Don’t sacrifice IDPs at altar of politics, stresses jirga


JI chief Haq calls for rising over party differences to help the IDPs

A jirga held by Awami National Party (ANP) has demanded that the matter of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) should not sacrificed at the altar of politics as it is not the issue of one province but the collective responsibility of the entire nation.

A jirga was held under ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan on Monday. Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rehman, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq, Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) Chairman Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP) Chairman Mehmood Khan Achakzai, ANP senior leader Iftikhar Hussain and others attended the jirga.

Addressing a joint press conference convened after the jirga, the JUI-F chief said that the jirga had considered the difficulties being faced by the IDPs and also discussed means to resolve their problems.

“A future strategy was evolved to highlight the problems faced by the IDPs,” said Rehman.

“The issue of the people affected by the military offensive launched in the country’s tribal regions is purely a humanitarian issue and should not be sacrificed at the altar of politics,” said Rehman, adding that a province is neither a separate unit of a federation nor a separate state.

Everyone will have to realise one’s responsibilities in every matter and collective policies will have to be evolved, he underlined.

To a question regarding a grand jirga convened earlier, the JUI-F chief said that the tribesmen demanded in the jirga that peace be ensured in their area, educational facilities be provided and bloodshed be brought to end.

“The tribesmen want to be allowed to decide their political future, added the JUI-F chief. Addressing the press conference, Haq said, “It has been decided in today’s jirga that we will discuss this issue (of IDPs) beyond party interests. This is not the issue of the provincial or federal government; it is the responsibility of the 180 million people of this country to address the problems being confronted by IDPs.”

The ANP chief opined that media should raise the IDPs’ issue.

“Media should analyse how much time it gives to the crucial issue of IDPs,” he said, calling for “self-accountability of media”.

Achakzai said that the government should focus on the problems faced by the tribesmen who were displaced because of the ongoing military offensives and compensate their losses.