RAWALPINDI - The government strategy for combating trends of violence and militancy through peaceful and political means is a right step to a right direction. Pakistan did a lot in the ongoing war on terror and other partners in the coalition need to do more," the former NWFP Governor Lt Gen (Retd) Ali Mohammad Jan Aurakzai who had also accredited himself for deploying around 100,000 troops on Pak-Afghan border soon after 9/11 tragedy, said this during an exclusive interview with TheNation. Ali Mohammad Jan Aurakzai also accredited himself for initiating peace process in Waziristan region soon after assuming his office in 2006. He was the mind behind convening of Pak- Afghan joint Jirga, held at Kabul in August 2007, and stressing on initiating of dialogues with the resistance elements in both the neighbouring countries. In fact, Ali Mohammad Jan Aurakzai in the light of his origin from tribal areas has always preferred traditional means of jirgas for resolving crises. During the hour-long interview, Lt Gen (Retd) Ali Mohammad Jan Aurakzai expressed himself very clearly on the existing situation of tribal areas and the government strategies. He also defended the government policies and strategies regarding war on terror since 9/11 tragedy. Referring to the existing situation in tribal areas where ceasefire exists between the government and the alleged Taliban militants, former NWFP Governor said, " Government has adopted a strategy for combating violence and militancy which emphasizes dialogue for resolving the crises and also ensure addressing the socio-economic needs of the tribesmen. He said that the government was also right in its decision of "selected military action" following the failure of the political process. However, the former Governor stressed that the government needed to ensure implementation of this strategy. In support of his argument, Ali Mohammad Jan Aurakzai recalled that first-ever agreement was signed in April 2004 with the then militant commander Nek Mohammad and his group, but the agreement couldn't materialize due to foreign pressure. Similar was the fate of other agreements signed with the alleged militants in Bajaur and other parts of both North and South Waziristan Agency. Advocating his point of view, the former Governor pointed out that the ground realities of tribal areas were different from the rest of the world. "There exist entities like Jirgas, which are capable of sorting out issues and complications through table talks and dialogues". On such grounds, he was of the firm belief that problems and crises could easily be resolved whenever Jirga is given a chance to play its role. Ali Mohammad Jan Aurakzai pointed out that now there was lack of trust, confidence and credibility and unless these were restored, return of peace, stability and an end to violence and militancy were hard to achieve. In this respect, he said now it was high time for the present government to initiate steps for ensuring return of an atmosphere of "trust and confidence." Similarly, he said foreign pressure in the political process could be averted and the decisions must be made in accordance with the needs and limits. In such circumstances, he was sure about the positive and fruitful outcome of the government strategies. Regarding government decision to address socio-economic needs of tribesmen and development of the region, the former Governor said that unfortunately in the past this part of the world was neglected, thus depriving its dwellers of just rights of education, health and drinking water. He said that despite tall claims, the international community, particularly "partners in the war on terror" had failed in honouring the commitments for contributing to development of tribal areas. In this respect, he listed out the details of allocations and strategies for development of the tribal areas. In response to a question, Ali Mohammad Jan Aurakzai said allocations for development of the tribal areas were very meagre. He said that after 9/11, the government on the proposal and suggestion of international community evolved a nine-year plan for the sustainable development of the region but commitments and pledges for financial assistance were yet to be materialized. Similar is the position of well-publicised ROZ's, he pointed out, adding, "There is a lack of sincerity on the part of friends in the coalition." The former Governor said that unless massive development process and creation of economic opportunities are not launched, no one could ensure "shift in the living standard" of the tribesmen. He in particular said that overseas employment opportunities must be generated for the jobless people from all over tribal areas. Similarly private entrepreneurs should be involved in the creation of economic opportunities in the tribal areas for execution of joint projects. There exists a wide range of talent and dedication in the tribal areas but it could only be exploited through proper planning and