LAKKI MARWAT: The Pakistan Army on Wednesday returned weapons it had seized from Marwat and Betani tribesmen over two years ago to avert armed clash.
A function was held for the purpose at the Lt Adnan Shaheed Sports Complex Tajazai, where civil and military officers, members of Marwat Qaumi Jirga and Behramkhel and Khankhel tribesmen were in attendance.
Brigade Commander Brigadier Waqas Zafar Raja was the chief guest on the occasion, where Tajazai camp commander Lt-Col Amir, DC Jehangir Azam Wazir and DPO Asif Gohar were also present.
In Jan 2017, tensions had escalated between Behramkhel and Khankhel tribes over a land dispute forcing the civil administration to seek help from the security forces.
The Pakistan Army along with area police had seized weapons from both sides during a search operation in a bid to prevent their armed clash.
The elders of Marwat Qaumi Jirga later requested the military authorities to return seized weapons.
MQJ leaders Akhtar Munir, Haji Mohammad Aslam Khan and Naseer Mohammad Khan appreciated the move and said Betani and Marwat tribesmen would render all possible sacrifices to safeguard the country.
They said the weapons would be helpful in promoting peace.
The elders asked the local administration to expedite the process of settling land disputes between Marwat and Betani tribes.
Brig Waqas praised the MQJ for helping eliminate terrorism from and maintain peace in the district.
“The peace prevailing in the area is enough to prove that the tribesmen didn’t allow miscreants to use their soil for carrying out activities,” he said.
He asked Marwats, Betanis and other tribesmen to help the security forces secure the country’s western borders.
“The huge Chinese investment in the shape of CPEC promises our socioeconomic development through generation of employment opportunities for our youths,” he said.
Brig Waqas said the enemies didn’t want to see Pakistan become a prosperous and developed country.
“While aiming to win the upcoming elections and maintain a hold in the region through resorting to aggression against Pakistan, the Indian leadership fears it will lose influence in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of American troops,” he said.
He said the Pakistan Army with the support of the nation would defend the country.
Published in Dawn, February 28th, 2019