Pak-Afghan jirga decides to extend ceasefire

PARACHINAR: A Pak-Afghan jirga decided to extend the ceasefire agreed upon after the April 15 cross-border firing incident till the time a final settlement is made over the border dispute.
According to media reports, 10 attackers from the Afghan side were killed in clashes that erupted in the area after the FC men erecting a fence along the border at Laka Tiga post in Lower Kurram Agency came under fire.
Soon after the incident, military officials of Pakistan and Afghanistan held a flag meeting at a location near the border to defuse the tension and hold the ceasefire.
Armed tribesmen also took position along the border to provide backup support to Pakistani troops. However, they were later called back after the flag meeting between field commanders of the two countries.
MNA Sajid Hussain Turi was leading the talks between elders of Turi and Zazi tribes — said to be cousins.
The jirga, which met at Shorki on the Pak-Afghan border in Lower Kurram Agency, took many important decisions.
Among others, it was decided that a review committee consisting of experts and tribal elders from both the countries will look into border disputes and start working from April 24.
Addressing the Jirga, tribal elders from Afghanistan – including Wali Khan Zazi, Malik Zawwar Zazi and Syed Asghar Akakhel, said that the April 15 firing incident on Pakistani forces along the Afghan border was unfortunate.
“Fighting cannot be a solution to the problems,” they added.
They were of the opinion that border disputes should be solved through dialogue “because Pakistan and Afghanistan are not only brother countries but we, the tribal people of both the countries, are also brethren”.
Elders from the Kurram Agency – including Malik Haji Sardar Malikhel, Malik Faiz Muhammad Malikhel, Malik Iqbal Turi and Haji Malik Hussain – also described the incident as unfortunate.
Recalling their hospitality they and the people of Pakistan have extended towards Afghan refugees, they said, “We have served Afghan refugees as our guests for thirty years because they are our brothers.”
They underlined the need to foil conspiracies being hatched by the enemies of the two countries to foment hatred between them by observing strict vigilance.
High officials of Pakistan and Afghanistan forces and administration also attended the jirga.
It is worth mentioning that the borderline on the Kurram side is properly demarcated and both countries have no dispute.
Under a multi-billion-rupee border management plan, Pakistan began fencing the border on its side last year. The plan aims at preventing unlawful cross-border movement.
The Afghan government has reservations over the fencing plan.