The story of Zarb-e-Azab is quickly approaching its end, leaving hundreds of unanswered questions in people’s minds. The people of Waziristan have already been traumatized by the time they spent as IDPs, and their frustration increased when a controversial schedule for their return was announced, followed by the proposition of an illogical draft of social agreement with the people of Waziristan.

Errors in return schedule

The schedule of their return was very disappointing because the places from where the majority of population has been displaced, have been placed at the very end of the announced schedule. The highest number of people has been displaced from the areas lying along the Tochi River from Kajhuri to Dhegan and their turn will come at the very end – somewhere in 2016 – as the return process will be completed on 16 July 2016. The process of the return of the displaced people started on 30th March but the irony is that the areas like Shawa, Spin wam, Garyom are placed at the top of the list, when their inhabitants either migrated partially or never at all. Although they have registered themselves as IDPs, they were still residing in their homes since their areas belonged to good Taliban, which is why they remained untouched during Zarb-e-Azab.

Social Agreement North Waziristan 2015

The new social agreement proposed by the political and military administration is a new addition to the previous set of human rights violations faced by the people of North Waziristan. The initial question that arises about this agreement is: what really was its need and under which law can the resident of a country be asked to take an oath of loyalty to that country? The fact is that we, the people of Waziristan, were already living in a country in which no law is applicable. The new proposed agreement which comprises of the different clauses of the FCR along with some additional points doesn’t seem to be a practicable document in the current situation. Though the basic objection by the Jirga members is that we are not ready to sign anything more than the FCR. But in my opinion, even if the agreement is restricted to FCR, it is still not acceptable.

Clauses

The draft has four parts: the first one is about the responsibilities falling on the state; the second one is about those responsibilities which local tribes have to accept, the third part is about the mechanism of implementation of the agreement; and the fourth part is the oath that the tribes have to take under this agreement.

Clause 1 of part 2 makes the tribes bound for maintaining every kind of peace and order in their areas.

Clause 4 of part 2 says that there will be a ban on the formation of militant wings and the tribes themselves will stop all such types of activities.

Clause 5 of the same part says that every tribe or sub tribe will form their own Salweshti (a lashkar of about 40 men) which will be responsible for eradicating militancy and maintaining law and order in the area.

Clause 6 says that a list of all those who were involved in militancy will be issued by the political administration and the Qoum or tribes will be responsible for handing over all of these people to the political administration.

Clause 13 says that that the local tribes will be bound to provide security to the state authorities and to facilitate their functioning.

Clause 17 says that the law enforcing authorities can establish a checkpoint in any area if required and the tribes would have no right to object to it.

Clause 18 of the Oath section asks the tribes to give up the ownership of all the mines that will be found in their territory, which is also in violation of the FCR.

Though some of the sections of the agreement are already a part of the FCR, but whether they are within or outside of the FCR, they are not practicable in the current situation. Waziristan has been through a turmoil for more than 10 years. The social structure, the Jirga which used to be responsible for implementing the collective responsibility has been badly demolished by military, as well as by the militants. Even the FCR was not followed properly and the people of Waziristan were living under an “unknown law” or, we could say, that there wasn’t any specific law during that period of time. Both the militants and the military used to enforce their own rules and the people of Waziristan had no other option than to following the orders of them both. So when the Taliban banned polio vaccinations, or Pakistan Army banned students’ entry into the base camp – since all the best schools of Waziristan are placed inside the army base camp – people had to oblige.

Conclusion: Find a way to put an end to our suffering

The conclusion of this discussion is that the people of Waziristan have suffered a lot. Because of the uncertainty in their region they are now spread all over the country and are trying to reestablish their selves. The presence of most of the families in Waziristan will be nominal, while enforcing a collective responsibility needs number of masses with an equal representation of each family of a specific khel(sub-tribe). Moreover, keeping in view the past rebuttals of all the lashkars (salwekhti) made against the militants, it would be very hard for the tribesmen to become a part of any lashkar now. The lashkars previously made very severely targeted by the militants and lots of members of these lashkars lost their lives in that practice. The stopping and reporting of any kind of militant wing will also be a challenging job for the tribes as it will bring them in clear sight of the militants.

Therefore, in the current situation, this social agreement is an extreme of human rights violation. Forcing the tribesmen to face the militants will lead the society towards anarchy and destruction. It is the duty of the security agencies of the country to clean the mess of militancy.

Furthermore, the FCR doesn’t seem to be feasible anymore in the current situation either, only bringing reforms on an emergency basis will bring FATA to the mainstream. The people of FATA are exhausted of being used as strategic assets for years. Further use of similar policies will result only in frustration, which can lead us nowhere. Only a politically, socially and educationally empowered FATA can guarantee peace in the region – not social agreements, which will lead them towards more destruction.