SHABQADAR: Even tribal parliamentarians who have not been invited to the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) sponsored all-parties conference scheduled for February 28 in Islamabad have expressed confidence in its ability to restore peace.
MNA Kamran Khan from North Waziristan Agency told The Express Tribune he has not been invited, but termed the moot “vital” for the restoration of peace.
“One of our elders – chief of the Wazir tribe – Malik Qadir Khan is invited. He was part of all the previous peace talks in North Waziristan. His participation will be invaluable for communication with both sides,” Khan added.
The lawmaker, who belongs to the Hamidullah Jan group, said Munir Orakzai from JUI-F must approach Noorul Haq Qadri and Hamidullah Jan Afridi, MNAs from Khyber Agency.
According to Khan, all stakeholders must trust the jirga as per traditions. “These efforts will yield no fruit if the jirga is not given complete authority,” he cautioned.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) MNA Sajid Hussain Turi from Kurram Agency has also not been invited. However, he agreed with Khan, calling the APC “a good omen for peace”.
“These efforts must not be used to gain political mileage and the jirga members must consult all tribal elders. The peace talks will not bear any fruit without consulting the tribesmen,” he echoed.
JUI-F Coordinator for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and leader of the party’s tribal jirga, Mufti Abdul Shakoor, asserted they will invite all tribal elders.
After the JUI-F jirga was formed, it visited the tribal areas and held meetings with elders who supported the move, he added. “Our party supported the formation of a tribal jirga following the offer for talks by the Taliban.”
Shakoor claimed all parties responded positively to the upcoming APC. However, he complained policymakers and the government did not seem serious in their efforts to initiate dialogue with the Taliban. “An autonomous jirga can only have concrete results when all stakeholders place trust in its capabilities.”
Published in The Express Tribune, February 27th, 2013.