Waziristan jirga gets Taliban commanders released on bail
PESHAWAR: A jirga of Zakhakhel and Qambarkhel elders and Taliban leaders from Waziristan succeeded in arranging the release of four detained Taliban commanders on bail, participants said.
The Taliban commanders from the South Waziristan Agency had been held for destroying tankers carrying oil for coalition troops in Afghanistan, and abducting their drivers.
In exchange, the Taliban commanders handed back 50,000 gallons of petrol and two oil tankers to complainants in Landi Kotal (Khyber Agency) and released two abducted drivers.
Sixty people were injured and 40 oil tankers burnt after two explosions near the Torkham border four weeks ago.
Javed Ibrahim Paracha, chairman of the World Prisoner’s Relief Commission of Pakistan, headed the jirga at his residence. He told Daily Times he had been directed by Interior Affairs Adviser Rehman Malik and Interior Secretary Kamal Shah to organise the jirga to resolve the issue peacefully.
He said the jirga consisted of Waziristan’s Taliban commanders Mir Qasim Janikhel and Ishaq Wazir, and Zakhakhel and Qambarkhel elders including Nasir Khan and Khyber Khan.
Paracha said the Zakhakhel and Qambarkhel tribes had charged the four Taliban commanders from the Janikhel tribe, including Khalid Rehman, for destroying the oil tankers and abducting the drivers.
He said Karak police had arrested the Taliban commanders a few weeks ago and charged them with terrorism. Paracha said the jirga had ruled that the Qambarkhel and Zakhakhel tribes would take back their testimony against the Taliban commanders in the anti-terrorism court of Kohat, to allow their release on bail.