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Worsening situation of North Waziristan

By: Shamim Shahid

Situation in the already terror-hit North Waziristan is worsening day by day due to prolong curfew imposition and restricting dwellers to home on security grounds. Though since 2017, last tribesmen repatriated from Bannu and other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa ahead with military forces instructions and restrictions but new type of miseries commenced with indigenous emergence of Pashtoon Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) in January 2018 last.

Compare to other parts and parcels of the region, North Waziristan become notorious for sheltering militants from all over the world for over one decade. In the wake of resistance/opposition, the Al Qaeda fugitives and their likeminded militants from all over the slipped in from Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11, shifted from South to North Waziristan in 2004-2005. Through one or the other ways, these militants have established roots and influence in all over North Waziristan. And the host—Shura I Mujahideen North Waziristan headed by Hafiz Gul Bahadar considered one of GOOD Taliban was not made only an ally of Mullah Nazeer of South Waziristan, Maulvi Faqir Muhammad of Bajaur and Mullah Fazal Ullah of Swat but all of them have been declared as partners of Taliban-later formally declared as Tehrik Taliban Pakistan in end of 2007 with Mullah Bait Ullah as its head.

Whatever might be justification of government, government organs included armed forced but later on tribesmen from North Waziristan confessed they were made “forced hosts” of these militants. Soon after 9/11 tragedy through a mysterious ways target killing of leading and influential elders from all over former tribal belt (now merged in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) started through a mysterious ways. Almost those who were in real term opposing militancy, terror and favouring cordial relations with Afghanistan have been targeted. Most of target killing acts occurred in North and South Waziristan, but leading figures from rest of tribal belt and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa didn’t spared. Except a few, all of political parties and religious circles were also affected in target killing acts. Nationalist Awami National Party, known for its links with Kabul, beliefs in democracy, rule of law and supremacy of parliament was badly affected.

Though Pakistan had dealt situation of North Waziristan with some other motives but it went out of its control when the militants went on revolt against Islamabad. These militants have out rightly refused to obey and even they declared a war visibly. But internally they helped a lot Islamabad in materializing the dream-even didn’t by former British colonial rulers-demarcating and fencing of Durand Line– a controversial border between former British India and Afghanistan, through Durand Line Accord on November 12, 1893. In June 2014, Pakistan announced embarking on military action Zarb-i-Azab against the militants in North Waziristan. Over two million tribesmen have been asked to abandon homes. And during this period tall claims made regarding clearing of the area, flushing away of militants, arrests of over three thousands and killing of around two thousands others. But in fact, majority of notorious and hardcore militant commanders are still alive. Like of 2004-2013, almost leading Al Qaeda, TTP, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and other foreign militant groups commanders and fighters targeted by US drone despite scores of militant actions and reaction by Pakistan armed forces.

In June 2015, exact one year after commencing of military action Zarb-i-Azab clashes occurred between displaced tribesmen and security forces personnel in Baran camp near Bannu (tent village for displaced tribesmen). A number of tribesmen were killed and several other injured. As a result displaced tribesmen demanded immediate repatriation. With starting of repatriation, armed forces announced complete ban on possession and exhibition of arms and declared its own code for living in scattered areas of North Waziristan. All are bound to keep around the clock liaison with security personnel. Everyone is bound to get permission while visiting adjacent Bannu or any other place within the country. And even they were made bound to inform in prior location and destinations of their visits. The repatriation process is yet to be completed as still over 15,000 families including 3,000 across the border in Khost Province of Afghanistan are awaiting. But along with the repatriation process and what the official call restoration of writ of state, target killing in scattered areas of North Waziristan started in end of 2017 but it flashed headlines in media somewhere in May 2018 last when PTM leader Mohsin Dawar announced a peaceful sit in at Mirali, which later on forcibly dispersed by personnel of security forces.

Since January 2018, situation in both North and South Waziristan remain too much critical. Beside tar

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