Jirga negotiation: After collective punishment, Uthmanzai tribesmen get their salaries back

All tribesmen employed by the govt had their pay suspended after assistant political agent was assassinated.


Our Correspondent April 19, 2012

MIRANSHAH: A jirga of the Uthmanzai tribe met with North Waziristan Political Agent Yahya Akhundzada to resolve a quirky consequence of the Frontier Crimes Regulation: the suspension of the salaries of all government employees belonging to the tribe.

The salaries of all paramilitary Khasadars and Levis personnel, as well as other government officials, who are part of the Uthmazai tribe were suspended after Mirali Assistant Political Agent Azmat Jamal was assassinated in his office. Under the collective responsibility clause of the FCR, all tribes that reside in the Mirali tehsil were held responsible and several dozen tribesmen were arrested.

In addition, the salaries of all government officials belonging to the Uthmanzai, Mussaki, Hurmaz and Haiderkhel tribes in Mirali were suspended. All government services in the area were also suspended.

The Uthmanzai jirga was able to get Akhundzada – the top government official in the tribal agency – to agree to restore the salaries, in exchange for an assurance that they would take responsibility for ensuring peace in their area. The Uthmanzai are one of the largest tribes in North Waziristan, spread over 12 tehsils in the agency.

Akhunzada also restored other government services, such as the issuance of National Identity Cards, passports, and domicile papers. The government also reopened its tribal affairs office in the agency.

The jirga was held in the Governor’s Cottage in Miranshah. The Uthmanzai tribe were represented by tribal elders, including Malik Nasrullah, Malik Qadir Khan, Maulana Naik Zaman, among others.

The salaries and benefits of the other tribes have not yet been restored, though an official in the agency’s administration said that they would be restored in a coming jirga.

In addition, the next jirga would also decide on the matter of whether to transfer the FATA Medical College to North Waziristan Agency.

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