Tuesday December 05, 2023

Jirga concerned over resurgence of militant groups

August 17, 2022

PESHAWAR: Expressing concern over the resurgence of the militant groups in parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the participants of the Pakhtun Qaumi Jirga on Tuesday asked the government to provide security to the law-abiding citizens, enforce the writ of the state and maintain law and order in the country, particularly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The day-long jirga was convened by Awami National Party at Bacha Khan Markaz.

The representatives of different political parties, social and literary organisations, lawyers, students and civil society members attended the jirga.

The organisers said they invited all political parties but the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl did not attend the Jirga.

However, the provincial and central leadership of the Pakistan People’s Party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Pasht un Tahafuz Movement, Qaumi Watan Party, Jamaat-e-Islami, National Party, National Democratic Movement, Mazdoor Kisan Party, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party and representatives of lawyers and teachers community attended the event.

At the end of the jirga, an 11-point joint communique was drafted and passed unanimously, which was read out by the provincial president of the Awami National Party Aimal Wali Khan at a press briefing.

The communique said maintaining law and order and providing protection to the citizens was the responsibility of the state and the jirga decided that all the participants and representatives would compel the government to undertake its responsibility.

The jirga expressed grave concern over the increasing wave of target killing on the Pakhtun soil and demanded that those behind the target killing must be traced, arrested and punished as per the law of the land.

The jirga members demanded an end to the ‘unknown’ elements as described behind every target killings on the Pakhtun land.

“Peace talks with any militant groups must be discussed and got approved by the parliament and the peace process should continue only through parliament and elected representatives of the people,” the jirga demanded and asked the government to take notice of increasing cases of kidnapping for ransom and extortion in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The communique said that the missing persons and those who were made to disappear by force must be produced before the courts and the temporary detention centres must be abolished in parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The jirga demanded that the Actions (in Aid of Civil Power) Regulation must be abolished in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which according to the participants, was a draconian law enforced in the province.

“The civil administration must be given all administrative powers in the newly merged tribal districts of the province and the police must be empowered to maintain law and order in the entire Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including newly merged districts and parts of Malakand division,” it said, adding all the displaced people, particularly from former tribal areas should be returned to their hometowns, must be compensated and rehabilitated for the losses during the military operation and militancy.

The jirga demanded that all the occupied lands and properties of the Pakhtuns should be vacated and returned to the real owners in the Pakhtun land.

It also demanded that all trade routes passing through the Pakhtun land must be reopened for trade activities while threats to political party workers, students and youths must be stopped from certain quarters.

In response to a question, the provincial president of the ANP Aimal Wali Khan said that the Pakhtun Qaumi Amn Jirga had openly supported all those rallies and peace walks in parts of the Malakand division that were staged against the presence of the Taliban in the areas.

He said that the ANP-led government had also initiated and held peace talks with the then Taliban in Swat but those talks were held by political ownership through elected representatives.