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Taliban allow girls to attend schools

May 27, 2008

GHALANAI, May 26: Local Taliban have agreed to allow female education and protect government employees in Safi area of Mohmand Agency.

This was announced by a jirga of tribal elders after a meeting with a Taliban delegation on Monday.

Leader of the 10-member jirga Abdul Manan Kodakhel said that the Taliban had agreed to allow girls’ schools provided their teachers wore the veil.

Former MNA Maulana Abdul Malik who negotiated for the Taliban also agreed to provide protection to government employees in the area and said they could do their job without any fear.

The Taliban, however, announced that non-governmental organisations (NGOs) would not be allowed to resume work in the area and accused them of ‘spreading obscenity’ which could not be tolerated.

They also said that roads in the agency could be used by security forces, but attacks by foreign forces must be stopped forthwith.

Later, a group of tribal elders met Amjad Ali Khan, the Political Agent of Mohmand Agency, and apprised him of the outcome of talks held with the Taliban.

The political agent appreciated the peace efforts of the jirga. The political authorities, meanwhile, released seven men of the Qandahari tribe and asked the jirga to work for peace in the area.

Also on Monday, the Tribal Union of Journalists held a demonstration in protest against the murder of TV journalist Mohammad Ibrahim and demanded immediate arrest of the killers.

Led by TUJ president Nasir Mohmand, the journalists marched to the office of the political agent and raised slogans in support of their demand.

Mr Mohmand said that Mohammad Ibrahim was the sixth journalist killed in the tribal area since the beginning of the US-led war on terrorism, but the government had failed to arrest killers of any journalist.

“We would go to the Governor House in Peshawar and the President House in Islamabad if the Bajaur Agency administration failed to arrest the killers of Mohammad Ibrahim,” he warned.