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Tribal communities facing confusion, dislocation ever since FATA-Khyber Pakhtunkhwa merger: Report

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Islamabad | March 24, 2023 12:06:36 AM IST
Tribal communities of Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) are facing lots of trouble since the merger with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) four years ago, reported The Pakistan Military Monitor.

The tribal communities are facing confusion and dislocation and are forced into a livelihood against their wishes. The past four years have been a daily torture for them as Pakistan in 2018, under its 25th Amendment, decided to merge FATA with KPK, to make reformations per government convenience and bring them within constitutional jurisdiction.

There has been a public outcry against the decision. The movement to overturn this merger is simmering fast despite strict measures being enforced to silence the activists. Though the establishment has warned of serious consequences against those fuelling these campaigns, the crusade is growing stronger with local civilian bodies, elders from Jirgas, and influential local leaders joining the battle to overturn the KPK-FATA merger, reported The Pakistan Military Monitor.

Leaders of the campaign are Pashtun Tahafuzz Movement (PTM), FATA Grand Alliance, and Mohmand Grand Jirga, among others.

With Pakistan wanting greater control over them, the people are suspicious that a greater agenda is at play. They are afraid to become another helpless appendage of Pakistan, just like Gilgit-Baltistan or Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, reported The Pakistan Military Monitor.

The Pakistan government has forgotten all the promises it made to the people of FATA before the move, such as allotting developmental funds, education budget, better living conditions, etc.

Moreover, land disputes have converted civilian cases into criminal cases, in contrast to tribal systems; decisions taken provided quick redressal and were according to local customs. Locals prefer Jirga over the judiciary.

There are multiple claims over a single piece of land. And because there are no land records, courts can also not settle such disputes. People don't know who to go to with their issues, reported The Pakistan Military Monitor.

The literacy level in the region is extremely low, in some places zero percent. The citizens have no idea how the new system works; documentary evidence or written communication has no importance to them.

The crime rate and drug trafficking in this chaotic time are at their peak as troublemaking elements of society are using this messy situation to their advantage. Most of the policemen do not know the rules of their own department and act on a whim.

Pak Army has the supreme power here and that is a primary cause of the resentment. The behavior of arme

The army is solidly entrenched in FATA, and set against both radical elements like Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP), and civilian movements like the PTM. Therefore, human rights abuses, extrajudicial killings, and enforced disappearances are common since the merger.

To date, the federal government has released only PKR 5 billion out of the allocated PKR 55 billion for FATA's tribal districts' development. The people are grief and poverty-stricken. The health sector exists only in the papers. Temporarily Displaced Persons are the at bottom of the hierarchy, living worse than animals, reported The Pakistan Military Monitor. (ANI)

 
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