Pakhtunkhwa’s chief minister Ameer Haider Khan has said that the war in province and its adjacent tribal belt was meant for the country’s survival for which the federal government and other provinces will have to support his government.
“Through a comprehensive policy, we have to jointly work for securing a lasting peace in the region,” Hoti told a private TV channel during in interview on Tuesday.
The chief minister ruled out any threat to the provincial capital, saying no one should worry about it.
He said that his government will support amendments to the prevailing laws in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and its merger into Frontier Province. However, he said such a decision should be taken after taking into confidence the tribesmen.
The chief minister referred to the importance of the joint loya jirga of Pakistan and Afghanistan, saying he had contacted the federal government in this regard. “It will be an honour for the provincial government if the jirga takes place in Peshawar,” he added.
He termed securing peace and maintenance of law and order situation as a tough task, saying they could face with numerous challenges in this regard. “But, we have already taken key decisions including the release of TNSM chief Mualan Sufi Muhammad, who he said was suffering from a long illness in the jail.
“The Sufi was not only released, but an agreement was also reached with his group for establishing writ of the government in Malakand and Swat,” Hoti added.
Under the agreement, Hoti said the Maulana was trying to maintain peace in the region. However, he said there were some forces who were against the peace accords and wanted to derail the peace processes.
He said such elements could be local and foreigners who have been hatching different conspiracies.
He said that girl schools in Swat were set ablaze by anti-social elements and they were not the people who reached agreement with his government.
The chief minister expressed the fear that if the problem of insecurity was not resolved it was evident that other parts of the country could fall prey to the violence.
He said the provincial government was trying to resolve the issue through talks and negotiations, adding using force will be the last option against those not willing to enter talks with the government.
About troop’s withdrawal from Swat, Hoti said it has been made clear in the agreements that troops from Swat will withdraw in phases and the complete withdrawal will be carried out once the area returns to complete normalcy.
He said it will be tantamount to committing mass suicide if all the troops were withdrawn at once as there was still a great sense of insecurity among the Swat dwellers.
Hoti said that the allied partners and parliamentary leaders of the opposition parties were also taken into confidence on key matters including Swat agreement.
About renaming the province, chief minister said he was thankful to the PPP for renaming the province as Pakhunkhwa in its constitutional package.
About authorizing the chief of army staff for operations in tribal area, Hoti said that it was decided in a meeting presided over by Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani that every issue must be resolved through political processes.
He further said that the meeting also called for giving importance to the developmental activities in the troubled areas.
However, he said despite this if the processes of negotiations fails, forces will be used on the approval of provincial governor in FATA and the chief minister in settled areas.
He said in this regard, the chief of army staff will be authorized that how much forces he engages in the operation and what strategy he adopts.
About the rumors of threats to Peshawar, the chief minister said that an operation against criminals was launched in suburbs of the city after that there was no threat to the provincial capital.
He said only education and job opportunities to the youth could discourage their involvement in suicide attack which will help them change their minds.
For peace in the tribal region, Hoti said it was necessary to provide basic human rights and facilities to the people of the region.
He further suggested that amendments in FCR should be carried out in accordance with the aspirations of the people of FATA where the political act should also be extended besides introducing local government system there.
About the NATO forces attacks in border region and the statement of Afghan president Hamid Karzai, the chief minister said such attacks were weakening the war against terror and leading to revenge attacks.
He said both the countries should avoid blame game against each others.
About Kala Bagh Dam issue, Ameer Haider Hoti said that it was controversial subject and they can never accept it.
He said he had taken up the issue of royalty on net hydral profit with Prime Minister Gillani.
About inducting the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz legislators in provincial cabinet, he said ministries were offered to PML-N MPAs but no decision was taken on the issue. However, he said the party was supporting his government and it was his desire to include them in cabinet.