Jirga meets Mehsud Taliban to negotiate peace agreement

November 02, 2014

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Tribal elders gather to attend a Jirga or 'tribal assembly' in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. — AFP/File
Tribal elders gather to attend a Jirga or 'tribal assembly' in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. — AFP/File

PESHAWAR: A tribal jirga representing Mehsud tribesmen met the Mehsud Taliban chief Khan Said alias Sajna and other commanders on Sunday to negotiate for peace agreement between government and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Tribal sources told Dawn that a 11-member jirga which was announced a few ago in Tank has started efforts for peaceful settlement of conflict between the government and the TTP.

The jirga held an initial meeting with the Mehsud Taliban and would put forth their suggestions to the official authorities. Headed by Ikramuddin, father-in-law of the slain TTP founder and chief Baitullah Mehsud, the jirga comprised ten other key Mehsud tribal elders.

Read: Jirga to hold talks with Mehsud Taliban

Sources said the jirga had been empowered to hold talks with all Mehsud factions, including the groups of Khan Said and Shehryar. It will discuss with two little known factions — Shamim group and Hazratullah group also known as Toora Shpa (Black Night) — the matter of a peace agreement.

The formation of the Mehsud jirga is part of the government’s reconciliatory policy towards the Taliban, particularly Mehsud factions. Sources said the peace initiative was started when a Waziristan tribal jirga was called by the Corps Commander at his office in Peshawar about two weeks ago.

The jirga had a one-point agenda of persuading the Mehsud Taliban to reach an accord with the government. They said three secret meetings had been held by the Mehsud tribal jirga with the political agent of Waziristan and they agreed to facilitate talks between Mehsud Taliban and the government.