Miranshah: Militants extend ceasefire
MIRANSHAH: Militants in North Waziristan on Tuesday extended till January 20 a ceasefire they had announced on Dec 17, amid reports that they are close to reaching an agreement with the government to end hostilities in the troubled agency.
Political Agent Aurangzeb Khan told journalists in Miramshah that the militants had agreed to suspend their activities in the area till Jan 20 and negotiations were under way to restore peace in the region.
The militants had earlier agreed not to attack security forces and government installations till Jan 1.
“A jirga has been negotiating with the militants to pave way for permanent peace in the area,” Mr Aurangzeb said.
Following extension in the ceasefire, the government has assigned the responsibility of checking vehicles in the area to the Khasaddar force as a goodwill gesture. Militants had revoked in July a peace agreement after the government redeployed army and paramilitary forces at checkposts in the agency.
Militants accused the government of breaching the accord.
The jirga trying to end the two-year insurgency comprises Malik Mamoor Khan, Malik Nasrullah Khan, Malik Qader Khan, Malik Abdul Qayum and Malik Shahzada.
It was set up on the directives of NWFP Governor Ali Mohammad Jan Aurakzai.
A tribal negotiator, Malik Shehzada, told Dawn that a few irritants remained to be sorted out and a deal had almost been finalised between the government and militants.
Officials said that under the agreement, 50 people, including five militants, were likely to be released and the government would compensate tribesmen for the loss of life and property.
They said that the authorities concerned were assessing damages for payment of compensation.
The complete article can be found at Dawn News.