Jirga meets Mehsud Taliban to negotiate peace agreement

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An 11-member tribal jirga representing Mehsud tribesmen met Mehsud Taliban chief Khan Said alias Sajna and other commanders Sunday to negotiate peace agreements between government and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

The jirga which was announced a few days ago in Tank, held an initial meeting with the Mehsud Taliban and would put forth its suggestions to official authorities. Headed by Ikramuddin, father-in-law of the slain TTP founder and chief Baitullah Mehsud, the jirga comprises ten other key Mehsud tribal elders.

The formation of the Mehsud jirga is part of the government’s reconciliatory policy towards Taliban, particularly Mehsud factions.

Sources said the jirga has been empowered to hold talks with all Mehsud factions, including the groups of Khan Said and Shehryar. It will discuss with two little known factions – Shamim group and Hazratullah group also known as Toora Shpa (Black Night) – the matter of a peace agreement.

The jirga has a one-point agenda of persuading the Mehsud Taliban to reach an accord with the government. Sources said that three secret meetings had been held by the jirga with the political agent of Waziristan and they agreed to facilitate talks between Mehsud Taliban and the government.

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