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Saturday, December 02, 2006


Only jirgas can bring peace to tribal areas, says ANP

PESHAWAR: The Awami National Party (ANP) said on Friday that peace jirgas, at all levels, were the need of the hour to restore peace in the tribal areas.

“Afghan President Karzai and President Musharraf agreed in their last meeting to hold peace jirgas. The Afghan government made initiatives and contacted political leaders, including ANP President Asfandyar Wali, to solve problems through dialogue,” said Mian Iftikhar Hussain, ANP NWFP Secretary General, while welcoming two women district councillors who announced joining the ANP at the Peshawar Press Club.

“However, the Pakistani government did not show any seriousness and did not contact any leaders to find a way out,” he added.

Hussain said that if a state failed to carry out its responsibilities, then nationalities made decisions on the basis of their traditions. “And this is exactly what the ANP is doing by holding peace jirgas to solve problems, as a military option is not the solution to Pakhtun problems,” he said.

The ANP leader said a women’s convention would be held on December 9 in Peshawar to debate peace in the tribal belt. “The women’s peace jirga is a continuation of the Pakhtun aman jirga the ANP held recently,” he said, adding that women should also play their due role towards restoration of peace.

He said the Political Parties Act should be extended to the tribal areas to raise political awareness among people.

Iftikhar rejected the construction of the Kalabagh dam, saying it was “a dead issue” and that there was no need to discuss it again. “We don’t accept the Kalabagh dam. Neither do the other two provinces. It’s only Punjab that is in its favour.”

District Councillor Naseem Riaz, who quit Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), said she joined the ANP because it respected women and accorded them a higher status. District Councillor Nasreen Bukhari, an independent councillor who also joined the ANP, said it was a good party and her family members had associated with it for a long time. ANP leaders Zahira Bibi, Imran Khan, Tajuddin Khan, Aqil Shah and MPA Farah Aqil Shah were also present at the ceremony. staff report

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