Writ of the state eludes North Waziristan: Senate committee


The Senate Standing Committee on States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) has expressed concern regarding the presence of over 20,000 militants in North Waziristan, getting an uninterrupted supply of weapons to disrupt the law and order situation in the region.
Secretary Law and Order FATA, while briefing committee members headed by Senator Muhammad Saleh Shah on Wednesday, said that security forces are engaged in an operation against militants in upper Orakzai, while the situation is under control in lower Orakzai. He said that there is an urgent need to launch an operation against militants in North Waziristan as they are getting hold of the area and the government is losing its writ slowly. He believes that there is an inherent lack of trust between tribals and the government; moreover the government has failed to identify the source of funding in order to stop it. Committee members were told that the government has succeeded in maintaining its writ in Bajaur and Mohmand Agency, and that militants were being pushed back into Afghanistan. He told the committee that militants are organizing attacks from across the border from Afghanistan into Pakistan and that instability in Bara and upper regions is affecting the provincial capital Peshawar as well.
The Chairman was of the view that terrorism in FATA has adversely affected the area and its residents very badly and the government needs to draw an affective full fledge strategy to root out terrorism from the area. He said that people of FATA need to be provided with better job opportunities and healthy life style, and that health and education policies are important to normalize the nature and situation of the area.
Secretary FATA Habib ullah Khan, briefed the committee about the performance of the FATA secretariat and its importance in providing better facilities and rights to the people of FATA. He said that they are working vigorously on drafting policies and working on the proposal of establishing a forum in FATA until the federal government determines the final status of the region. The committee was told that there are a total of 1, 20,467 displaced people in Pakistan that need to be provided with permanent shelter facilities. About the presence of Afghan refugees in Pakistan, the committee was told that there are over three million Afghan refugees in Pakistan out of which two million are registered while around one million remain unregistered. Secretary SAFRON told the committee that Afghan refugees can stay in Pakistan till December 31, 2012 after which they have to go to. He said that unfortunately the Afghan government is not interested in taking its nationals back.