Pakistani tribal leaders in North Waziristan claim that they will “oust foreign fighters from the area in 15 days” if the Pakistani military does not launch a military operation in the tribal agency. From Dawn:
A representative jirga (tribal elders) of North Waziristan Agency on Friday agreed to oust foreign fighters from the area in 15 days as they assured Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan that all efforts would be made for restoration of peace in the agency.
The North Waziristan Taliban, led by Hafiz Gul Bahadur had given a June 10 deadline to the government to avert a likely military offensive in the area following their Shura meeting last month. They had vowed to take up arms against the government in case a major operation was launched as it accused the authorities of breaking a non-aggression treaty with their tribes.
Rumours about military operation have created uncertainty in North Waziristan with several Afghan families have already gone back to Afghanistan.
Today’s jirga was led by Utmanzai Wazir and Dawar tribal elders – the two main tribes that inhabit North Waziristan – and Haji Sher Mohammad Khan, a descendent of the famous anti-colonial rebel Faqir of Ipi.
The jirga demanded of the government to stop the likely military operation in North Waziristan as they said it was not a solution and the crisis should be settled through dialogue.
Jirga member Maulana Muhammad Din Haqqani said that the tribal elders have assured the KP governor that they will expel foreign jihadists from their soil within 15 days.
All I can say is, don’t hold your breath. Over the past decade, Pakistani tribal leaders in North and South Waziristan, as well as in the other five tribal agencies, have promised to expel foreign fighters (al Qaeda, etc.) in their areas. They’ve always failed to live up to their promises.
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