Archive for the ‘jirga’ Category

Pakistan: Muhammad Reports From the Tribal Areas

November 5, 2007

November 5, 2007 

Dear John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Dear Sir,

What you have stated a few days ago in an email to me has happened. Your observation was proved to be correct. It shows that you have been doing a good job for the your country and Pakistan. In other words I shall simply say that you have been great to us.

After the declaration of emergency the situation of our areas has taken a dramatic turn for better. According to a report, Tribal militants released 213 Pakistan Army soldiers in South Waziristan on Sunday after the government freed 25 of their men under a prisoners’ swap made possible by a 21-member peace Jirga.

The soldiers had been in the custody of militants loyal to Baitullah Mahsud since August 30. They had surrendered along with 35 other troops to the militants after their military convoy was trapped in the Shawangi Naray area near Wana.

Maj-Gen Waheed Arshad, director-general, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), confirmed the reports about the release of the Pakistan Army troops. Talking to newsmen, he said 25 tribesmen held under the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) by the local authorities had also been freed and delivered to the Jirga. In reply to a question, he said the militants had already returned the military vehicles and the arms seized from the troops.

Tribal and official sources said the 213 soldiers were handed over by the militants to the Jirga at Tiarza, a village located in the Mahsud tribal territory, and then driven in 13 vehicles to Wana. Once in Wana, the freed soldiers were delivered to the military authorities. The militants gifted a pair of new shalwar-kameez and chappals to each soldier before seeing them at Tiarza.

Among the freed soldiers were six army officers, including a colonel, majors and captains. Colonel Zafar led the military convoy that was seized by the militants.

Militants’ sources said the prisoners’ swap became possible when the government agreed to release 25 of their men. They said the 25 tribesmen were collected from different jails in various cities and brought to Dera Ismail Khan Saturday before being flown to Wana in a helicopter Sunday. They said these men were then handed over to the tribal Jirga which brought them to Tiarza to complete the prisoners’ swap. Contrary to the claims by government officials, almost all of them were booked on terrorism charges and jailed.

These 25 men included Suhail Zeb, a cousin of militants’ commander Baitullah Mahsud. He was arrested by the police from a bungalow on Canal Road in Dera Ismail Khan along with three suicide bombers reportedly wearing explosives-filled jackets. They were later tried in a court and sentenced to 24 years imprisonment. Two of these 25 men were arrested in Karachi and were being held in a jail there.

The 21-member peace Jirga, which comprises 11 Mahsud tribal elders and 10 clerics from the tribe, had been mediating between the militants and the government. Maulana Merajuddin, a former MNA from South Waziristan affiliated with JUI-F and MMA, and his colleague Senator Saleh Shah, were among the more active members of the jirga.

The militants had also demanded an end to all military deployment and operations in the areas inhabited by Mahsud tribe in South Waziristan. They wanted the removal of roadside checkpoints in their area. The government appears to have accepted most of their demands.

Dear Sir, now President Musharraf has been showing seriousness in war on terrorism. One thing is disturbing his team, through which he is running the administration, is consisting of the same corrupt officials. At least the people of Bajaur Agency, tribal areas will never forget your cooperation in their struggle against terrorists.

Thank you very much,

Yours sincerely,

Muhammad Khurshid
Khar, Bajaur Agency,
Tribal Areas Pakistan


“Big Bang” In Pakistan

September 15, 2007

Dear John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Dear Sir,

A few days ago I have told you that the people of Pakistan have been waiting for a ‘big bang’ as the government has almost been losing the control of the country. Now some parts of that big news has stared happening.

Attack on the commandoes in Tarbela Ghazi has jolted the whole country. Terrorists have intisified their campaign as they have been making last-ditch efforts to assert themselves.

Today a news of killing of religious leader in Peshawar, the capital of North West Frontier Province has created great terror and fear. According to reports, leader of JUI (F) and noted non-controversial religious scholar Maulana Hassan Jan was gunned down by unknown assailants in Wazir Bagh area after Iftari on Saturday in the jurisdiction of Yakkatoot Police Station. Maulana had gone to the residence of a colleague in Wazir Bagh for solemnizing a Nikah.

However, after Iftari as he left for offering Maghrib prayer, he was shot dead on way by 
the armed assailants. The killers managed to flee from the scene. The critically injured Maulana was rushed to Lady Reading Hospital but he succumbed to his injuries on way to hospital. The killing of Maulana Hassan Jan led to protest by his followers in and around the Lady Reading Hospital.

The police have cordoned off the area for the arrest of the killers. Khateeb Darvesh Mosque Peshawar Cantt Maulana Hassan Jan was Vice President of Wifaqul Maadaris and rose to eminence in the 1988 general elections when he defeated late ANP rehber Khan Abdul Wali Khan in his hometown District Charsadda and elected member national assembly. It merits a mention here that Khan Abdul Wali Khan had quit politics after losing election to Maulana Hassan Jan.

