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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Kurram groups sign accord to open key highway

PARACHINAR: After about three years, rival factions again signed a peace agreement here on Sunday to restore peace in Kurram Agency after the government promised to provide security on the main highway in the region.

Under the accord which was first signed in Murree in October 2008, the Thall-Parachinar road would be made safe for travel for local people and internally displaced people would be rehabilitated in their areas.

The Thall-Parachinar highway linking the Kurram agency with the rest of the country has remained closed since 2007.

Officials told reporters that elders of various tribes representing rival sects had again signed the Murree accord in the presence of members of a reconciliation jirga and political agent Syed Shahab Ali Shah.

The earlier agreement signed in Murree could not be implemented for unknown reasons despite the fact that rival tribes had fully backed it and even the leader of banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan Fazal Saeed had also endorsed it last year. Fazal Saeed later quit the TTP after developing differences with his chief Hakimullah Mehsud and set up his own faction and named it Tehrik-i-Taliban Islami.

Under the new deal, all tribal elders agreed to ban display of weapons in the area and impose Rs1 million fine for any violation of the agreement. They also agreed to rehabilitate all IDPs in their areas.

It was decided that local people would set up village peace committees to check movement of terrorists and trouble-makers.

The government has decided to set up checkpoints on the main highway from Chappari at the point of entry to Kurram Agency and Tari Mangal, a village adjacent to the Afghan border. Read more at Dawn news

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