Analysis & opinion

The Success Story of Erstwhile FATA: From the Tribal Terrorism to the Tribal Elections

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From being the epicenter of terror to be the part of KP, erstwhile FATA narrates the 3S tale of Pakistan against terrorism i.e. sacrifices, struggles and success. The frontier area bordering Afghanistan had endured rather suffered gruesome injuries by the spade of terrorism. The blood bathing of once beautiful area, the displacement of the tribal people, the destruction of businesses and the general devastation of the tribal region were the spillover effects of the wave of militancy. This region suffered more than any other area of Pakistan. But gone are the days when erstwhile FATA was known as the land of terror and safe havens, ruled under the draconian law of FCR. Now is the time when this region has become an active part of KP province and is being governed under the Pakistan’s constitution of 1973.

From being the epicenter of terror to be the part of KP, erstwhile FATA narrates the 3S tale of Pakistan against terrorism i.e. sacrifices, struggles and success.

The joint efforts of civil-military establishment not only cleansed this area by eradicating the pathogens of terror, but have also initiated the rehabilitation and reconstruction of this once ill-fated region. The 25th amendment to the constitution of Pakistan appears to be the landmark achievement and one fine example of civil-military strives for the reconstruction and development of tribal area. Under 25th amendment, erstwhile FATA has been merged with KP. The tribal agencies have been converted into districts of KP and these districts are being governed by the district commissioners and assistant commissioners instead of political agents and assistant political agents. Moreover, the colonial law of FCR has been abolished and the writ of Supreme Court and Peshawar High Court has been extended to the newly merged area. Not only this, but the tribal area has been given true representation in KP assembly and for this purpose 16 seats have been increased in KP assembly. Additionally, the local government system would be installed in tribal region for the grass root development. Furthermore, KP and federal have also agreed to allocate 2-3% of NFC share for the reconstruction and development of this area. Therefore, 25th amendment is not merely a constitutional amendment but a success story of civil-military efforts for the tribal area and a road map towards a socially and an economically developed tribal region.

So far, PTI has emerged to be the party that has bagged the highest number of seats than the other parties. Ironically, PTI’s candidate contesting against the PTM’s candidates, won seats in North Waziristan (I) and South Waziristan (II) -the self-proclaimed home grounds of PTM.

The terror cleansing and development of erstwhile FATA irked the adversaries of Pakistan. They seem to have devised a non-kinetic approach of destroying the persistent peace of former FATA like the way they had done in Balochistan. Therefore, they started funding and logistically supporting a party on the lines of BLA and BRA. This party named as PTM (Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement) launched a movement for the rights of Pashtuns and started igniting the fire of ethno-nationalism in the tribal region of Pakistan. PTM used the card of Pashtun rights and sub-nationalism to disrupt the peace of tribal region by pitching tribesmen against their own land. It’s a known fact that PTM is dancing on anti-Pakistan tunes.

However, PTM has badly failed to achieve its desired goals and the tribesmen have rejected the mandate of a foreign funded movement in the tribal elections.

The election results depict that the Pashtun belt has rejected the enemy sponsored mandated of PTM for the Pashtun’s know that PTM doesn’t represent Pashtuns and the loyalties of Pashtuns are tied to their very land, their Pakistan.

After the FATA-KP merger, the tribal elections for the provincial assembly seats are held for the first time in the history of Pakistan and the previously ill-governed area. According to the ECP, 2.8 million registered voters were eligible to vote in the tribal elections. The political parties that took part in the elections are; the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamiat Ulema Islam (JUI), ANP. A total of 285 candidates contested the elections, including two women. So far, PTI has emerged to be the party that has bagged the highest number of seats than the other parties. Ironically, PTI’s candidate contesting against the PTM’s candidates, won seats in North Waziristan (I) and South Waziristan (II) -the self-proclaimed home grounds of PTM. Out of 16 seats, PTM candidates contested on 4 seats and managed to gain a single seat only. Additionally, ECP has declared PTM a non-registered party.

The election results depict that the Pashtun belt has rejected the enemy sponsored mandated of PTM for the Pashtun’s know that PTM doesn’t represent Pashtuns and the loyalties of Pashtuns are tied to their very land, their Pakistan. These are the men who fought for Pakistan and have stood by Pakistan in the time of need. Furthermore, the Pashtuns remember how the boys slit the throat of the monster of terror and secured their area, how the government of Pakistan has been striving hard for the development of their land and how their fellow men -from Gilgit to Gwadar and from Punjab to Sindh- shared their pain and stood by them.

Written by: Merwah Qureshi

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