KOHAT, July 20: The Taliban holding several checkposts and schools in Orakzai tribal region started leaving the area after receiving warning from the elders of 18 main tribes on Sunday.

The political agent of Orakzai Agency, Kamran Zeb, while giving details of the action taken by the tribal elders, told Dawn that Taliban had vacated a government school in Ghiljo and Yakh Kandao checkpost without resistance.

He said that administration had strictly advised the tribal elders to expel the foreign militants hiding in the area who had shifted from Waziristan and Punjab in particular.

The elders were also told that in case they failed to restore the government’s writ, force would be used against them and that they should not put themselves in difficulty for the sins and crimes of non-local people.

To a question, Mr Zeb said that the foreign militants had started leaving the area according to the tribal traditions after the elders requested them to leave. An armed force would form to expel them if they did not honour the request of the elders, he added.

He said that all the 18 tribes had agreed that they would not allow a state within the state or disruption of peace in the area. The tribesmen would gradually take the message to other parts of Orakzai Agency where militants were involved in anti-state activities and were also proving help to their comrades in Hangu.

The jirga members met Taliban leadership on Saturday evening and conveyed them the unanimous decision of tribal elders. They set a 24-hour deadline for Taliban to vacate the school and the checkpost.

The elders visited these areas after morning prayers to monitor the implementation of the decision and were satisfied when the Taliban started packing and leaving the area. But they were still present in some parts of Orakzai Agency.

Meanwhile, members of Karbogha union council in Hangu district decided on Sunday that anyone who provided shelter to the fleeing militants from Doaba and other parts would be fined Rs2 million.

The residents and councillors in a meeting, presided over by naib nazim of Karbogha, 15 kilometres from Doaba, said that a handful of miscreants would not be allowed to shatter peace of the area.

After consulting other members of the union council, Naib Nazim Hafiz Sultan said that anyone who sheltered or helped the militants in any way would be fined Rs2 million.

There were also reports of the kidnapping of some people from the Tora Warai area by the militants on Saturday night.



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