Plans to deploy additional contingents of troops along the Pak-Afghan border have been finalised, army officials told a grand jirga in Upper Dir district.
The jirga was held in the Barawal Bandi area of Dir on Friday.
Operations Commander Lower and Upper Dir Brigadier Nadeem Mirza, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly member Anwar Khan, former provincial minister Inayatullah Khan, District Coordination Officer (DCO) Dir Ghulam Muhammad, District Police Officer (DPO) Mir Qasim Khan and elders belonging to different areas of Barawal tehsil were present during the meeting.
According to sources, elders of the area expressed concern over the volatile situation around the border and asked the army officials to take stern action against the militants to put an end to cross-border infiltration.
“The jirga decided to provide every possible support to security forces deployed around the border areas and we also told army officials that our peace committee members would also take part in routine patrol if the forces required,” said Khan, adding that they had requested to establish a security check post on the Pak-Afghan border.
Brigadier Mirza welcomed the support offered by the jirga and said that security forces would establish check posts around different parts of Nusrat Darra, Shengara Darra, Suni Darra and areas of Barwal tehsil.
“We need local support to secure the border. Without their support, we cannot achieve our target,” Mirza said.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Ali Khan, a local elder, said that the government should arrange a joint jirga of the elders living across the border.
“I think a joint jirga is a better solution to stop the incursion because we will request the Afghan elders to ask the militants to leave their areas and I hope they will help us,” Khan said.
DCO Upper Dir Ghulam Muhammad said the jirga was very successful and the elders assured their full support, adding that the security had been tightened after fresh contingents were deployed in the area.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2011.
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