PESHAWAR: Amid rising tension in the volatile North Waziristan tribal region, the Taliban operating there have disbanded the jirga set up for holding talks with the government and warned of retaliation if the authorities resorted to any repressive act in future.
The local Taliban Shura, or council, headed by Hafiz Gul Bahadur, Saturday made this announcement through leaflets issued in Miramshah, the main administrative town of North Waziristan, and accused the government of violating the peace accord signed with them first in September 2006 and later in 2007.
In a recent military action some private properties including a six-storey health facility, Shawal Surgical Complex, were razed to the ground on suspicion of having been used by the militants to attack a security checkpoint in Miramshah on November 7.
The incident strained ties between the government and local Taliban led by Hafiz Gul Bahadur.
The Taliban suspected that the government was planning to launch a military operation in Waziristan at the behest of the US and other Western powers.
The leaflet, a copy of which was also made available to The News, was written in Urdu and its copies were circulated in Miramshah.
“As everyone knows in Waziristan that hundreds of our Mujahideen brothers have been martyred in drone attacks carried out with the help of the Pakistani government. We have been patient because of problems being faced by common people but now the government has also resorted to repression on our people at the behest of foreigners. Such incidents include martyrdom of our common people and children in drone attacks, mortar and cannon fire on civilian population and demolition of Zakeem Hospital, Kalkay building, Shaheen Hotel and other civilian houses like that of Haji Gul Aamir Khan,” said the leaflet.
It added: “Therefore, today (11-11-2011) we are disbanding the Jirga (council) set up for talks with the government. If the government resorted to any repressive act in future, it will also be very difficult for us to observe patience anymore.”
The NWA Peace Committee headed by a local cleric Maulana Gul Ramazan, which brokered the peace accord between the government and Taliban, was also critical of the latest action by the security forces and accused them of violating the peace agreement.
Maulana Gul Ramazan and Hafiz Noorullah Shah, the two clerics who are leaders of the peace committee, said the government and military officials had promised that members of the committee would be taken into confidence before launching any action against the militants in North Waziristan.
They complained that the military officials didn’t even inform them when they were razing private buildings by using heavy explosives, which also caused serious damage to the main public sector hospital in Miramshah.
It was learnt that the political administration and military authorities in North Waziristan are now trying to persuade the peace committee to play its role as usual and defuse the growing tension between the government and the Taliban.
Some members of the peace committee said the Taliban had forbidden them from negotiating between them and the government till further orders.
Tribal sources, however, said certain government functionaries with the help of pro-Taliban clerics were working hard to defuse tension and avoid confrontation.