Posted by: Administrator | 18 February, 2005

President’s Address to FATA Jirga in Peshawar

28 April 2005

“I am very happy to see that all the elders and Maliks (Chieftains) have gathered here belonging to South, North Waziristan, Bajaur and other agencies. The country is proud of you .This I say every time and you also know about it and this has been also said in the address of welcome of Malik Waris Khan.You are people who always speak the truth and God fearing people. It is in your traditions that whatever you speak, you also honour it with your heart and soul and these are your qualities. You are the brave people and gallantry is your tradition. It should not happen that the terrorists or the extremist elements should become brave and you should come under their pressure. To become suppressed and fearful is not your tradition and the situation demands you that you demonstrate bravery and gallantry. Stand up and join me, I will fight for you. I am not demanding anything from you for myself but want your progress and prosperity.

In the address of welcome you have demanded vacancies in the colleges. You want development of your area and setting up of Industries. This is no problem. With the grace of God Pakistan has progressed a lot and in terms of economy, Pakistan is so much advanced that we can do everything for your welfare. Pakistan has attained a status in the comity of nations and any country whom we will approach for help they will respond positively to our demand. We have achieved a status and there is no problem for me to enhance the development allocation for your area.

You are demanding for five-fold increase in the allocation but we think it is not sufficient and it should be ten-fold and we will practically do it. It is not meant to lure you but we want your real progress, after this allocation you must come and meet me for your any other demand. I know your area is backward and there is poverty and I know you have lagged behind. If you want to move forward, then you must support me otherwise you will not progress and lag behind. I hope you want change and don’t want status quo. So you should support me for your progress and prosperity of the area.

If you want to move forward and progress then do not only think merely about yourself but also think about your future generations. What will happen to them?. The world is moving forward and those who are not keeping pace with the world they are lagging behind and are being destroyed. Also look at 1000 to 2000 years old history. What happened to those nations who lagged behind and they were destroyed. But the brave and great nations rise and progress. If the nations do not keep pace with the moving world in the progress then they remain behind the world and are destroyed and no one bothers about them in the world.

Think of your future generations. Do you want to see them move forward or pushing them backward to some old era? The grave problem of today is that we are standing at crossroads. The entire Pakistan and Pakistani nation, FATA and Frontier province and if started from the basic level, the entire agency, and the entire nation (Pakistan) are standing at crossroads. At this critical juncture, if we do not take right steps in right direction, then God forbid we will face consequences. I am not speaking in a hollow way. I am talking with full responsibility. No body has come to you who talked to you about economy or efficiency of the government. I am talking directly to you and visiting you for this purpose.

The country was moving smoothly with the grace of God. You must think what the country did for you and what you did for it. You have rendered great sacrifices for the country since 1947. It was really true and we realize it. This area was a cradle of peace.

You have your own culture and traditions and you work and live according to it. You have your own system. You work according to these. It is a right path. But if there are some weaknesses in it. And some people violate them, and work against these and violate the agreements then what about it. If I make an agreement with you and it is violated from your side, then what is its worth? We should think over it and evolve a solution. This is not your tradition and you people always speak the truth.

Now we see what is the problem with your people and the problems is that some foreign elements which you call “Al Qaeda or whatever you call them have come to your area and hiding in your area. Any person who is denying their presence is telling a lie because I know this is not an old age and it is an era of new technology and their movements can be watched and their discussions can be listened.

First of all I will tell you that foreign elements are present. There is another dangerous thing and the world calls it the Talibanization and it is a thinking of some people that the Taliban want to impose their ideas on others. No one has the right to impose his ideas on others. If you have ideas impose them on yourself and don’t impose them on others. No one should also not say that give up your ideas, he is also extremist. If some one say you to change your ideas don’t do it and don’t tell the same to others. Don’t do anything forcefully and don’t try to kill others. I know there are extremist’s ideas which include forbidding music, and watching television. If anybody who wants to watch TV let him watch and if you don’t want to watch doesn’t watch it. There is not only extremism in the area but an armed action and militancy is taking place in the area. The people are being killed under this menace. We should control these both. All the people, elders, Maliks and notables who are sitting here I am noting that there is some weakness in the control. We must inject power in it. If there is any defficiency, then the government is with you. It wants to empower you.

