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Jirga seeks release of tribesmen

By Our Correspondent 2014-04-01
GHALANAI: A jirga comprising leaders of political parties, office-bearers of welfare organisations and ulema on Monday reviewed the situation arising out of the raids on houses of tribesmen and their arrest by the security forces.

The participants said that most of the detainees were over 60 years of age and asked the government to set them free.

They said instead of sniffer dogs, identification of wanted persons should be conducted through the local jirga. They said the Haleemzai tribesmen had already handed over hundreds of wanted men to the administration and security forces from time to time.

The jirga also complained of misbehaviour of forces’ personnel with the detainees at the lockup.

“We do not know who is the real authority in the area — the political administration or the security forces (Mohmand Rifles) — because the forces’ personnel raided our houses without consulting the local administration,” said a participant of the jirga.

Later, the jirga formed a 20-member committee for holding negotiations with the local administration and Mohmand Rifles regarding the release of the arrested tribesmen. The participants included among others Jamaat-i-Islami, Mohmand naib amir Saeed Khan, Maulana Samiullah of JUI-F, Haji Bahram Khan of PML-N, Sajid Khan of PTI, Qari Fazli Khaliq of Mohmand welfare organisation and relatives of arrested tribesmen.