Kandahar tribal elders form committee to assist peace talks
KANDAHAR CITY (PAN): A committee of tribal elders was formed on Thursday to seek solutions to people's problems and assist the peace talks between the government and the rebels in southern Kandahar province.
Presided over by Asadullah Khalid, the Minister for Tribal and Borders Affairs, the committee was created during a gathering of tribal elders in Kandahar city. A number of tribal elders and government officials attended the meeting.
Tribal elder and provincial council member, Haji Agha Lalay, on the occasion called for the establishment of a separate office for the council's efforts at restoring peace in the province.
Another tribal elder, Haji Toran Naik Muhammad, pointed at the conflict among provincial departments, saying their differences had crossed the limit.
Pakistan, Iran and India have consulates in Kandahar, but people visiting these consulates are denied visas, he said, claiming the diplomatic missions are home to intelligence networks.
Jihadi leader and Kandahar Peace Council chief, Haji Atta Muhammad Khan, suggested the government should seek the help of former mujahideen in resolving problems.
Speaking on the occasion, Asadullah Khalid said a lot of positive changes had occurred with regard to Kandahar's development as compared to the past. He said the number of security forces had increased considerably in the province.
The minister also called for the removal of government officials not abiding by the law to prevent inter- departmental conflicts.
On the peace talks with the militants, Khalid said they had always been in favour of negotiations. He urged tribal elders to tell people that the current conflict has nothing to do with Islam.
He acknowledged the gap between the government and the people had widened, but said efforts were underway to reduce it.
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