Maulana Hassan Jan was highly regarded by the people belonging to all walks of life and use to approach him for seeking religious decrees. Chairman Senate Mianmuhammad Soomro, Governor NWFP Ali Muhammad Jan Aurakzai, Chief Minister NWFP
 Akram Khan Durrani, Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Ijaz ul Haq, Senator Sahibzada Khalid Jan, Law Minister Malik Zafar Azam and Deputy Convener Rabta Committee MQM Dr. Farooq Sattar have condemned the brutal killing of Maulana Hassan Jan.

Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao has ordered early arrest of the killers involved in the murder of Maulana Hassan Jan. Maulana Hassan Jan was born in village Parang in District Charsadda in 1938.

He is survived by four sons and a daughter.

On the one hand the terrorists have been killing the people, but on the other hand the government has been making deal with them in the tribal areas. Mohmand Agency political administration and the Safi tribesmen have inked an agreement for peace, in which, the Safi tribesmen have agreed on not providing any sanctuary to the foreigners.Sources told that the Safi tribesmen and the political administration singed the agreement during the Jirga at  the Agency Headquarter Ghalanai.

The elders of the Safi tribesmens’ four subsidiary branches—Shinwari, Garbuz, Masood and Kandhari, while from the government side, the Upper Mohmand’s Assistant Political agent, Syed Ahmad Jan and the Tehsildar of Safi area inked the agreement.

Mohmand agency Political Agent, Dr. Kazim Niaz also addressed the Jirga. The agreement envisages that the tribesmen would neither be giving safe haven to the foreigners nor would allow subversive and terrorist activities, while the roads would be made safe, government properties would be protected besides the government personnel would be allowed freely to move in the area with full protection. Dear Sir, situation is very critical in the country. I do not know why the government has been showing lethergy in taking decisive action against the terrorists. The United States is also silent. If immediate steps are not taken the terrorists may make more horrible terrorist attacks.

Thank you very much,

Yours  sincerely,

Muhammad Khurshid
Khar, Bajaur Agency,Tribal Areas Pakistan

Afg-Pak “Grand Jirga” Politics from Muhammad

August 11, 2007

Dear John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Dear Sir, Sometime my heart wants just to solute you as your kindness and correct approach have been bringing some positive change on the tribal areas.

It is only after interest now the United States administration has changed its attitude and so the Pakistani government.

I think now Musharraf has been showing some seriousness, but some the officials within his team have still been providing support to Taliban and terrorists.

I want to bring in your kind notice Pakistan has sent those people of the peace jirga being held in Kabul, who have been supporting Taliban and terrorists. Pakistan has created Taliban and has still been breeding them. In think if the government of Pakistan withdraw its support from Taliban and terrorists then they will have no place on this earth.

The United States should exert more pressure on Pakistan without caring for that someone will be annoyed. The elimination of terrorists and Taliban is a must for saving this world. The jirga preceeding in Kabul shows that it is a futile exercise.

According to reports from Kabul, A council of Pakistani and Afghan tribal leaders debating ways to end Al Qaeda-backed terrorism in the region heard calls on Friday for Western forces to be thrown out of Afghanistan in favour of Islamic troops.Pakistani tribal elder and former MP, Malik Fazel Manaan Mohmand, said the presence of NATO and US-led forces in Afghanistan was a major cause of insecurity.

“Pakistan had helped Afghanistan battle the invading Soviets in a jihad, but Kabul had now brought in a new foreign force,” he said. “How can I accept that yesterday jihad against the Russians was a must, and today this is not a jihad?” he asked.“There is no need for the NATO forces. Bring Islamic countries’ troops,” said Mohmand.

Pakistan’s State Minister for Education Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli lashed out at the Afghans by reminding them that Kabul had voted against Pakistan’s entry to the UN in 1947.

“But even then we helped Afghanistan,” a charged Anisa told the delegates in Urdu. She said that “invisible forces” did not want the relations between the two countries to normalise. She, however, did not identify the “invisible forces”. They said that the Afghan authorities tried on Thursday night to remove irritation among the Pakistani delegates and officials when the Afghan delegates indulged in blame-game.

Ms Barakzai said there was a need to “heal the wounds” and “open doors for dialogue” since women and children were the most affected in the conflict.

She urged the jirga delegates to demand for the release for Korean women taken hostage by the Taliban.

Anisa asked why the Hamid Karzai government was opposing Islamabad’s efforts to put a new border security management in place to stem illegal cross-border movement.

