The Defence of Pakistan Council (DPC)’s grand national jirga Sunday asked the government to allow the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) to shoot down the drones if the US refused to stop the drone attacks. The jirga also asked the government to immediately halt military operations in the tribal areas, particularly in North Waziristan, and open dialogue with the Taliban in line with the unanimous decisions of Parliament, the All Parties Conference and the Cabinet’s Committee on National Security.
DPC Chairman Maulana Samiul Haq, who also heads Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Sami (JUI-S), presented the declaration which was adopted unanimously.Leaders of all the component groups of DPC stood by his side as he read out the two-page declaration, which was almost similar to his welcome address delivered at the outset of the conference.
Samiul Haq asked the federal government to take effective measures for stopping drone strikes and to take up the issue categorically with the US.
He said the attack on the military checkpoint in North Waziristan a few days back and the killing of security forces personnel was part of the US conspiracy to sabotage the process of dialogue. “Military operation anywhere in the country, particularly in North Waziristan, should be stopped and effective steps be taken for resumption and success of talks,” he stressed.
The DPC chairman asked the government to announce a mega development package for reconstruction of damaged infrastructure and provision of health and education facilities in tribal areas.
“The tribal people who suffered huge losses in the so-called war against terror should be given substantial compensation and their honourable return to their native areas should be ensured,” he added.
He said the government should immediately pull out of the US-led ‘war on terror’ and the foreign policy should be revisited in accordance with the wishes of the nation. “The country should be freed from the US influence,” he said. He announced that the protest campaign against drone attacks and Nato supplies through Pakistan would be expedited. Samiul Haq argued that the blockade of Nato supplies passing through Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was a great success after which the US started threatening Pakistan with stopping aid to it. “May Allah enable the US to stop the aid to us so that we could find the way of honour, pride and integrity,” he prayed.
He pledged the DPC would form a national jirga comprising elders from Balochistan and Fata along with noted leaders from across the country to make efforts for resolution of the issues facing Balochistan and the tribal areas.
Jamaat-e-Islami General Secretary Liaquat Baloch said the US after suffering defeat in Afghanistan wanted to invade Pakistan. He said some circles promoting their vested interests in Pakistan were trying to appease the US as they had noting to do with the integrity of the country.
“Whenever efforts were made to start dialogue, the US launched drone attacks and the terrorist network became active to sabotage the peace process. The attacks on security forces and subsequent military operations were aimed at derailing the process of talks and the government should understand the agenda of the enemy,” he argued.
He said the military operation was no solution and the issue should be resolved through talks. “The drones should be shot down and the begging bowl broken to get rid of US slavery,” he stressed.