Bara elders asked to purge their ranks LANDI KOTAL: The Khyber Agency political administration has asked the elders of all the major tribes of Bara to purge their qaumi sareshtha (council of elders) of undesirable elements and expand its membership by including reputed personalities from all tribes.
Addressing a jirga of tribal elders, representatives of various political parties and civil society members at Takia in Bar Qambarkhel on Thursday, Political Agent Khalid Mehmud said that administration had received complaints during the last few months about inclusion of people with dubious record in different qaumi sareshtha of various tribes of Bara.
“I gave you one week time to cleanse your qaumi sareshtha from all such undesirable and unrepresentative elements and select people of decent character alongside expanding its membership to accommodate maximum number of honest and dedicated people,” he said.
The political agent said that strict action would be taken against the elders if they failed to follow the directives of the administration. He said that administration had also received credible information about inclusion of some people in quami sareshtha who still had affiliation with outlawed groups and were involved in harassing local people in the name of those banned organisations.
Official tells jirga some members of council still affiliated with banned outfits
The jirga was also attended by newly appointed commandant of Mehsud Scouts, Col Hamid Saeed. He stressed the need for close liaison between the security forces, political administration and all the qaumi sareshtha of Bara tribes to restore lasting peace in the terrorism-affected area.
Responding to the demands of Bara elders presented by former MNA Malak Waris Khan, both the commandant of Mehsud Scouts and political agent assured the jirga that all out efforts would be made to initiate development schemes in the area alongside conducting an authentic survey of all the damaged houses both in Tirah and Bara.
Col Hamid also announced reopening of Sheen Qamar-Tirah Road and Shenko Road which were closed for general public for the last seven years. He assured the jirga that no local woman would be searched at any checkpost except in circumstances when the forces had information about a possible sabotage act involving a female.
On the occasion, the political agent cautioned the local people against striking any property deal with the leaving Afghan families. He said that all such deals would be duly approved and attested by officials of the administration.
Malak Waris Khan also demanded establishment of industrial zone and sports complex in Akkakhel, early construction of Bar Qambar Tangi dam, approval for establishment of a degree college for girls, release of all innocent prisoners, strict monitoring of all the development schemes and adequate compensation to the heirs of the people killed in terrorist incidents.
Tribal elders of Malakdinkhel, Sipah, Qambarkhel, Shalobar, Akkakhel, Kamarkhel, Sturikhel and Zaodin-Zakhakhel lauded the forces for restoration of peace in most parts of Bara.
WORKSHOP: Centre For Peace and Development Initiative (CPDI) organised a two-day workshop for journalists belonging to different tribal agencies to train them about their personal safety while fulfilling their professional responsibilities in the conflict zones across Fata.
Shamsul Hadi, provincial coordinator of CPDI, said on the occasion that journalists were working in challenging environment in the country. The journalists reporting from conflict-affected areas were exposed to threats and attacks, he added.
“Media is as a force for democratisation and stability as it plays an important role in building democratic and open societies by providing balanced and factual information to people,” said Mr Hadi.