Mehsud tribesmen on Saturday asked for the equal distribution of development projects and resources among different tribes of South Waziristan Agency.
In a news conference at the Peshawar Press Club, MNA from NA-42, Maulana Jamaluddin of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl, along with dozens of Mehsud elders claimed the tribe had been deprived of its share of development projects.
“The ongoing military operation in the area has failed to reduce threats to peace. Additionally, it has also increased corruption and resulted in unequal distribution of development funds,” Jamaluddin said.
The MNA noted tribes had been sharing the available resources amicably for centuries. “However, now that social system has been abolished.”
He claimed officials of the Fata Secretariat did not even know the geographical boundaries of the agency.
“Under the Annual Development Programme (ADP) 2013, Wana tribesmen were given a larger share of livestock while the Mehsuds were ignored,” Jamaluddin alleged, adding the Mehsud area initially had 35 schools but the number had now reduced to 21.
The MNA revealed the political administration of South Waziristan had approved the establishment of 18 community health centres. However, so far only six had been completed. Moreover, the only agriculture and livestock services centre had also been shifted to another tribal area.
With respect to the ADP which is carried out after the political agent consults elected leaders, Jamaluddin claimed the political agent was being indecisive about development schemes. “One day he (the political agent) approves a programme but the very next day he abrogates his decision, claiming the administration is under pressure from the army.”
Malik Syed Anwar, a tribal elder said the unequal distribution of resources in the area could lead to a civil war among the tribes.
He further alleged the political administration was complicit in massive misappropriation of development funds, adding the leaders would soon file a petition in the Supreme Court of Pakistan to ensure the rights of the people were upheld.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 9th, 2013.