KP govt formally invites PTM for jirga on Mar 26


PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government on Wednesday formally invited the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) for dialogue to redress the grievances of the tribal people and resolution of all outstanding social, political, administrative and development issues through talks.

KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan chaired the meeting of the advisory committee constituted by the provincial government and comprised parliamentarians belonging to different political parties from erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), held at the CM House. The meeting was attended by Senators Haji Momin Khan Afridi, Hadayatullah, Mirza Muhammad Afridi, Sajjad Hussain Toori, Shamim Afridi and MNAs Gul Zafar Khan, Iqbal Khan, Munir Khan Orakzai, Sajid Hussain Toori, Jawad Hussain and Mufti Abdul Shakoor.

The Advisory Committee comprising senators and MNAs from erstwhile FATA has unanimously decided to hold talks with PTM leadership and find an amicable solution of the issues facing the Pashtun community through a jirga.

Addressing a news conference after the meeting, CM’s Adviser on Merged Tribal Districts Ajmal Wazir said that a jirga has been arranged at the Civil Officers Mess in Peshawar at 11 am on March 26. “We formally invite the leadership of the PTM to the jirga so that a strategy to find out a sustainable solution to all local and collective issues of the Pashtun community could be devised,” he said. “We hope that the PTM leadership will accept the talks offer and ensure participation in the jirga,” he added.

Ajmal Wazir said that participation of representatives of all the political parties in the meeting proves that they are on the same page vis-à-vis resolution of the issues facing the Pashtun community as well as the development of the merged tribal districts to bring them on a par with other developed areas of the country. “We want peace, stability and development in the tribal areas so that grievances and deprivation of the people of the region for the past over 70 years could be removed,” he said. “And to achieve this objective, we will have to forge unity among our ranks,” he added.

Speaking on the occasion, MNA Munir Orakzai said that the advisory committee will do its best to find an amicable solution of all the outstanding issues and legal demands in coordination with the PTM leadership. “Our message is peace and reconciliation. We are here with a positive mindset. We want stability and development in the region. Hence we have decided to engage our brothers from the PTM so that a workable solution of the issues could be reached,” he added.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) MNA Sajid Toori said that to realise the dream of development in the merged tribal districts, peace and stability is the foremost prerequisite. “Tribal areas will be receiving Rs100 billion every year for developmental purposes. New infrastructure, administrative set-up and courts will be established. But for all this to happen, peace is the first and foremost requirement. Our offer to PTM to come and sit with us is the first step towards the establishment of sustainable peace in the region,” he added.

To a question following the press conference, Ajmal Wazir said that the committee is a constitutional entity which has been set up by the provincial government and comprises parliamentarians from all the political parties having representation in the tribal districts. “This is not a government committee … it has representation from all political groups. It is purely independent and free to take decisions according to its mandate,” he added.

To another question, Wazir said that the committee was ready to take all the stakeholders on board for the establishment of peace and stability and development in the merged tribal districts.