DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Authorities have extended the deadline for expulsion of ‘troublemakers’ from South Waziristan Agency’s summer headquarters Wana till April 25, following consensus reached with the Ahmedzai Wazir tribe in a jirga on Tuesday.
The jirga, held at the Wana Scouts Camp, also resulted in the decision to open for traffic roads that had been closed off after a botched suicide attack on the Scouts Camp last Saturday, a political administration official told The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity.
The official said that elders and religious figures from the Ahmedzai Wazir tribe met the assistant political agent for SWA’s Wana subdivision and discussed law and order in their area. “The tribesmen agreed that sub-clans of the Ahmedzai Wazir tribe will ensure peace in their respective areas and clear their areas of people who are involved in disrupting security,” the official said.
He said that the local administration also warned the tribesmen of stern action in case of failure to comply with the government’s demand.
Once the tribesmen agreed to evict ‘miscreants’ by April 25, the government declared road routes open, he said.
The Gomal Zam Road links Wana with Dera Ismail Khan and other parts of the country, while linking roads connect Wana Bazaar with different parts of the town.
The road closure had caused many difficulties for tribesmen. “To reach DI Khan, we first had to go to Zhob in Balochistan,” Zahid Khan, a local from Karikot village of Wana, told The Express Tribune. For this longer trip, he said, they had to pay Rs1,600 instead of Rs400, which is the cost incurred to travel via the Gomal Zam Road.
The blockade has also resulted in shortage of food and other items. Following the closure, locals said, diesel prices soared to Rs180 per litre and those of petrol to Rs190. Prices of other edible and non-edible items of daily use also recorded a substantial hike.