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Fata peace linked to pullout of Nato from Afghanistan

June 27, 2007

PESHAWAR, June 26: President Gen Pervez Musharraf has called upon tribesmen to stop cross-border infiltration of unwanted elements who were causing unrest in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He cautioned them that this infiltration would have undesirable consequences in the region.

He told the tribal elders at a grand Jirga here on Tuesday that when peace was restored in Afghanistan foreign forces would vacate that country. He stressed that peace was imperative for development and progress, but made it clear that it could not be achieved through the use of force alone.

“Pakistan needs your unflinching support which you rendered in the past in its hard days,” he said and added that the elements of terror were misusing the sacred name of Islam for the fulfilment of their nefarious designs.

Gen Musharraf told the jirga that suicide attacks, bomb blasts and other terrorist acts were no service to Islam. He said such activities amounted to inviting trouble and hampering the development programme of the government.

He pointed out that violation of peace accord embarrassed the country abroad as “we have been telling them that these agreements are aimed at creating conducive atmosphere for peace in the tribal areas”.

President Musharraf told the jirga that peace was the way out for the honourable exit of foreign forces from Afghanistan.

If these forces left Afghanistan in the present circumstances civil strife would erupt there, he said, adding that peace in Afghanistan had direct bearing on normalcy in Fata.

Gen Musharraf, while expressing displeasure over the recent bombardment of a village in Waziristan, said that Pakistan had lodged a strong protest against this act and assured that the victims would be compensated duly.

The president called upon tribesmen to convert difficulties into opportunity by fully cooperating with the government in efforts to oust foreign elements and bring about development in their areas.

He told tribesmen that they had been at the centre of attention of the outside world since the 9/11 incident. —APP