PTM demands broader jirga for talks with govt


PESHAWAR: The Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) demanded constitution of a jirga comprising Pashtun elders from all over the country for talks with the high-ups of government institutions to help in resolving security and administrative problems faced by them throughout the country.

The demand was made during a meeting between PTM representatives and government-constituted jirga members at the residence of tribal MNA Haji Shah Jee Gul Afridi in Hayatabad Peshawar on Wednesday.

PTM chief Manzoor Pashteen didn’t attend the meeting and was represented by Mohsin Dawar, Ali Wazir and Dr Said Alam Mehsud. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Information Minister Shah Farman, tribal elders Malik Waris Khan Afridi and Khan Marjan Wazir were prominent from the government- constituted Jirga.

Upon the conclusion of over four-hour meeting, Mohsin Dawar said, “PTM is highlighting issues faced by Pashtuns and is spread throughout the country, therefore, the jirga should be widened.” In this respect, he said that PTM will suggest 10 to 12 names and later the federal government should issue a formal notification.

After this notification, formal negotiations would be useful for resolving all issues, he added.

Dawar further said, “Arrests, blockade of roads and creating hurdles for PTM activists are all meaningless.” He added that they diverted the attention of jirga members towards arrests, registration of cases and harassment of PTM workers and supporters in Lahore, Karachi and other parts of the country.

On behalf of the government jirga, Khan Marjan also condemned these tactics and urged the government to review its policies in this respect.

Khan Marjan Wazir also denounced the recent target killings in North Waziristan Agency and urged the government to realise its responsibilities in this respect. He added that protest sit-in at Mirali and Miran Shah against target killing was in progress.

KP Information Minister Shah Farman acknowledged the hardships and sense of deprivation amongst the Pashtuns, who according to him had badly suffered due to terrorism going on from last four decades.