BAJAUR: A military operation is going on in Bajaur Agency for the last one and a half years. However, the truth is that it has only really impacted the civilian population — and that too in a negative manner. I know three to four families who have lost family members in this shelling. As part of the clearance operation, hundreds of houses and shops on the Khar Nawagai road from Sadiqabad to Zor Bandar have been razed.
People have taken refuge in the Jalozai and Kaccha Garhi refugee camps since the last 16 months. The Swat IDPs were treated far better and were sent back to their homes in a few months while IDPs from Fata have been treated like step-children. Also university students from Swat were given a concession on fees, but why aren’t IDPs from Fata also treated this way?
Contrary to popular opinion, at night large parts of Bajaur — except the main G T Road, F C Road and Civil Colony — are still controlled by militants. The capture of Damadola was publicised in the media but the fact is that all major militant commanders have yet to be caught. Even those militants who surrender are allowed to go after surrounding their weapon — they are not held accountable for their sins.
Even children in Bajaur know that Maulvi Faqir Muhammad is safe and sound and so are his top commanders Sheena, Wali Rahman and Abdullah, in a village not far from Loi Sam. Commander Pervez is active from his hideouts in Dhoda village of Tehsil Nawagai, while Qari Ziaur Rehman is operating from a village in nearby Charmang. On the other hand, over 170 tribal elders have been killed in the past year alone.
Scores of schools have been blown up, many in areas which were claimed to have been cleared of militants. We hate the militants from the core of our heart but the government must go after the militants with sincerity of purpose. Sher Zaman Khan Alizai Bajaur Agency