Local action against Taliban: ‘Outsiders’ banned in Orakzai

* Jirga decides to shoot locals harbouring ‘outsiders’, bans bearing of arms, men hiding faces, forms lashkar against Taliban

LAHORE/KHAR: A tribal jirga in Orakzai Agency has decided that ‘outsiders’ will not be allowed to enter the area, and anyone found providing shelter to ‘outsiders’ will be shot dead and his house set on fire, Express News reported on Sunday.

According to the channel, the Ali Khel jirga has also banned the ‘brandishing of arms’. It also instructed men to stop hiding their faces behind large cloths. The jirga also constituted a committee to destroy the Taliban training camp in the area, the channel said, adding that the Ali Khel and Feroze Khel tribes had formed a tribal lashkar to combat Taliban.

Taliban had started leaving the area. The local Taliban said they were leaving the area so that peace could be maintained and it should not be taken as their weakness, the channel added.

It said 14 Taliban, including local commander Abdusalam Ali Khel, had been released from Dabori area of Orakzai. Taliban had vacated a high school building and the Tali Fort in Ali Khel, while also clearing the road to Chapri Feroze Khel.

Meanwhile, thousands of tribal elders and ulema belonging to the Mandal, Charmang and Mamond tribes in Bajaur Agency announced their full support to the government in restoring peace in the area. The tribes made the announcement during grand jirgas held in their respective areas on Sunday. The jirgas also decided to form local lashkars to combat Taliban.

Meanwhile, only 15, 000 of an estimated 80,000 Afghans had left Bajaur despite a three-day ultimatum expiring Sunday, AP reported. daily times monitor/staff report