Jirga: Army must destroy Taliban

Political situations in Pakistan in general and Pukhtunkhawa province in particular were worst to extent that life here had become like hell for our people. Extremism and terrorism activities had increased manifold and militants had made the people of the said area as hostage. Their all human rights were violated. People especially from FATA and PATA were forced by militants from their native areas to migrate and we witnessed a flux of people from Swat, Buner, Shangla, Malakand Division and all agencies of FATA coming to comparatively safer place of the Pukhtunkhawa province. Culture activities were hit hard and artistes were beheaded. The case of famous female artiste Shabna in swat was an eye opener for us all who was ruthlessly murdered and was hung in chowk known as khoni chowk. Dead bodies were exhumed out of the graves. The women and young ladies were whipped by terrorists. Many people were ruthlessly beheaded for their alleged suspect role as spy for the Americans and other allied forces in Afghanistan. Islamic emirate was declared in Waziristan and terrorists from across the world were collected there. They teased and tormented the local people and the entire FATA people were tortured and humiliated. Not only FATA but Pashtunkhwa province especially Peshawar metropolitan witnessed many suicide attacks and bombs explosion. People were so afraid that they left coming to Peshawar and expelled their children from schools which were threatened by the militants. In such situations, people from civil society and some liberal, progressive and democratic political parties joined hands and formed a movement with name of Amn Tehrik. Promoting peace in the region is the sole agenda of Amn Tehrik.
A Quami Amn Jirga on Saturday 20th March 2010 at Nishter Hall Peshawar was organized for the implementation of Peshawar Declaration and to promote peace in the region. Peoples were invited from all over the region. After the Jirga a joint declaration was issued.The Jirga held and was reported by all the major Newspapers.
Hundreds of tribesmen from NWFP and FATA ended a rare jirga Saturday with a declaration calling for the army to crush the Taliban.

The meeting, held at Nishtar Hall, was called by an umbrella group of aid organisations and political parties in an effort to bring together people from the violence-battered region.

Participants called for the army to escalate its attack against the network of militants across the tribal regions, dismissing Pakistan’s earlier offensives as “military dramas.”

“It should be a genuine military operation like the Sri Lankans did against the Tamil Tigers,” said Sayd Alam Mehsud, a powerful tribal leader, referring to the brutal military campaign that destroyed the separatist Tamil army in Sri Lanka.

They also called for more power for traditional councils.

“If we strengthen these councils and make them more functional, I believe it will win us half of the war,” said one participant, Salar Amjad Ali, 34. “We, the Pashtuns, live for our culture and tradition and we die for it.”

While Saturday’s meeting was not a formal jirga, it is rare to have so many tribal leaders gather together.

A declaration at the end of the meeting called democracy vital to rooting out terrorism, arguing that Pakistan’s powerful military – which many see as the true power behind the country’s elected government – should keep out of politics.

“A sapling of terrorism cannot grow in democracy. Any attempt to derail democracy is like letting the terrorists walk all over us,” the declaration said.

One organiser, Syed Alam Mehsud, said the meeting was a way to bring together people from the area that is suffering most in Islamabad’s war against the militants.

“We have just tried to unite people for the sake of peace,” he said.

Participants said they had little faith in the U.S.-Pakistan alliance, and that Washington and Islamabad were more worried about internal political issues than dealing with the deepset social issues at the root of much of the violence.

“If we do not address the mindset of the terrorists, we will not be able to eliminate terrorists,” said Mehsud.

The tribal leaders urged the government in Pakistan to reach out to the militants – but also to crush those unwilling to negotiate.

“We tribesmen are more patriotic than anybody else,” said one participant, Din Mohammad Khan, who had come South Waziristan, where a government offensive that began last fall is thought to have killed hundreds of people – militants and civilians.

“Pakistan is ours. We are for Pakistan,” he said. – AP

Press Release of Qaumi Amn Jirga

PESHAWAR: Additional secretary-general of the Awami National Party (ANP), Hashim Babar, Saturday said military establishment was the major hurdle in reforms in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), which feels that it will weaken its sponsored militants in the tribal areas.

“The military establishment has decided not to allow President Asif Ali Zardari to introduce reforms in FATA, as they have provided sanctuaries to their strategic assets in North Waziristan,” he said while speaking to an Amn Jirga called by Amn Tehreek, a conglomeration of political parties and civil society organisations here at Nishtar Hall.

Representatives of political parties, civil society members, lawyers, doctors, students, minorities, tribal leaders and elders of peace committees participated in the moot.

Hasim Babar said their fight was not with Taliban but with those forces that were behind them and were providing support to them. “As the enemy is within us we have to take steps cautiously. We have to form a national front which include people from all walks of life and then make a joint strategy to deal with the enemy,” he said.

“Taliban have also political face in shape of Jammat-e-Islami (JI), Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) and the military establishment having political mindset,” he said and added for their ‘strategic depth policy’ they have killed millions of Pakhtuns.

Hashim Babar said after 9/11 General Musharraf-led government provided shelter to Al-Qaeda leadership and Taliban in North and South Waziristan. He said the entire country was engulfed in terrorism but not a single school was burnt in other parts of the country and all the education institutes on Pakhtun’s land were destroyed.

Senator Mir Hasil Bizenjo, senior vice president National Party, in his speech came down hard on the establishment, saying it brought all the criminals together and made a force, Taliban.
Pointing towards Punjab-dominated establishment, he alleged,” Haqqanis are still their blue-eyed and the security agencies are behind the entire massacre in the country”

He said the establishment played havoc with the Pakhtuns of Afghanistan and Pakistan, adding that for them in Afghanistan the Taliban were good but they were not ready to accept their presence in Punjab.

The Baloch nationalist said the military establishment had developed a mentality that they can defeat America in Afghanistan and the moment NATO forces will leave Afghanistan they will capture the country through their own pampered extremist forces.

He appealed to all democratic forces to join hands against the extremist forces and demand dismantling the terrorists’ networks be it in Muridke, Swat, Waziristan or Quetta.

Later, a joint declaration was presented by Jamila Gilani, an ANP member of the National Assembly. The declaration termed the earlier ‘Peshawar Declaration’ presented by Amn Tehrik a historic document for durable peace and end to terrorism in the Pakhtun belt.

The Jirga appealed to federal and provincial governments, armed forces and its secret agencies to act upon the recommendations of the declaration. Besides, those individuals and institutions who were responsible for patronizing terrorism and religious extremism in the country should made a public apology.

The Jirga also appealed to all state institutions to remain in their constitutional ambit, adding that defence and foreign policy formulation was the responsibility of democratic government.

The declaration also demanded that all the funds that came in the name of terrorism must be spent in FATA and NWFP. The Jirga strongly condemned the recent statement of the Punjab chief minister, saying that PML-N was a supporter of Taliban. The jirga also demanded that killers of a student of NWFP University of Engineering must be punished and Islami Jamiat Talaba should be banned.

The Jirga also demanded representation of Pakhtuns in the delegation that will soon hold meetings with US government.

Prominent among the speakers were Mukhtar Baacha, Amin Khattak, Lateef Afridi, Dr Said Alam Mahsud, Idress Kamal, MNA Jamila Gilani, Rukhshinda Naz, Syed Ayub Shah, Hameed Ullah Zahid, Zia uddin Yousafzai, Zahid Hussain, Tariq Afghan, Shahab Khattak, Dr. Alam Yousafzai.

Courtesy : Amn Tehreek



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