ISLAMABAD, Dec 18: President Asif Ali Zardari continued his meeting with elders from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) for the second day on Thursday and the participants were informed that the government would be in a position to exercise complete control over Mohmand and Bajaur Agencies by the end of the current month.
The meeting, which was also attended by senior security officials, assessed the situation in Fata from the perspective of the elected representatives and other stakeholders responsible for peace and security in the region.
President Zardari, according to a handout, said he would hold fortnightly meetings with tribal elders in a bid to establish the writ of the government and restore peace.
“Peace in the tribal areas is the foremost priority of the government and it has decided to press into service all available resources to bring stability to the region,” he said.
The president said the government was working on a new model of economic development which envisaged that the tribal people would be made shareholders in various development projects to wean unemployed youths away from militancy.
He said a special officer would be deputed in the presidency to liaise between tribal representatives and state functionaries responsible for Fata affairs.
Giving a briefing on the law and order situation in Fata, the inspector-general of the Frontier Corps said that large areas of Bajaur and Mohmand agencies had been cleared. Several participants emphasised the need for development projects in Fata.
The meeting was also attended by NWFP Governor Owais Ahmad Ghani, Minister for States and Frontier Regions Najamuddin Khan and Prime Minister’s Adviser on Interior Affairs Rehman Malik.