Friday, October 17, 2008

Kurram tribes sign peace accord

Kurram tribes sign peace accord

Toori, Mengal tribes to return to their areas | Violator to be fined with sixty million rupees


MURREE/PARACHINAR: The elders and tribal chiefs of the two rival Turi and Mengal tribes have signed a written agreement to execute permanent peace in Kurram Agency, according to top government officials on Thursday.

After the agreement, the warring tribes would return to their respective areas and leave their bunkers. In case of a violation of the declaration, the tribe responsible would be charged sixty million rupees.

A 100-member peace jirga comprised 50 members each from both the tribes and 20 members from other tribal agencies, including MNA Munir Orakzai and MNA Sajid Turi and Senator Rasheed Khan, former senator Sajjad Syed and Kurram Agency Political Agent Azam Khan and Lower Kurram Assistant Political Agent Ayyaz Khan Mandokhel.

They met at Murree and agreed to hold ceasefire between the warring Turi and Mengal tribes. They signed an agreement to restore peace in the area and end clashes continuing for more than a year. A 15-member committee and peace jirga comprising 23 members inked the peace treaty.

An official said that both sides agreed that all roads including main Thall-Parachinar road closed for about one and a half years now, would be opened to traffic by Friday (today). He said that elders of both sects agreed that they would leave the occupied areas and return to original positions.

"All bases occupied by the two sides would be given under the control of Frontier Corps and local political administration," he said, and added that it was also decided that a tribal jirga representing all tribal areas would be held in Kurram Agency on November 2 in which one more agreement would be signed to evacuate the occupied areas.

The ongoing clashes have claimed more than 1000 lives and left more than 4000 injured. The clashes have taken their toll on residents of Kurram Agency who are also facing severe food and drug shortages and the area has been without electricity for the last several months.

Malik Amanullah, Kamal Hussain, Maisam Ali Turi, Gulzar Hussan Turi, Salim Khan, Subhanullah expressed satisfaction over the jirga's decision and termed it an important development towards restoration of peace. They hoped that now peace would be returned to the agency.

The tribal elders demanded the government take swift measures to restore the electricity supply to the agency. Amanullah said that the tribesmen were facing extreme hardship due to lack of electricity. "The area has been without electricity for the last several months, causing water shortages," he added.

Kamal said that the local people wanted peace in the area and were fed up with ongoing militancy in the agency.


October 17, 2008

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