Next round of PTM-jirga talks on June 7Pakistan
LANDI KOTAL: The tribal elders and former parliamentarians representing government extended the date of their next round of talks with Pakhtun Tahaffuz Movement till June 7 as the PTM team failed to show up for Thursday’s meeting in Peshawar.
Talking to journalists after their own meeting, Haji Shahji Gul, a former parliamentarian from Khyber Agency, said that Thursday’s session of jirga was convened to discuss the names of the 30-member PTM team and also to devise a future strategy.
He said that the PTM team could not attend the jirga session as most of its team members were away in respective towns and cities due to the month of Ramazan.
“We will now meet on June 7 as is agreed by the Pakhtun Tahaffuz Movement team. We will discuss the names provided by PTM for talks with the government jirga,” said Mr Gul.
He added that names of the members of government jirga too would be revised as tenure of all the MNAs from tribal areas had completed.
All the tribal MNAs along with tribal senators were members of the government jirga.
A number of the PTM negotiating team members belong to settled districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan and some of the government jirga members have expressed their reservations over inclusion of these people in the talks.
The PTM on its part has also expressed reservations over inclusion of some tribal elders, who only recently organised public meetings and rallies against PTM and labelled its members as foreign agents, in the government jirga.
Mr Gul also hinted at the formation of a joint jirga after their meeting with PTM negotiating team on June 7.
PTI leader and former provincial minister Shah Farman said on the occasion that the PTM team needed to show maturity and seriousness about the continuation of talks.
He said that the official jirga would discuss the names of PTM team along with ascertaining their list of demands.
“We will discuss with PTM team in our next round of talks the list of their demands as we will then be presenting the same list to the government for final approval,” said Mr Farman.
He said that the official jirga was serious in the process of dialogue and wanted similar spirit from the PTM team.
“The Pakhtun Tahaffuz Movement tactics of delaying the process of dialogue is frustrating,” he said and added that the official jirga was still waiting for them with an open heart and sincerity.
Published in Dawn, June 1st, 2018