|Pashtun elders seek world’s help to banish terror
JALALABAD: Tribal elders, including those coming from across the border in Pakistan, on Tuesday held a gathering in eastern Nangarhar province and voiced their opposition to all types of military installations along the Durand Line.
The elders numbering around 300 asked the international community to help them get rid of terrorism in tribal areas.
The gathering in Jalalabad featured elders of tribes on both sides of the Duran Line including Shinwari, Afridi, Momand, Mamond, Salarzai, Mashwani, Khogyani, Wazir, Mangal, Masoud and Zazi.
The tribal jirga titled “peace and brotherhood” was organized at the provincial Tribal Affairs Department.
Elders of both the sides claimed about 8000 Pashtun tribal elders had been killed in Pakistan and Afghanistan over refusing to recognize the Durand Line.
A Momand tribe elder, Malak Jahanzeb Momand, hoped the gathering would prove effective in resolving problems in tribal areas. He believed Pakistan by firing rockets into tribal areas wanted to advance but tribes on both the sides would not allow it.
Tribal elder from Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal region, Zar Jan Shinwari, said he had not been invited to the gathering and he had come on his own free will with the aim to find solution to problems in their areas.
He said Pashtuns in tribal areas of Pakistan had been marginalized, imposed terrorism and deprived of education. He claimed some 3000 influential tribal elders had been killed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and 5000 in Afghanistan.
Tribal elder from Khyber agency, Haji Hukam Khan, said such gatherings would continue until peace and stability returned to the Pashtun belt like the past.
Tribal elder from Pakistan’s Waziristan tribal region, Dr. Hayat Mehsud, said though the gathering was a small one but its objective was huge, which was coordination among tribes in resolving issues.
He said Pashtuns were not terrorists but they were victim of terrorism and the war had been imposed on them.
The participants issued a six-article resolution letter in which they urged the governments of Afghanistan, Pakistan and the international community to bring to a close the war imposed on them.
It said the tribes were not terrorists but were victim of terrorism. The letter demanded withdrawal of Pakistani troops from the country’s tribal areas and opposed construction of any type of military installations along the Durand Line.
The letter said reconstruction projects should be launched in tribal areas and Pakistani tribesmen with tribal cards from the Afghan Ministry of Tribal and Border Affairs should be allowed to travel between the two countries without any restriction.