Elders of the Mehsud tribe of South Waziristan convened a jirga with the political administration of the agency on Thursday and requested the Makeen-Jandola Road be opened.
Thousands of tribesmen who left their homes after the government announced military operation Rah-e-Nijat in South Waziristan in 2009 are stranded in Razmak area of adjoining North Waziristan Agency besides Tank and DI Khan districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
Along with Razmak, the displaced tribesmen of South Waziristan have also sought shelter in Shaktoyee, Shawal and other parts of North Waziristan, which too is witnessing a military operation at present. As a result of the recently-launched offensive, Zarb-e-Azb, the displaced people of South Waziristan said they are facing extreme hardships because of restricted mobility.
Tribal elders including Maulana Hassamuddin, Malik Paya Khan, Maulana Abdullah Haqqani met the political agent of South Waziristan. They said that due to the closure of Makeen-Jandola Road, displaced Mehsud tribesmen residing in Razmak have had to use Miranshah-Bannu Road along with other routes. However, following Zarb-e-Azb, the tribesmen are now stranded and unable to travel either to Bannu, Tank or DI Khan.
Tribal elders told The Express Tribune areas like Makeen, Kaniguram and Ladha of South Waziristan are out of bounds and only tribesmen with permits from the political administration can visit the areas.
The political agent of South Waziristan assured the tribal elders of conveying their request to high-ups in Peshawar and Islamabad. Both sides agreed to hold another round of talks on the coming Monday.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 29th, 2014.
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