All Parties Tribal Loya Jirga:
Monday July 4, 2011: The All Parties tribal Loya Jirga (Grand Tribal Council) held at Nishtar Hall Peshawar here on Monday representing the eight million tribal people asserted through a joint declaration that the gallant and brave tribesmen had made possible the independence of Pakistan and Kashmir and the protection of the long western border with Afghanistan. Quaid-e-Azam, the founder of Pakistan, had given the tribal people the title of the “brave man hand” for their valour to safeguard their areas and the western border of any aggression from across the border. But unfortunately with the connivance of the rulers and the international community, since the creation of Pakistan, the tribal regions have been changed into the laboratories to meet their nefarious designs, the declaration read. The Drone strikes and the Do more orders of the US government to press the Pak army to continue military operations in FATA, besides, target killings, bomb blasts, shellings and bombardments have caused great human and material loss to thousand of innocent tribal people including children, women and old age people in the tribal regions, which the declaration termed extra judicial and unjustified. This awful and terrible situation has led to the migration of the million of tribal people from the restive tribal belts to seek shelter in the safe down districts. The declaration of the tribal Loya Jirga also pinpointed that thousands of innocent tribal people are still languishing in jail adding that thousands of hujras, mosques, shops and markets have been bulldozed in the on going so-called war on terror. This war on terror in the tribal regions has made the tribal women and children psychological patients who are suffering from depression and tension, the jirga declaration read out. Trade, agriculture, economy including educational system has been subverted in the whole of the tribal belt. In short, the declaration said, the tribal strip is presenting a picture of ruins and debris. As a result, the ruling powers have dome much and irreparable loss to this fort like tribal region. The joint sitting of the Senate and the National assembly had passed a resolution asking the government for review of the war on terror policy, relations with the US regime and to initiate dialogues in FATA rather than to continue the military offensive, but in vain. But the declaration of the Tribal Loya Jirga regretted that the government and the military has continued the military actions with their old stance rather than to surrender to the resolutions passed by the joint sitting of the parliaments, which is not in the best national interests. Whereas the US has repeatedly violated the land and air space of Pakistan just to somehow capture the nuclear assets of Pakistan. The rulers have violated the basic human rights of the eight million tribal people in the last sixty-three years granted to every citizen of Pakistan.
1: This Tribal Loy Jirga (Grand Tribal Jirga) thinks that following the US initiative of peace dialogues inside Afghanistan with Afghan Taliban, Afghan nationals and the Afghan regime and the US president’s decision of draw down of the US led NATO forces, the government of Pakistan too should reject the US do more instructions and should start peace dialogues through tribal cultural jirgas in FATA to resolve the ten years old insurgency and halt the military offensive with immediate effect in the light of the resolutions passed by the joint sitting of the parliament.
2: That the government must avoid formation of the armed tribal Lashker (Group) forcefully and their forceful vigilance.
3: Under the garb of search operations the detention of the innocent tribesmen must be stopped as well as the heavy fines.
4: All those thousand detained by the security forces who are languishing in jails with security forces unconstitutionally must be brought before the court to start their court trial for justice.
5: The extra judicial killings of the innocent tribal people is hidden from the eyes of the nation because of the inaccessibility of the independent media in FATA. Though thousands of terrible and horrible incidents have taken place inside the tribal areas, which are more serious than the incidents that occurred at Kharotabad, Karachi and that of the killing of Salim Shahzad. Te tribal people have time and again demanded of the Supreme Court to take suo motu notice of the extra judicial killings in FATA to investigate them or the government should form a judicial commission to investigate the incidents so that the real culprits and destructors could be identified and pinpointed.
6: The Drone strikes must be halted forthwith, which have so far martyred thousands of innocent tribal people. This Loya Tribal Jirga terms the Drone attacks openly against the sovereignty, security and integrity of Pakistan.
7: The tribal displaced persons should not be forced to leave for their home towns, moreover, the government should declare equal package for the tribal IDPs as that which had been announced for the Malakand division IDPs.
8: The government should extend political parties order 2002 to the tribal regions to impart political and democratic rights to the tribal people.
9: The tribesmen have been barred from the legal, constitutional rights since the creation of Pakistan. That is why the Jirga demands large-scale social, political educational and economical reforms in FATA.
10; The President of Pakistan in compliance with his promises should announce reforms in the century old FCR and promulgate a notification in this regard.
11 ; This jirga also condemns the widespread grave war crimes that are now given a shield under the Civil Power Regulations Bill to hide the crimes, protect the actions and justify what happened in FATA. The tribal jirga out rightly rejects this new Civil Power Regulation Bill, which is inhuman and unconstitutional and ask the government to repeal it otherwise the Supreme court should take notice of this inhuman law so that the reservations in the eight million people could be removed.
12: The jurisdiction of the parliament and the higher judiciary should be extended to the tribal areas.
13: An independent and elected provincial type assembly must be formed and this assembly should be given the mandate to introduce an alternate law instead of FCR.
14: The educational institutes within FATA should be reopened in addition to the provision of relaxation in fee to the tribal students reading in down districts.
14: The Supreme Court should take notice of the widespread and very huge corruption committed by the institutes running under the cover of FATA secretariat and the political administration.
