The English word ‘gradual’ had been used by the colonialists to avoid the question of self-rule to their colonies. The British used to say that they would give the rights to their colonies “gradually” as if the subjugated nations were not civilised enough to have their rights in one go. Today we hear the same word being used for the people of the tribal areas. The government has announced that it would introduce the local government system in Fata and it is being said that Fata will be “gradually” brought into the mainstream. The rise of militancy in the northern areas has made it clear to all that if legal and administrative integration of this country is further delayed by vested interests, the problem will emerge again and again and solutions will remain an illusion.

 Either our policymakers have not come out of the colonial mindset or they are unable to suggest an alternative to the decadent colonial laws. If many of our countrymen are still without their legal rights even after 65 years of independence, and are living under draconian laws, it speaks volumes about our ‘achievements’ in the past six decades.

Arif Wazir,

Peshawar, August 18.