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Pervez Khattak urged PTM to continue their dialogue with local jirga

04 May, 2018

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Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak on Thursday urged the leaders of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) to continue their dialogue with a local jirga in order to "resolve the situation" at hand.

The PTM — a movement for the rights of those affected by the war against militancy in the tribal areas, especially South Waziristan — has been agitating in different parts of the country against enforced disappearances, extrajudicial arrests and killings, as well as the mistreatment of the Pakhtun community.

"I want to request the [leaders of] Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) to come forth and meet with the jirga — which includes the KP governor — in the next four or five days and resolve this situation," Khattak said during a news conference called to announce the "peaceful dissolution" of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's (PTI) alliance with the Jamaat-i-Islami in the province.

"Whatever issues they have, they should sit [with the jirga] and find a solution within [the bounds of] the Constitution. They should have this discussion so that this air of confusion in the region may be resolved," Khattak said.

He added: "I also invite them to meet me personally, as I would like to take their issues up and resolve them. I do not think their issues are intractable and believe they can be resolved."

"This request comes from the provincial government and from our party [PTI]," the chief minister stated.

Speaking on Geo TV’s programme Capital Talk PTI Chairman Imran Khan also endorsed the idea of holding talks with the PTM.

“I agree with this young movement, the PTM, up until the point that they have been wronged. I don’t think anyone else could have survived what they did —they were able to because they are strong folks,” Khan said.

He added: “I am ready to champion their cause and talk to General Bajwa [about their demand]. However, they need to decide what they want to do. Do they want to campaign against the army and play into the hands of the enemy.”

“What is PTM? It is [a group of] our tribal youngsters. They are grief-stricken people. What they are saying is right. Their solution, to abuse the army, is wrong,” Khan said.

While reiterating his long-standing reservations regarding the military operation conducted in the tribal areas, Khan said, “It [the military operation in the tribal areas] is not their fault. It is the fault of those who ordered the operation.”

He added: “When I advised against such measures, I was called Taliban Khan. I said we should never use our army against our own people.”

“I had said: How would the army know that the difference between a man belonging to the Taliban and an innocent man?”

Reports of protests led by the PTM in Islamabad first made headlines following the extrajudicial killing of Waziristan native Naqeebullah Mehsud — a shopkeeper and aspiring model — by police in Karachi in January.

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