The chief guest and the last speaker of the grand All Parties Tribal Loya Jirga, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) provincial chief of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Senator Professor Ibrahim Khan while elaborating the detention of the 172 member tribal jirga of Safi tribe in Mohmand Agency said that the 172 member jirga was behind the lock up for the last two month and made it clear that political administration had not arrested the jirga members, but the Corps Commander Peshawar had reportedly issued instructions for the arrest of the Safi tribe Jirga because the Jirga had categorically denied to form any peace Lashker (armed group ), senator professor Ibrahim mentioned. He warned the government not to stress the tribesmen for forming armed groups to further aggravate the law and order situation in FATA. JI provincial chief senator professor Ibrahim opined that tribesmen were the actual custodians of the western border with Afghanistan, adding they were peace-loving people. He charged sheeted the army leadership for incompetence to shot down the Drone unmanned planes to ensure the security, sovereignty and integrity of the state. Professor Ibrahim said also advised the army not to form armed groups to force them to fight against each other, adding that if the president of Pakistanwas so weak then he should tender resign in the best national interests. He also came hard on the recently promulgated ordinance “Action in Aid Civil Power Regulation 2011” for being worse than the century old Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) that had violated all basic human and political rights of the tribal people. For the first time the president has issued a license to the civil administration and army to shot or hang any suspected person in Tribal areas, senator Ibrahim said and concluded by saying that JI would challenge the new law after getting its copy.
Latif Afridi advocate and vice president of Awami National Party( ANP) in his speech to the all parties Loya Jirga urged the tribesmen to arrange such peaceful jirgas which he said was the only solution to their problems. He said that during military operations and insurgency in the restive tribal areas more than seventy thousand tribal people have been martyred so far and said they were all innocent people. Latif Afridi advocate of ANP urged the government to provide all basic rights to the tribesmen and abolish the outdated cruel law of FCR. He criticized the elected tribal parliamentarians for not visiting their constituencies to address the problems of the tribal masses. ANP leader pointed out that Drone strikes in FATA were a deep conspiracy against the tribesmen and made it clear that all Drone flights and attacks were operative within the Pakistan. He blamed the army leadership for the approval of the Drone strikes ad said that their rulers were afraid of the US. He also asked the rulers to quit the government and the army GHQ if they could not halt the Drone strikes in FATA. Latif Afridi advocate pinpointed that Kurum Agency was blocked for the last four years whereas the elders were one by one killed from Bajaur to South Waziristan agency, which is deplorable. He regretted that supreme commander of the armed forces and president of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari had pledged to amend the century old FCR, but so far he did not materialize his pledges in this respect from the pressure from GHQ. The new promulgated law has a life penalty for the tribal people, which is very bad, ANP leader expressed his view. He also said that the rulers were not considering the FATA as part of Pakistan that is why it has been made a hot bed of insurgency. He also disclosed that tribal people were tired and fade up with the futile war in FATA.
Syed Jehan Badshah, a tribal leader of ANP Bajaur Agency, remarked that tribal people had been suffering for the last few centuries with the hands of the imperialists powers. Our lives and properties and infrastructure have been annihilated during the on going war on terror, ANP tribal leader Syed Jehan Bad Shah elaborated. The mosques, hujras, funerals and the elders are not safe in FATA, he lamented. He termed FCR the enemy of development, which, he said must be abrogated.
Anwar Kamal Marwat of PML-N FATA coordinator said that FATA was an abode of peace before the army intervention in 2003. He also explained that tribesmen were the guardians of the western border who defended the border with their blood, which is admirable. PML-N FATA coordinator Anwar Kamal Marwat that army had hijacked the country for the last 60 years, adding that it was involved in the killings of its own people. PML-N leader said that PAK army fought against the Russian army ,but unfortunately sided with the US led NATO forces to martyr the tribal people. He also informed the Loya Jirga participants that the rulers had given the Shamsi air base to US marines. All political and religious parties had a consensus on the introduction of reforms into FCR.
Former federal minister and tribal leader of PPP Malik Waris Khan Afridi in his remarks said that tribesmen were all peace loving and they believe in peaceful negotiators. He regretted that if the US army could initiate peace dialogues why not it is possible in the tribal areas to end the war. PPP tribal leader Malik Waris Khan Afridi demanded of the President to announce FATA political reforms and establish tribal province known as “Qabailistan”.
Tehree-e-Insaf (TIP) provincial chief organizer Dr. Bashir said that Drone attacks had begun in the military era of Gen Musharraf. He said that TIP challenged the Drone strikes in Supreme Court, but in vain as they started Dharnas protest, (Sit in) in various cities of Pakistan to press the government to stop it. He also termed FCR the root cause of poverty, illiteracy and extremism.
JUI-F provincial ameer of KPK Maulana Aman Ullah Haqani blamed the US government and CIA for thrusting upon the war here in this region, which brought total destruction both in Afghanistan and FATA. He said it was no more possible to hear the hues and cries of the innocent tribal people. JUI-F leader Maulana Aman Ullah Haqani disclosed that FATA was full of natural resources that need to be explored and utilized. Tribal people could no longer be pressed by the draconian laws, JUI-F leader commented.
Peshawar press club president Saiful Islam appreciated the Loya Jirga and said they revived their old positive traditions. The Peshawar based journalist Saiful Islam said that violation of human rights was a common thing in tribal regions. He asked the government to ensure access of journalists to information, which was their basic right. He also highlighted that so far17 journalists in the KPK and FATA have been martyred during their professional duties.
PLM-Q FATA leader Hazar Khan also expressed the terrible situation in the tribal belt and asked the government to reconcile with the people in FATA to create peace to start development schemes. Large number of tribal elders also spoke on the occasion. Thousands of tribal people from different parts of FATA participated in this Loya Jirga.