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Pakistani troops at the Afghan border in restive North Waziristan (file photo) (epa)
August 6, 2007 -- Tribal elders in Pakistan's North Waziristan region today said they will not go to Kabul on August 9 for a grand assembly, or jirga, aimed at building confidence between Pakistan and Afghanistan and dampening support for the Taliban.
Mamur Khan, chief of North Waziristan's Wazir Turikhel tribe, said the absence of Taliban representatives would make the assembly pointless.
Some tribal leaders also want Pakistan to withdraw troops from checkpoints in North Waziristan as a precondition for participation in the assembly.
At the four-day assembly, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf are due to address clerics, politicians, writers, and tribal chiefs from ethnic Pashtun regions on both sides of the border.
The border region has been destabilized by the presence of Taliban-linked militants, accused of crossing the border to carry out attacks in Afghanistan.