Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Taliban welcome Kurram truce

Taliban welcome Kurram truce

PARACHINAR, Feb 7: The banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has welcomed a peace agreement between Shia and Sunni groups in Kurram Agency and pledged to abide by it.

Addressing a press conference, Kurram TTP Amir Fazal Saeed said violators of the accord would be punished in accordance with the Sharia law.

The government has announced a reward of Rs5 million for the capture of Fazal Saeed.

The militant leader's support for the peace accord is being considered here as a major development.

Local people are fed up of sectarian violence afflicting the area for a long time, leaving over 2,000 dead and 3,500 injured. Over 3,000 families have left their homes for other places in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa since 2007.

The TTP leader said that if the accord was violated by the rival group, his side would inform the administration and jirga members and act only if no action was taken for 15 days.

He offered to cooperate with the security forces, administration and jirga in implementing the accord.

Fazal assured the Shia community of protection and said they should use the Thal-Parachinar and other roads without any fear.

He called upon Shia elders to play their role for the success of the accord.

The peace agreement was reached by leaders of the warring Shia community and Ahl-i-Sunnat Wal Jamaat in Islamabad after over two years of negotiations by a jirga comprising more than 200 tribal elders and notables. Most of the issues were sorted out in the 'Murree agreement' signed in 2008.

Sajid Toori and Munir Orakzai, lawmakers from the region, were the main players behind the truce. Malak Waris Khan, a former federal minister and leader of the PPP from Khyber Agency, headed the jirga.

Malak Waris and Political Agent Syed Musadiq Shah are expected to be in Chappari along with other tribal elders on Tuesday and announce the reopening of the Parachinar-Peshawar road which has remained closed since March 2007 because of tribal fighting.







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