Administration eases entry of locals, non-locals in North Waziristan

An administration official says it is a gift for locals from the security forces


Shahabullah Yousafzai December 29, 2018
'It’s a gift to the residents of the North Waziristan tribal district from the district administration.' PHOTO: FILE

PESHAWAR: Authorities have finally lifted restrictions on entering the former North Waziristan agency, once considered a hotbed of the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its foreign cohorts.

When the security forces in 2014 launched Operation Zarb-e-Azb against various militant groups operating from the former agency, the local people had to migrate to the Bakka Khel camp and bordering Afghan provinces of Paktia, Paktika and Khost.

Later, the security forces had started registrations of the local residents and issued them ‘Watan Cards’ while non-locals were asked to get a non-objection certificate (NOC) from the DI Khan commander headquarters or the general headquarters (GHQ) in Ralwapindi if they wanted to visit the area.

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“A year after completion of targeted operations, the tribal security forces along with then political administration had started the Watan Card System – a security clearance certificate for the locals while for the non-local they started entry card for limited time,” said deputy commissioner Abdul Nasir.

The system had continued since but now in view of improvement in security situation at North Waziristan district and repatriation of most of its internally displaced people, the restriction of cards and permits have been lifted, he added.

Talking to The Express Tribune via phone, he said as the security forces have now established peace and security, people now can enter North Waziristan without prior permission or Watan Card System.

“It’s a gift to the residents of the North Waziristan tribal district from the district administration and also from our forces, which played a key role in creating peace in the former agency,” said Nasir.

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He said now the non-locals will only have to show their national ID on one of the check posts but the foreigners would have to take an NOC for security purposes and also to get registered for their entry.

The DC said: “We are happy to provide easy passage to the resident and other Pakistanis. The strict measures were for their own security but now restrictions have been relaxed for Pakistanis.”

Resident and those who are affiliated with business in the North Waziristan had long been demanding for elimination of security check posts and cessation of the Watan card and registration process.

 

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