A joint jirga (council) of the Taliban militants and tribal elders have declared a ban on girls’ education in Pakistan’s Orakzai Agency and ordered Non Governmental Organizations to halt their activities, reported BBC Urdu website. Most of the educational centers in the area are founded and organized by these NGOs.
This meeting took place in the Dabori area on Friday morning (09-05-2008) in the absent of local officials while hundreds of the armed militants were present, a local journalist, Hassan Khan, told BBC Urdu.
The jirga also decided to burn down the houses of the local residents who cooperate with the NGOs and help in girls’ education and ordered the Shiias to limit their daily life activities close to the areas where they live.
Meanwhile, the local militants in Swat announced temporary ceasefire with the Pakhtoonkhwa government after the first round of successful talks. The two parties met in Mingora, Swat, on Friday and discussed their peace agreement.
The provincial government, led by the secular nationalist group, Awami National Party, was eager to sign a peace deal with the militants from its first day of formation. Even before the formation of the government, the then nominated Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti had said in an interview that his government will prefer talks with the militants.
The local militants, led by Baitullah Mehsud, are active in the area for many years. The previous government too had signed a peace agreement with them but it was just a failure. That is why the U.S. and Afghan governments were not happy with another agreement between the militants and the Pakistani government. But both the governments then reportedly conditionally backed the recent agreement. It will be now premature to say how much this deal will succeed.