Govt fails to provide relief to FATA tribesmen

  • Industrial estate to be constructed on tribesmen disputed lands
  • FATA Secretariat Spokesman Abdul Salam Wazir says dispute was resolved in 1995

The government has failed to provide relief to tribesmen from North Waziristan, despite their immense contributions to the war against terror, particularly their cooperation in Operation Zarb-e-Azab.

After construction of markets on their lands in Miran Shah and Mirali without their consent, now the government has announced the establishment/construction of an industrial estate over the tribesmen allegedly disputed land near Mirali Town. Most part of the proposed site has been occupied by the government since the commencement of military Operation Zarb-e-Azab, June 2014.

A government official has said that proposed industrial estate is being constructed over 5,000 Kanal of land at Noorak, near Mirali Town. The government has allocated a huge amount of Rs four billion for the project, which would focus on utilisation of locally available raw materials, especially mineral resources.

The project will be completed in 2019 and its products could be exported to Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics directly through Ghulam Khan Border.

However, tribesmen from the area allege that the proposed industrial estate is being constructed on controversial /disputed land and the concerned authorities had not even taken the local tribesmen into confident before making the plan.

Tribal elder and analyst Noor Behram when contacted alleged that officials are complicating matters day by day by making controversial decisions. He said that instead of consulting genuine and respectable tribal elders, the administration has adopted policies, as it seems, on their whims.

Leading tribal elder Malik Ashraf Khan lamented that the authorities instead of resolving issues are creating more problems. The tribal elder further criticised the administration for turning deaf ears to the elders and jirga members’ offers of helping in solving the problems and settling disputes.

Malik Ashraf said that they welcome development projects and schemes as it could play important role in resolving issues like poverty and unemployment but the government should go ahead with progress and prosperity of the area in accordance with the wishes and expectations of tribesmen.

FATA Secretariat Spokesman Abdul Salam Wazir, when contacted, said that the dispute on proposed site was resolved in 1995 in according to Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR). However, he said that the FATA Secretariat through political administration is in contact with tribesmen and are determined to execute the plan in accordance with the wishes of tribesmen.

Tribesmen from different parts of North Waziristan, especially from Danday Darpakhel, Miranshah and Mirali, are not particularly unhappy with construction work on their lands, however, had staged various protests demanding the government to let them enter their homes and hamlets but the authorities didn’t allow the return of tribesmen to Danday Darpakhel.

Danda Darpakhel is known for world popular seminary Dar Ul Ulloom Mamba ul Uloom, established by Maulvi Jalal Ud Din Haqqani soon after the invasion of former Soviet Union troops in Afghanistan in December 1979.