27 November, 2006

Lessons from Peace Jirga

Earlier this month, Nobless Oblige reported on the recent Pashtun jirga in Peshawar, Pakistan. An article on Afgha.com examines the jirga and concludes that certain lessons can be learnt, including:

1. Notwithstanding the notion that Pashtuns have problems in adopting of a united stand, this Jirga, held for the first time in the face of a great challenge to Pashtun values shows that this nation can stand united and cares for peace and prosperity of not only the Pashtuns, but of the region as a whole.
2. There is a realization of the fact that enemies of peace and those of progress and prosperity in Afghanistan are aiding and abetting elements that commit violence in and around the Pashtun belt region.
3. Pashtuns are up to meeting the challenges that threaten peace and security in their name and movements that bring disrepute to their sacred religion through carrying out of acts of violence against the innocent and against a fraternal country preventing its stabilization and development.
4. Both Pakistan and Afghanistan should bank on the inherent power and understanding of the tribal jirgas for finding of solutions to social and political evils that lurk on the horizon preventing peace and tranquility to rule in the region.
5. President Karzai of Afghanistan and the commission he has appointed for preparations for the upcoming jirgas with Pashtun leaders in Afghanistan and Pakistan should study the details of this jirga and use the finding of the jirga in drafting of the agenda for their proposed meetings.
6. It should be noted that the Pashtun Peace Jirga found the following:
a) There is a growing fear of Talebanization in the region.
b) Tribal chiefs alleged that ISI was helping Taleban prepare for an offensive against Afghanistan next year.
c) The chiefs claimed the Taleban were being allowed to move large amounts of weapons and ammunition to the Afghan border.
d) Pashtuns wanted the world to realize that they were a tolerant nation and that they demanded from the world to respect their national identity and values.
e) Pashtuns care profoundly about what goes on in Afghanistan and could help bring a resolution to the long lasting problems there by curbing the politically motivated violence there.
My reading is that the Pashtun chiefs were concerned to assert their independence and reiterate their right to sort out their own affairs without any outside interference, be it from governments in either Kabul or Islamabad, or even from the Pashtun-dominated Taliban.

1 comment:

Henry Bolingbroke said...

For Pashtun objections to the Taliban, see also this post from 29 November.