Senior tribal politician and MNA from Kurram Agency, Munir Orakzai will join the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) today (Wednesday), the party’s provincial spokesperson Haji Abdul Jalil Jan told The Express Tribune on Tuesday.
Jan said Orakzai will make the official announcement in a press conference at JUI-F’s provincial headquarters in the presence of Maulana Fazlur Rehman. He added the party’s agency chapter has negotiated his joining and Munir has put forward no demands.
Referring to the party’s recently constituted grand jirga to discuss issues faced by the tribal people, Jan said: “He (Munir) has been attending our jirga deliberations even before joining (the party). And being a prominent tribal and political personality, he is entitled to become a member of the jirga.”
Jan claimed some other elders from Orakzai, Mohmand and Bajaur agencies were likely to join the JUI-F in the days to come. “We are playing it slow and in the coming days you will see more people joining our ranks,” he said.
Munir’s addition is significant as the JUI-F is likely to play a crucial role in case the proposed talks with Taliban do materialise. The Awami National Party (ANP) has also shown its willingness to let JUI-F’s grand jirga mediate peace talks when the time comes.
Munir contests elections from NA-38 tribal area-III, Kurram Agency and has remained undefeated in the previous two elections. In 2002, he secured 6,619 votes, while in 2008 he received 16,525 votes as an independent candidate. He is also the incumbent parliamentary leader of Fata members in the National Assembly.
Meanwhile, Former Air Marshal Syed Qaisar Hussain Shah said he has joined the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Kurram Agency chapter in a press conference at Parachinar Press Club.
Shah is the brother of former PPP Kurram Agency president Dr Syed Riaz Hussain, who was shot dead in a targeted attack outside his clinic in Dabgari Gardens, Peshawar on January 9.
Talking to journalists, Qaisar said he will continue his brother’s mission to eliminate poverty and restore peace in the tribal region.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 20th, 2013.