PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government will frame terms of reference for negotiations with the Pakhtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) to address its grievances amid reservations by a key leader of the movement.
Addressing a news conference here on Wednesday, spokesman for the provincial government Ajmal Khan Wazir said the Advisory Committee for Redressal and Development for the merged tribal districts would begin talks with the PTM leaders.
The committee consisting of Senators and MNAs from seven merged districts and six Frontier Regions was constituted during a meeting held at the Governor’s House here on Tuesday.
Governor Shah Farman, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Commander 11 Corps Lt-Gen Shaheen Mazhar Mehmood and parliamentarians from merged districts attended the meeting.
Movement leader demands national committee on grievances
Sources said PTM MNAs Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir, who belonged to North and South Waziristan districts, were not invited to that meeting.
They added that Ajmal Wazir and MNA from Kurram district Sajid Hussain Turi proposed the holding of talks with the PTM before the meeting approved the idea.
Mr Wazir said the advisory committee had been empowered to hold talks with the PTM leaders to address their genuine demands.
He said the committee would report to the chief minister, while terms of reference for dialogue would be framed very soon.
The spokesman said all stakeholders were on board over talks with the PTM and that the government wanted to resolve the organisation’s grievances through dialogue.
MNA Mohsin Dawar did not categorically reject talks with members of the advisory committee, but called for the formation of a national level committee to resolve their grievances instead of engaging them with local parliamentarians.
He told Dawn that the PTM was a non-violent movement and believed in negotiations.
He said the PTM was ready for talks with the proposed committee and that the issues should not be confined to tribal districts.
He said the PTM held talks with a committee but they remained inconclusive.
The government’s spokesman said the advisory committee would hold monthly meeting to be chaired by Chief Minister Mahmood Khan to review the overall progress of development activities in merged districts.
He said the decision regarding the police’s extension to the erstwhile Fata would be decided within a week.
Mr Wazir said the bill regarding the levies and khasadar forces would be prepared very soon. He said the proposed legislation would be placed before the cabinet for approval.
The spokesman said local residents would be inducted in police and levies.
He said the government had already issued notification for the establishment of lower courts in tribal districts in light of the Supreme Court’s orders.
Published in Dawn, February 14th, 2019