PESHAWAR - The central leadership from Pakhtun-belt with one-voice Saturday called for timely and unconditional repatriation of all displaced families to North Waziristan and other tribal agencies and suggested constitution of a ‘grand jirga’ of parliamentary parties to resolve the problems being faced by tribesmen.

“Tribal people should be brought to mainstream; they should be empowered in making their own decisions; they should be treated under the Constitution of Pakistan rather than special laws. Pakhtuns have been passing through difficult time since long, so peace in their areas is a must,” this was the crux of a day-long grand tribal jirga held under the auspices of Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazal at its provincial headquarters here.

Prominent among the speakers included chief of Jamiat Ulema Islam-F Maulana Fazl ur Rehman, Mehmood Khan Achakzai of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, Chairman of Qaumi Watan Party Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, Amir of Jamaat-e-Islami Senator Sirajul Haq and General Secretary of Awami National Party Mian Iftikhar Hussain, Afrasyab Khattak and tribal elders.

The leadership also agreed on holding a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to discuss the issues of displaced and affected families. Moreover, at the end of the tribal jirga a joint communiqué was issued through which proper compensation for the losses of tribesmen and rehabilitation and reconstruction of military operation affected areas was demanded.

Speaking on the occasion, Maulana Fazl Rehman said that tribesmen were the most loyal citizens of Pakistan whereas the of condition of allegiance and providing protection to the security forces in their respective areas was equal to suspecting their patriotism.

It is a right time to start developmental projects in tribal areas in order to make progress and development there, he said. Maulana Fazl Rehman said that they wanted early and honourable return of all displaced people to their home towns but linking their return with hard conditions was unacceptable.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should announce a special package for compensation and rehabilitation of the affected families.

Mehmood Khan Achakzai said that the Pakhtuns had always defended its soil against all oppressors but never supported violence and militancy on their land. He maintained that thousands of Pakhtuns had been killed, displaced and disgraced in an alien war but still their loyalty and patriotism is undermined by certain elements. He called upon the Pakhtun leadership to join hands for the rights of Pakhtuns.

JI’s chief Sirajul Haq said that the tribal people had remained no more independent and autonomous as they had been disgraced on their own soil, asking the civil and military establishment to give them more respect while sending them back to their homes.

He was of the view that thousands of tribal people had left their homes for the sake of peace and now the government should fully compensate them for their losses during military operations.

Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao lauded holding of tribal jirga and added that it would bear fruit if the government and establishment honour the demands of tribal people. Both political and religious leadership would back all the genuine demands and suggestions of the tribal people as they have suffered a lot, he explained.

Mian Iftikhar Hussain and Afrasiyab Khattak of the Awami National Party said that the land of Pakhtuns had been turned into a battlefield for an alien war where foreign terrorists were trained and used against local people. They said that the tribal areas had been deliberately pushed into darkness where the tribesmen were deprived of their fundamental human rights. They said that they would raise voice for the rights of tribal people.