Opposing military operations in the tribal areas, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman urged the government to resolve the conflict by initiating a dialogue with the tribal people.
Addressing a jirga at the JUI-F’s provincial secretariat on Monday, Fazl said that most European countries have already withdrawn their forces from Afghanistan and the US is also preparing to recall its troops because of a weak economy back home.
“All stakeholders should be included in the proposed political solution of the Afghan conflict to prevent another civil war,” he said, adding that a peaceful Afghanistan will lead to a peaceful Pakistan.
Referring to the historic 1892 Treaty of Gandamak between the British government of India and Afghanistan, Fazl said, “Before taking a decision to change the administrative status of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), the Afghan government should also be taken into confidence.” He said he fears that a territorial dispute may emerge with Afghanistan over the issue.
A national consensus is needed before making legislation to bring peace to the tribal areas, he said. Speaking about his party’s initiative, Fazl said that a grand tribal jirga will be convened on December 16 in Peshawar and more than 2,000 tribal elders and clerics will participate to forge a consensus on the matter.
“The aim of the grand jirga is to facilitate the peace process and to urge those who took arms against the state to resolve the conflict through negotiations,” Fazl said, reiterating his party’s stance of opposing armed resistance in the country. “If someone asks us to facilitate dialogue with the government, we will try to convey their message to the president and the prime minister.”
The jirga also appealed to the international community and the government to end drone strikes and give monetary help to those who have lost family members and personal property in the conflict. The army chief was also asked to end ongoing military operations and negotiate with militants instead
The JUI-F chief also condemned the suicide attack on Monday which targeted Jaamat-e-Islami’s former chief Qazi Hussain Ahmad. Ahmad survived the blast, which injured three people.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2012.
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The tribal people are not the problem - the problem lies in 'clerics' going for power