MIRANSHAH: The jirga of Utmanzai tribal elders Sunday condemned the recent attack on peace activist Malala Yousafzai in Swat, but rejected the proposal of launching military operation in North Waziristan and warned of going to Afghanistan for shelter instead of becoming Internally Displaced Persons in downtowns if the operation was launched in the area.
Malik Nasrullah Khan, chief of Waziristan, presided over the jirga, where prominent elders of Utmanzai tribe from all over of North Waziristan, including Malik Mamoor Khan, Malik Qadir Khan, Malik Mashal Khan, Malik Noor Mohammad and others were present.
Addressing the jirga, Malik Nasrullah Khan said they were equally sad after the attack on Malala Yousafzai as it was against the Shariah and Pakhtun culture, but it was beyond their understanding why the people of Waziristan were supposed to face the consequences of an incident that happened in the far-away Swat district.
The elder said the people of North Waziristan had been shocked and disappointed by the statements of Interior Minister Rahman Malik and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain, demanding the government to launch military operation in the agency after the attack on Malala Yousafzai in Swat.
The tribal elder argued that Swat is a settled district, part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and is far away from North Waziristan; then why the two ministers linked it with the military operation in Waziristan.
Other tribal elders also spoke on the occasion and condemned attack on Malala Yousafzai but expressed concern over statements of Rahman Malik and Mian Iftikhar Hussain. The elders said they had signed peace agreement with the government and military and never violated the accord. However, the elders said that if the government launched a military operation, the people of Waziristan would go to Afghanistan, instead of staying in the tented camps of the Pakistani government in downtowns.