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US, Pakistan Change Policy About Taliban

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Pakistan has changed its policy towards Taliban as a jirga, council of tribal elders was formed for negotiation with Taliban leaders. Pakistan enjoying the support of the United States has formed a jirga, which was a great surprise for all tribesmen for wooing Taliban to lay their weapons and in return they will be given a share in the government. In other words an efforts are being made to install Taliban government in the tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border.

According to reports, the United States officials posted in Pakistan have been watching the situation, but so far no reaction was shown by them giving weight to the impression that they have been fully aware of the development. It is not yet clear whether the Taliban will be asked to abandon fighting against the US troops in Afghanistan.

According to reports, NWFP Governor Lt-Gen (Retd) Ali Muhammad Jan Aurakzai, who is also controlling the tribal areas, has urged tribal elders to help the government establish its writ and tell militants to leave Pakistan "with honour and dignity".

Addressing a 45-member inter-tribal jirga at the Governor's House , he said continued violence in Waziristan tribal region must be stopped to pave way for development.

"Foreign elements in the area should be clearly told to leave our soil with honour and dignity," he told the jirga which will leave for North Waziristan's regional headquarters Miramshah to meet tribal militants to negotiate a peaceful settlement.

An official statement quoted the governor as saying that criminals from the settled areas who had taken refuge in tribal area should be weeded out for creating a development-friendly environment in tribal areas.

The jirga has representation of all tribal agencies and frontier regions and also includes parliamentarians, leading tribal elders and Ulema.

"We are passing through a very difficult and delicate phase of our history. The current situation demands that we should take every step with caution and deep sense of commitment and responsibility," Mr Aurakzai added.

With regard to the mandate and jurisdiction of the jirga the governor said it would have to make all-out efforts to bring peace in tribal areas in general and in Waziristan in particular. He said the jirga should take decisions in the supreme national interest.

Mr Aurakzai said that the government had been working on a Rs100 billion 10-year development plan for the tribal areas.

Members of the jirga assured the governor that they would strive to come up to his expectations.

The governor expressed the hope that the jirga would succeed in its efforts to bring lasting peace in the area as the government and tribesmen had reposed confidence in it.

He said that no dispute in the world had been resolved through war and violence rather peaceful means had been adopted to resolve issues and disputes.

According to another report, an inter-tribal jirga formed to restore peace in North Waziristan.
The 45-member jirga, drawn largely from North and South Waziristan tribal regions with three representatives each from the remaining five tribal agencies and a couple of representatives from the Frontier Regions, discussed with Governor Aurakzai the framework and their mandate, a senior government official said.

"Their mandate is very clear; restore peace in the tribal region." He said that in the meeting, Mr Aurakzai would share with them his perception and suggest ways of proceeding with the talks with militants.

Asked whether the issues of the presence of foreign militants and their infiltration into Afghanistan would be part of the jirga's agenda, the official said: "Certainly. These are the issues which have been bedevilling peace and caused so much bloodshed and destruction."

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Muhammad Khurshid, a resident of Bajaur District, tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border is journalist by profession. He contributes articles and news stories to various online and print newspapers. His subject matter is terrorism. He is (more...)

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