BANNU: A jirga of tribal elders on Thursday expressed reservations over the draft of an agreement provided to them by the political administration in North Waziristan Agency, proposing several restrictions as well as responsibilities for them for maintaining peace in the once militants-dominated tribal agency.
The administration is seeking an undertaking from local tribes to ensure peace in the area.
Sources told Dawn that the elders were told in categorical terms that return to their respective areas was condition to signing of the deal and furnishing the undertakings by them. The eight-page draft agreement handed over to all the tribes in North Waziristan Agency describes the roles of the government and the people to put brake on resurgent of militancy in the region.
“In present circumstances, this deal is not acceptable to us as the state has been trying to overburden us with a lot of responsibilities including keeping the militants away but at the same time we will not be allowed to keep heavy weapons,” said one of the elders.
The document says that in view of the endless terrorism, it is necessary to strike “agreement 2015” with the local tribes and make them responsible for maintaining peace in the area.
Show reservations over draft agreement, say they are not being allowed to keep heavy weapons
Tribal elders representing Dawar, Utmanzai Wazir, Saidgi and Kharseen tribes held a jirga in Bannu on Thursday wherein they expressed reservations over the proposed agreement. They refused to sign the agreement.
The participants of the jirga said that they couldn’t take responsibility of security in their respective areas until they returned there. They also pointed out that the government stood responsible for law and order in the agency because military campaign was still in progress there.
The draft says that the tribes will be bound by Constitution, Frontier Crimes Regulation and local customs and would play their positive role in the prosperity and development of the country.
The tribesmen will not become part of any conspiracy against the country and will stop at all costs local and foreign militants from using the soil of North Waziristan Agency against Pakistan, the documents says. The tribes would not allow terrorists to set up sanctuaries and build houses in the area and local people would be bound to provide information about the activities of anti-state elements to the administration, it adds.
The draft of the agreement says that people would also cooperate with the local administration and law enforcement agencies in this regard. The draft adds that every tribe would set up peace committee to keep its area safe from criminals and would provide details to the administration.
If a tribe fails to take action against criminals, then law enforcement agencies will be at liberty to take any sort of action and the tribe will not claim compensation for damage in this regard, the draft says.
The tribes would be bound to hand over all local people including Taliban and ‘Mujahideen’, who remained involved in acts of terrorism to the government for taking action.
The draft says that tribal people will not keep heavy weapons including machinegun and rocket launchers etc. The people would keep small arms for self-protection after taking permission from the political administration.
The residents of Miramshah, Mirali, Razmak, Boya, Dosali, Datakhel, Ghulam Khan, Spinwam, Shewa and Kajori and people living near the main roads in the agency would not be allowed to keep arms.
The people are bound to register their seminaries with the political administration and they would not set up new seminaries without the permission of the authorities concerned. Only approved course would be taught in these seminaries. The law enforcement agencies would set up camp or security packet at any place if required, the draft adds.
Published in Dawn, March 27th, 2015