A grand tribal jirga formed by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) will meet party leaders on February 28 to devise a mechanism for initiating talks with the Taliban, said Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Thursday.
Earlier, the country’s political leadership had acknowledged the All Parties Conference (APC), organised by the Awami National Party (ANP) in Islamabad.
Fazl said that the JUI-F jirga was not part of the APC, however, when they informed the country’s leaders about this jirga, they supported it.
“We will inform national leadership about progress made by this jirga so far,” he said, adding that they will also attempt to garner support for peace efforts of this jirga from political leadership of the country. Fazl also said that the jirga will first talk to political leadership and then to the government, military and the Taliban.
He said that this grand tribal jirga was formed by about 4,000 tribal elders back on December 16, 2012.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 22nd, 2013.