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KHAR: Tribal elders and leaders of various political and religious parties of Bajaur Agency on Monday vowed to work together for maintaining a peaceful environment in the region. They said they would not allow anyone to disrupt peace in the area under the guise of “Pakthun rights”.

They made the announcement while addressing a grand jirga held in Civil Colony, Khar. The jirga called by the political administration was attended by elders of different tribes and leaders of political and religious parties.

Bajaur Agency Political Agent Abdul Amir Khattak and senior officials of the local administration, including Assistant Political Agent Anwaarul Haq, were also present on the occasion.

Speaking at the jirga, the tribal elders and political leaders said they opposed the Pakhtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) as it was allegedly creating uncertainly in the country.

“We are against the PTM as its leaders are misguiding people in the name of Pakthun rights,” they said, adding that they would never allow the PTM activists to expand their activities in the region.

According to the elders and politicians, Pakistan was their country and they would not allow anyone to blame security forces for their vested interest.

They claimed that they would continue to support the local administration in maintaining peace and writ of the state in the agency.

They called for removing “unnecessary check-posts” in the agency and handing over all posts in the region to Levies.

They also announced that they would be participating in the Pakistan Tahaffuz Movement rally which is scheduled to be held on Tuesday (today) in Khar.

Speaking at the jirga, the political agent said that peace had been restored in the agency after joint efforts of the local residents and security forces.

He said that peace and the writ of the government were not only vital for socio-economic development of the agency, but also the basic need of every citizen of the region.

Without naming anyone, the political agent claimed that some elements were using Pakhtun rights to sabotage peace and create uncertainty in the agency.

He asked everyone to play their role in maintaining peace in the agency by thwarting such anti-peace and anti-state activities in Bajaur.

“The federal government is committed to providing basic and modern facilities to the people of tribal areas and all-out efforts are being made for the purpose,” he said, adding that the government was also going to announce special development packages for the people who lived in the agency’s border areas.

The political agent said that completion of mega development schemes in the agency would help ensure basic and modern facilities to its residents.

He appreciated the role of tribal elders along with leaders of political and religious parties in restoration of peace in the agency. He said the whole nation was proud of their sacrifices.

Published in Dawn, May 15th, 2018