guidance. Commenting on the government strategy regarding "selected military action," the former Governor said it could yield positive results if it was of short duration and taken to its logical conclusion. He also said that collateral damages during the military action must be avoided and all pressure in this respect must be turned down. In response to a question, the former Governor said that position of Pakistan was different from Afghanistan. "We must remember that Pakistan is not Afghanistan and Pakistan Army is not United States or NATO army." Elaborating his point of view, he said that the existing situation could be handled in accordance with the ground realities, needs and expectations of the people. In this connection, he diverted attention towards the plight of those thousands of people who were displaced due to military action and operation in South Waziristan, Hangu and other parts of the region. He said that the government must ensure a targeted and short duration operation. "This was a very important forum to resolve the issue at regional level," was reply of Ali Mohammad Jan Aurakzai when he was reminded about the Pak-Afghan joint jirga held at Kabul in August 2007. The former Governor had led the NWFP and Tribal Areas delegates of the Jirga, which had asked for dialogues and negotiations with the resistance forces in both the neighbouring countries. He suggested that the rulers and leaders from both the neighbouring countries should resume the process as it could be considered a realistic approach for handling the issues of violence and militancy. Advocating the process of going ahead with the joint jirgas, Ali Mohammad Jan Aurakzai expressed pleasure over the recent statement of Afghanistan's Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Dr Farooq Wardag and said that both the countries needed to take each other into confidence regarding strategies for combating militancy and violence. "The solution lies in grand Jirga," he added, reminding "though direction of August 2007 joint Jirga was not correct yet its decision of initiating dialogues with the unhappy brothers was a right step." He recalled that majority of the members from Afghanistan in 2007 August Jirga were holding Pakistan responsible for the ongoing mess in Afghanistan, whereas no one could deny the fact that resistance was increasing day by day against the NATO and foreign forces in Afghanistan. However, there was a need for joint efforts and consultations on the part of Pakistan and Afghanistan for resolving the matters pertaining to violence and terrorism. In this connection, he said that besides massive development in the region, institutions must be built in Afghanistan and neutral forces and troops may also be involved in efforts aimed at returning of peace and stability in the region. The former Governor said that such types of dialogues and negotiations were always fruitful whenever the mediators were neutral. In this respect, he recalled his suggestions to the Afghan Government to go for dialogues with the rivals through such neutral mediators. He reminded about his advice for constituting joint teams for negotiation with all those involved in resistance activities in both the neighbouring countries. All resistance elements engaged in fighting belonged to this soil, therefore, negotiations with them could be supported. "Pakistan did a lot in the ongoing war on terror whereas others need to do more," was Ali Mohammad Jan Aurakzai's reply with a smiling tone in response to a question. He reminded that soon after 9/11 tragedy, Pakistan had not only deployed 100,000 troops on Pak- Afghan border but even it established 900 posts and netted from 400 to 500 Al Qaeda fugitives. Similarly Pakistan rendered sacrifices of around 1500 personnel of the security forces and around 4,000 were injured in the war on terror. He said that all these deployments and check posts were meant only for small Federally Administered Tribal Areas. On the other hand i.e. inside Afghanistan, the former Governor reminded that around 39 members of NATO deployed only 70,000 troops who were patrolling the border from only 90 check posts. He viewed that the achievements of all allies in war on terror were less than Pakistan. "They don't have their boots on the grounds whereas we have all boots on the ground." He reminded that despite focusing maximum attention and deployment in Afghanistan, the partners in war on terror had failed to counter terrorism and militancy in Afghanistan. Answering to a question, the former Governor Ali Mohammad Jan Aurakzai said, "Responsibility rests with all the partners to counter cross- border incursion. There is no justification in holding Pakistan responsible for it." He pointed out as to what were the responsibilities of the allied and Afghan forces across the border in this connection. He, however, stressed on maximum understanding between the two sides and said, "Problems couldn't be resolved with hiding of facts and mistakes."