Peshawar, Mar 21: In a major boost to Pakistan's offensive against Taliban, hundreds of tribesmen from Pakistan's semi autonomous regions near the Afghan border decided to join hands with the forces in crushing the Taliban on Saturday, Mar 20.
The decision was taken in a meeting held in the northwestern city of Peshawar, called by an umbrella group of aid organisations and political parties in an attempt help to unite people from the violence-battered region.
While calling Pakistan's earlier offensives as 'military dramas', participants asked the army to escalate its attacks against Taliban across the tribal regions and sought more powerful tribal councils.
"It should be a genuine military operation like the Sri Lankans did against the Tamil Tigers," said Sayd Alam Mehsud, a powerful tribal leader, referring to the military campaign that destroyed.
Tribal councils or 'jirgas' is an intergral part of the Pashtun culture which consitute the majority in the region along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
These councils meetings are used to decide on matters ranging from local administration to criminal cases.
Though meeting on Mar 20 was not a formal tribal meeting, it was attended by many tribal leaders.
In the meeting the leaders called for the need to end terrorism inorder to strengthen democracy. It was also decided that Pakistan's powerful military should be kept keep out of politics.
"A sapling of terrorism cannot grow in democracy. Any attempt to derail democracy is like letting the terrorists walk all over us," the declaration said.
However, the participants expressed less faith on the US-Pakistan alliance, stating that both Washington and Islamabad were more engrossed in internal political issues rather than concentrating on the deep-social issues which are the root cause of such violence.
"If we do not address the mindset of the terrorists, we will not be able to eliminate terrorists," said Mehsud.
Deferring from the opinion of other partcipants, Haji Attaullah Mehsud, a Jirga participant from North Waziristan said that the army was not the solution.
"Talibans are our brothers, they did not came from other countries," he said.
"Dialogue is the only solution. It can't be solved through power, that destroyed all of our area, they destroyed the whole of Waziristan," he said.
Atleast hundred people, including militants and civilians have been reported killed in the government's offensive against Taliban in Waziristan.
On Saturday, Mar 20, a counter-terrorism official said that three Taliban militants and bomb-making factory were seized.