Tribesmen allow army posts in Shakai

Posted in Broader Middle East | 01-Jul-04 | Author: Dilawar Wazir| Source: (Pakistan)

WANA, June 30: Four tribes have allowed the army troops to set up permanent posts in Shakai, in the South Waziristan tribal region.

The agreement was reached between the four tribes and administrator Asmatullah Khan Gandapur on Wednesday at a jirga in Wana, which the officials termed a major breakthrough since the Wana conflict started.

Shakai, which was considered one of the strongholds of the foreign and local militants in the volatile region, was targeted with precision bombs by the Pakistan Air Force's jets and gunship helicopters on June 12 to destroy hideouts of the militants.

The four sub-tribes of the Ahmadzai Wazir, who signed the agreement, are Khoniakhel, Shodyakai, Spirkai and Khojakhel. Former federal minister Faridullah Khan, who also belongs to Shakai, was present on the occasion.

According to the terms of the agreement, these tribes would pay a fine of Rs40 million to the authorities in case of any hostile act against the army in the area. Out of the Rs40 million, the tribes will deposit Rs10 million as guarantee in advance on Thursday, whereas surety bonds of the remaining amount will be given by the tribesmen.

According to the agreement, the respective tribes also permitted the security forces to establish check posts in the area, an official said. Local people said despite calm in the area the security forces continued its siege of Shakai and restricted the tribesmen's movement into or out of the area.

The continued siege is a major hurdle in determining the damages and the casualties from the last month's bombing, they said. The siege, they said, would worsen the already disturbing position of foodstuff in the area.

The NWFP governor has directed the local authorities to lift economic sanctions against the Ahmadzai Wazir tribe for 10 days in Wana. The government sealed more than 6,000 shops of the tribesmen under the collective responsibility clause of the Frontier Crimes Regulations.