Born between 1892 and 1897 in North Waziristan, Mirza Ali Khan, more famously known as the faqir of ipi, was a Pashtun tribal leader who waged an armed struggle against the British rule in the frontier regions. After performing Hajj in 1923, he settled down in the village of ipi, situated between Bannu and Razmak, and gained reputation for his saintliness. His political agitation against the British rule was spurred by the “Islam Bibi case” of 1936. Islam Bibi was a Hindu girl who converted to Islam to marry a Muslim. But the court sent her back to her Hindu parents. The event instigated many tribespeople of the frontier region (including the faqir of ipi) and became a bursting point for their decades long burning grievances against the British rule. Faqir organized an armed group to fight against the British rule and travelled throughout Waziristan to gather recruits. Despite multiple attempts, the British were unable to crush his decade long rebellions. During the partition of the sub-continent, he joined with Bacha Khan and other Pashtun nationalists to adopt the Bannu resolution. The resolution rejected the given choices of joining either India or Pakistan and asked for a separate state for the Pashtuns instead. Their demand, however, was rejected by the British authorities and the frontier regions were annexed with Pakistan. As a result, he continued his armed resistance against Pakistani state now. Over time, however, his former appeal started diminishing especially after the surrender of his Commander in 1954. He died in 1960.

As the life of faqir indicates, the frontier regions of Pakistan are historically known for expressing their grievances against the state. What have we done to address those grievances?