Monday, January 31, 2011

Kurram Agency: After years of fighting, jirga brokers truce

The Express Tribune

Kurram Agency: After years of fighting, jirga brokers truce

Published: January 30, 2011

Formal announcement of peace agreement to be made in the next 24 hours.

ISLAMABAD: grand tribal jirga in Parachinar has negotiated a truce between warring tribes after three years of fighting left over 2,000 dead and at least 3,500 injured in the Kurram tribal region.

Apart from this, over 3,000 families have left the region to seek shelter in other parts of Fata and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa since 2007.

Sajid Toori and Munir Orakzai, two lawmakers from Kurram Agency, told The Express Tribune that a formal announcement of the truce will be made on Monday at a news conference.

The agreement was reached after two years of negotiations by the Jirga comprising 225 elders from the entire tribal belt.

Malik Waris Khan, a former federal minister and leader of the PPP from Khyber Agency, headed the jirga and Haji Munir Orakzai, Sajid Toori, Haji Faiz Muhammad Malik, Jamal Hussain Orakzai, Malik Shah Hussain, Noor Jafar Orakzai and Malik Bismillah Orakzai are said to have played a pivotal role in negotiating the truce.

The jirga decided that the main Thal-Peshawar Road which leads to Parachinar will be opened immediately. The road has remained closed for the last three years due to fighting between Shia and Sunni tribesmen.

Hundreds of Taliban fighters from Fata and Afghanistan had come to the aid of the Sunni population in Parachinar against Shia tribesmen.

The Taliban have made the accusation that a neighbouring country has been providing arms and money to the Shia Toori tribes. It was also alleged that Baitullah Mehsud and Mullah Omar had sent their fighters to side with the Sunni tribes.

Sajid Toori claimed that 1,400 Shia tribesmen have been killed in fighting during the past four years.

Lower and Central Kurram, Chahar Dewar, Bin Yameen, Jalanai and Tri Mengal and Sadda have been the scenes of some of the bloodiest clashes between the two sides.

Munir Orakzai said that the political agent of the agency has assured the jirga that the government would compensate the affected people.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 30th,  2011.






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