There are two things which must be rectified and corrected. The first thing is that we must expel the terrorists. The second problem is that we must eradicate extremism. If you can do this then the army can be pulled out and sent back to barracks. It is there to do this task and maintain peace and security. If you can do this and bring peace and order to the area, then today it is a day to make right decisions in this regard. We must think and make right decision today.

First of all we must decide that that our true friend is. All tribal should go back to their areas in the agencies to take along this message. Who is their true friend? Whether it is the foreigner who has come for personal purpose and vested agenda. Believe me that he is not doing any thing for your interest. He is putting you in danger. He is defaming you in the whole world.

I am talking about China who said that our friendship was higher Himalayas. It is route of our friendship .This Karakoram highway was our link. The Chinese leaders said that our friendship is taller than mountains and deeper than sea. But I am ashamed that the terrorists killed their persons in your area in our country. Foreign terrorist are causing damage to your area and our country.

Tell the people that these foreign elements are not our friends and they will put you in danger. These elements are causing threats to your lives and our lives. People say that Bajaur incident harmed our sovereignty. I want to ask you that those who are sitting for years in our territory illegally without any passport or visa are they not harming our sovereignty, and they should also leave our country. It is our agreement with Afghanistan that forces which are operating in Afghanistan and those Pakistani forces which are working in our country will not enter each other’s territory.

You are a brave nation and warring nation but commonsense and those who deny the presence of foreign elements in your areas are wrong. You should first have the ability to face the threats. The second thing is that what the real essence of Islam was. Whether it was brotherhood or killing, bombing innocents or commit suicide bombing. This all was not according to Islam. The suicide and killings were contrary to Islam. Islam preached moderation and not extremism. The middle way was the tolerance and to bear each other. We must show it in our actions. Recently 47 innocent persons were killed in Karachi.

I asked the Ulema in Karachi that I am confused what to do. I asked the scholars to pray for these innocent people. God may rest their souls in eternal peace. He said those who committed this heinous act or who loaned this terrorist act were doing very wrong and against the teachings of Islam. They are defaming Islam and doing no service of religion. They have defamed and given wrong interpretation and image of Islam in outside world. Wherever I went outside the country I noted the wrong image about Islam in those countries.

President Musharraf said that some people do not read the Holy Quran like those who do not read Bible. I have not read Bible and we have not read about Buddhism. Those people who don’t read the Holy Quran view the Muslim only on the basis of how he acts. He said Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance and those foreign elements sitting in your houses in the tribal areas are causing damage to Islam. These people are not presenting the true image of Islam you think that Islam teaches militancy and intolerance.

He said we have to punish them who are damaging the name of Islam. We have to punish them who are damaging you and we have punished them who are damaging Pakistan. I am seeking your support, I need your cooperation you should yourself deal these elements and you have stated in your address of welcome that you want to proceed in accordance with the tribal customs and tradition and you are most welcome to do it.” I am with you”, he said. I say if you succeed we will withdraw our troops from here but I am telling you what you have to do. The foreign elements have to be expelled to curb extremism. This extremism has to be stopped, he added.

He stated that previous Corps Commander Gen Safdar had signed a peace agreement with Baitullah Masood and Nek Muhammad and army halted its operations and then what did they do. They did not honour the agreement and they stabbed in the back. This was not in accordance with the Pukhtoon traditions. You also know they broke the agreement and again resorted to same activities, as a result Nek Muhammad was killed. You know what Baitullah Masood is doing now. He is telling lies. He is indulging in harmful activities, he will be dealt with. If you take action according to traditions then I will support you and the army would make a ceasefire. You should dissociate yourself from these elements. If you are successful then the army will be pulled out. But if anybody fraud with us then this process will not continue. The time has passed and we want on ground action now otherwise the army will continue its action.

And I assure you that this all happening on the Afghan side, whether American or NATO or IASAF will remain there.

They will remain there for ten years and you will not be able to expel them. Then keep on fighting and damaging yourself. Now I want to tell you that what we can do for you. The tribal elders have not asked for anything. I am thankful to them if they had wanted anything I would have given them then. First of all I want to assure you that the government was committed to the development of FATA. We want to do this and do it with the grace of God. The annual development has been enhanced five times from one billion rupees to five billion rupees but this is nothing.

