KHAR: A grand jirga of elders of the Mamond tribe from both sides of the Pakistan-Afghan border decided on Friday to curb border incursion by militants and ensure durable peace and stability in the region.
The jirga, held in the border town of Tarkhoo in Bajaur, was attended by 22 tribal elders from Afghanistan’s Kunar province and men belonging to different sub-tribes of Mamond tribe in Bajaur Agency.
The jirga was aimed at restoring brotherly relations between people affected by militancy in the border region.
Also read: Mamond tribe vows to fight against extremists in Bajaur
The Swat Taliban, who are loyal to outlawed TTP chief Mullah Fazlullah, are reported to have taken shelter in Kunar and launched attacks on Pakistani security forces and tribal people along the border areas.
Although the jirga members did not specify measures to be taken to restore peace, they were optimistic about persuading the people living along the border to keep a check on the movement of irrelevant people.
The jirga discussed the law and order situation along the border and a future line of action to maintain peace and strengthen ties among tribal people.
Before the spillover of militancy in the region, tribal people from both sides of the Durand line had very close relation.
The elders and Maliks who attended the jirga reached an understanding to devise a strategy to curtail the movement of terrorists and extremists. They vowed not to allow militants to use their territory for terrorist activities.
The jirga was told that peace and stability on both sides of the border were vital for prosperity and sustainable development in the region. The elders were of the opinion that since the tribal people of Kunar and Bajaur had the same culture and traditions, they should not create differences and enmities.
“This is the time to eliminate terrorism and bring peace to the region through cooperation and joint efforts,” said Malik Mohammad Ayaz Khan, an influential elder from Bajaur.
“Extremists are enemies of the tribal people and deserve no mercy. It’s time that we join hands to defeat these non-state actors once and for all,” said Maulvi Inayatullah from Kunar.
The jirga decided to hold regular meetings to promote friendly relations between the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The next meeting will be held in Kunar in the middle of the month.
The Afghan elders thanked the people of Bajaur for their hospitality and expressed hope that the process would continue.
Published in Dawn, December 6th, 2014