Cherry picking one region over the other only leads to more resentment in an unstable and fragmented country. The various governments of Pakistan over a span of years – emphasis on the federal big shots – have remained oblivious to the collective plight and demands of the people living in the federally administrated tribal areas. While treating citizens in FATA as orphans of the state, the previous and incumbent governments have managed to accrue notoriety among constituents of North Waziristan Agency, especially after its decision to place a curfew on the area and conduct a full fledged military operation against extremists. As a consequence, innocents have been sucked into the brutal vortex of war.

The contention here is not whether the militant groups in FATA deserve leniency from the State. They do not. However, other political demands from tribal citizens go unnoticed perpetually. Among those exigencies is the immediate need to have local, political representatives in elections – which is definitely a constitutional right of every single Pakistani within the country. Furthermore, as PPP and joining opposition parties have asserted, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government should allow wounded civilians helplessly embroiled in this conflict to be treated with authentic medical aid. The injured often includes women and children.

To make matters worse, the case of missing people in those areas as well as Balochistan is a neglected and almost forgotten one. Condemnations and calls to the indifferent FC to courts seem to be entirely devoid of any progress. PPP parliamentary leader Mian Raza Rabbani does have a point, even if it stings: The President of Pakistan is bound to maintain peace efforts in FATA under Article 247. Ever since the advent of the war on terror, the most assaulted Pakistanis are the ones residing in the semi-autonomous tribal areas. The government owes them more than just than lip service.