 We want that we may spend at least ten billion rupees for the development of FATA. We have finances for it. We will spend this money and you must tell us how to spend it. Whether on schools, colleges, water supply or roads, you must ensure that the money would be spent in a proper way and organized manner, and make projects for them. Besides this, from US we have Reconstruction Opportunity Zone (ROZ), it means that any factory or industry installed in your area would have duty free access to the market. It is a big achievement.

All benefits would go to you there would be factories in your areas. Your export would be very high. The people will come and set up industries in your areas because its exports would be duty free. As compared to other countries if your production is cheaper then buyers would get it as it would be attractive. It was another factor. Besides this, we would spend rupees ten billion for your development. A plan has been made for this purpose. Your representative is the Governor. Also FATA representatives are there, we will ask them for refining this project.

Federal Minister Jehangir Tareen has made a good plan aimed at poverty alleviation, providing jobs and lessens unemployment. All your projects including industry, agriculture, water supply, education, health system, these all are included in this project. We have enough money and supply more money than ten billion rupees if it is required and is properly implemented. There should be no doubt in anybody’s mind that we will not do development works in those areas where disruptive activities were going on.

First of all you should cooperate in this regard for maintenance of peace and order. In the area, where there will be more cooperation and improved law and order situation, more funds would be utilized. In the areas where there will be extremism and terrorism we will see to it. And when it is controlled we will spend money there. We will also ask the people of the area that what development they want. Whether they want development and take along coming generations on the path of progress and prosperity or the old pattern of extremism and terrorism which is harming them and also damaging Pakistan and image of Islam. It was crossroad, it is up to you which way you chose. The trend of fence sitting has gone which meant extracting benefits from both sides while sitting in the middle of road. This era is not that one; either you should take one side or the other. I know which side you are supporting. You all support us.

You should talk about people’s problems and the issues you are facing. You should face them with courage, seek our support and we are with you. I want to tell you that we had formed a committee headed by Sahibzada Imtiaz. We have asked them how we can strengthen political agent, Fata secretariat, how the provincial government can be attached to strengthen the system. In FATA efficient persons would be deployed as political agents. They would be provided with power in the form of Levies Force. In this force thousands of people would be provided job opportunities.

The political agent must have Levies force to help you. Also the Governor has a plan of agency council or Jirga in each agency. It will comprise elders of the area so that they have a link with the political agent. Whatever helps you want from political agent or government we will provide it to fight these terrorists. The political agent would provide force and we would back him up. The Governor will himself see that the instructions which I have given to him, that whatever you want I informed him about it. I have also told you that whatever dangers we are facing, what hopes I have attached with you, what the nation wanted of you and what was good in your interest. And what you have to do for Islam, that is for your religion. I want promise from you about these things and not to just raise your hands. You must think in your mind with full honesty in this regard.

My first appeal to you is that you should not be impressed by the propaganda of these extremists, and those who are terrorists. You should not take in your mind its effects and reject it. They are not doing the right thing. They are taking you on the path of destruction. The second thing is that you will not allow them to use your land for terrorism in Pakistan or the world over.

The third thing is that you will do your utmost for the maintenance of law and order, cooperate with the government and in turn the government would cooperate with you. The fourth thing is that you will reject terrorism.

And the fifth thing is that if you reject terrorism, then you will follow the path of moderation. This is the path of Holy Prophet (PBUH), the path of Islam which we are bound to follow. We will follow the real essence of Islam and move forward in this direction. The path which the terrorists and extremists are propagating is wrong. They are misguiding the people. It is not the path of Islam. They are not working for the cause of Islam but only for their personal ulterior motives. You must realize this fact. I am thankful to you that you listened carefully to my speech patiently and I again want to reiterate that you are standing at a cross road. You will have to select one way or the other. It is not the time for ambiguity. It is time of right action and not of talks. I hope that you will fully support me.

I pray that Allah Almighty may grant us guidance and lead us to the right path. Allah may also help us so that the government and you people bring peace and tranquility in your area. May your areas develop and your coming generation prosper. This I am not asking for myself but for yourselves. May God bestow us with His blessing and guidance.

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