The delegates from the two countries divided into five committees to talk about investigating terrorist groups, intelligence sharing and drugs, said Alimi Balkhi, an Afghan lawmaker who headed one of the working groups.

Dear Sir, it is ironic to note most of the members of jirga have no connection with the tribal areas. Just take the example of Pakistani lady minister. She knows nothing about the tribal areas as she belongs to some other areas. How she can talk about the tribal areas?

I think these people have no justification to demand the withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan. I think the NATO forces should enter the tribal areas for controlling terrorism.

Actually terrorists of international fame have been preparing plans for attacks in various parts of the country. These terrorists must be checked at this point.

Please Sir, continue your cooperation. The people of Bajaur Agency, tribal areas will never forget your kind contribution for the welfare of humanity.

Again thank you very much.

Yours sincerely,

Muhammad Khurshid
Khar, Bajaur Agency,Tribal Areas Pakistan

Musharraf May Attend ‘Grand Jirga’ After All

Musharraf May Attend ‘Grand Jirga’ After All

August 11, 2007

Aug. 11 (Bloomberg) — Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf agreed “in principle” to address the closing session of a tribal council meeting in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul.

Musharraf, who had earlier decided against attending the meeting because of engagements at home, changed his mind after Afghan President Hamid Karzai invited him during a telephone conversation late yesterday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. His visit may help ease tensions between the two South Asian neighbors who have accused each other of failing to secure their 2,430-kilometer (1,510 mile) border.

The Grand Jirga meeting, which ends tomorrow, is aimed at agreeing on measures to prevent al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters from using bases and crossing the mountainous and porous frontier to carry out attacks in both countries.

Read the rest at:

Musharraf pulls out of anti-terror meeting; Blames U.S.?

August 8, 2007

by Lynne O’Donnell

ISLAMABAD (AFP) – Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf cancelled a trip to Afghanistan to attend a key anti-terrorism meeting, citing a previous engagement amid heightened security concerns.

On the eve of a high-profile meeting of leaders from volatile regions bordering the two countries, Musharraf telephoned Afghan President Hamid Karzai to tell him that he would not attend, the foreign ministry said.

The Pakistani president would send Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz in his place, it said in a statement.

Read the rest:

Tribal Areas, Pakistan: “The U.S. Should Study With Great Care”

July 21, 2007

Dear John E. Carey, Peace and Freedom:

Dear Sir, Thanks a lot for your continued cooperation and kindness. You are absolutely right that Pakistan has been passing through a very critical phase of its history. As after your interest now the truth has been coming to surface.

The terrorists, among them are government officials, have been trying to destroy the whole country so the people like you may not see their misdeeds. They have actually deceived the whole world. Believe it or not but this is the fact that war in Iraq has been directed from Pakistan. The government has given the impression that tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border are lawless so they have converted it into a base for terrorists. For that the rulers were paid heavily.

In other words you can say that the tribal areas have been sold to terrorists.

But the rulers have forgetton one thing that millions of tribesmen have been living in the areas.

So now they have started a campaign for elimination of tribal people. This impression is totally wrong that the government forces have been fighting against the terrorists. Actually they have been fighting to secure the tribal areas for the terrorists. Terrorists are their own people. They have been getting every type of support from the government of Pakistan.

Just look to Waziristan where the situation has been worsening with each passing day. Four people including a Frontier Corps (FC) soldier and two civilians were killed when a suicide bomber attacked a security checkpost in North Waziristan after a 45-member jirga began talks with pro-Taliban militant leaders to resurrect a peace deal and stem spiraling violence.

The security checkpost at Boya, 25 kilometres west of Miranshah, was attacked at 11am. “The jirga members are holding talks with the local elders and clerics and then they will negotiate with the Taliban commanders,” a jirga member said. The jirga is likely to return to Peshawar on Saturday.

A spokesman for pro-Taliban militants, Abdul Hayee Ghazi, said: “One of our comrades carried out this suicide bombing as others did in the last few days. We will not stop such attacks.”

As the tribal elders were meeting with militant leaders, security forces backed by a helicopter raided an alleged militant hideout, a security official said.

Dear Sir, the jirga sent by the government has been pressuring the tribal elders not to disturb Taliban and terrorists. Do not mind if they are going to Afghanistan for fighting the American forces. The Pakistani media most of the time has been telling lie.

Tribal areas have its own. We have customs and traditions through which we have been running our affairs. There is no system, no police no security agencies, but there is still peace. So we have the law.

The administration of the United States should study the situation and take a new decision about its war on terrorism being fought in tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border.

Thank you very much.

Yours sincerely,

Muhammad Khurshid
Khar, Bajaur Agency, Tribal Areas Pakistan

[Muhammad is a professional journalist who is on assignment in the tribal areas, Pakistan]