PESHAWAR: A grand jirga has called upon the government and proscribed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to continue the ongoing ceasefire and sought the Afghan Taliban’s help for facilitating peace process in the region.

The jirga comprising elders, ulema and youth from all parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including merged tribal districts, also urged the Afghan Taliban’s interim government in Kabul to utilise all their energies and resources for lasting peace and prosperity in the region.

A single-page declaration issued to the media on Tuesday said the jirga met the commander of the 11th Corps Peshawar on Monday.

It was decided that tribal people, including ulema, through a letter would convey the message of peace and reconciliation to the government of Pakistan, Afghanistan and the TTP.

The declaration read that all parties first sign unconditional agreement for the sake of lasting peace in the region and give opportunity to the jirga to ensure lasting peace. “The role of this jirga for negotiation between the government and TTP in accordance with its traditional responsibility towards peace and brotherhood is need of the hour.

“The jirga believes that the complex issue can be resolved through talks and cooperation. Economic prosperity, trade and commerce can come through permanent peace in the region,” it said.

Elders from tribal districts recently began initiatives for ceasefire between the government and TTP.

The proscribed outfit has already extended ceasefire until May 30 after talks with a Pakistani delegation in Kabul. The Afghan Taliban are facilitating that dialogue.

Earlier, a jirga of Mehsud tribe approached the TTP commanders in South Waziristan tribal district for ceasefire. A group of tribal elders from North Waziristan and South Waziristan districts went to Afghanistan and held meetings with the TTP commanders.

The jirga sought support from the Afghan Taliban for facilitating peace process. “The Afghan Taliban will continue their efforts for peace and prosperity in the region,” said the declaration.

Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2022

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