus and form a panel of 40 tribal elders from all the various parts of the region, said Syed Alam Khan Mehsud, leader of the Amn Tehrik, or Peace Movement, which is organising the gathering. They will then be responsible for mobilising people against the militants. Jirgas are the traditional way of solving disputes among the ethnic Pashtun tribes of Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. The men typically sit in a circle on the ground and the meeting ends with a prayer by the most senior tribal elder. The government will not be represented at Saturdays gathering. This struggle for peace through jirgas is good but this time, military operations are the only solution for ending militancy and terrorism, said Basheer Bilour, a senior provincial minister in the NWFP. The army has spent just one year in Swat Valley and South Waziristan. It will take a long time to defeat the terrorists. In January, Pakistans government agreed to transfer responsibility for maintaining order in the longtime Taliban stronghold of South Waziristan to local leaders. More than 500 elders from the dominant Mehsud tribe endorsed the government proposal at a jirga. Under the 1901 Frontier Crimes Regulation, which governs the seven districts of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, tribes are collectively responsible for any criminal acts in territory under their control. Pakistan is pushing for cooperation from the tribes to help quell violence that has claimed more than 900 lives in nationwide suicide bombings and gun battles since 28,000 troops launched an offensive in South Waziristan in October. At least 3,000 tribal leaders have been killed by the Taliban since 2004, according to Peshawar-based Amn Tehrik. The Talibans capability to wage nationwide terror strikes from South Waziristan has been minimised, Army Spokesman Athar Abbas said in a Feb 23 interview.