North Waziristan: Provincial status demanded

Published: November 11, 2011
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Deny Haqqani presence in the agency; say US strikes kill civilians. PHOTO: EPA/FILE

Deny Haqqani presence in the agency; say US strikes kill civilians. PHOTO: EPA/FILE

PESHAWAR: 

Tribesmen from the Atmanzai clan of the Wazir tribe staged a protest against US drone strikes in Miranshah, North Waziristan’s headquarters, on Thursday.

According to locals, around a hundred protesters marched through Miranshah Bazaar in a procession against the highly unpopular strikes which have, for the larger part, targeted this tribal region.

Protesters were led by Nura Jan and Mohammad Sufian, who in their speeches demanded an immediate end to these unilateral strikes in the agency. They said that the drone attacks kill innocent tribesmen – including women and children – and not the militants that are supposed to be targeted.

The speakers also denied presence of the Haqqani network on the soil of North Waziristan, asserting that the agency had never sheltered the al Qaeda-affiliate outfit and US allegations of its existence in the agency were “white lies”.

The tribesmen demanded that North and South Waziristan should be given the status of a province, proposing the name Islamia for it. They also demanded provisions of natural gas supply to the agency from the Gurguri gas field and said that they have a right over these resources.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudary was asked to take suo motu notice of the fact that no one from North Waziristan had ever been elected for their the Fata seat in the upper house of parliament.

The tribesmen pointed fingers at the Pakistan Army for the Sunday crackdown in Miranshah and condemned it. They said that these crackdowns were unjustified since no militant attack had taken place at the site.

However, they added, they will not allow the peace deal between the agency and army to collapse despite the army’s attempts at sabotaging it.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 11th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Sao Lao
    Nov 11, 2011 - 9:23AM

    Pakistan better have upto 40-50 provinces so that these feudal families donot have any chance to be in power again

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  • csmann
    Nov 11, 2011 - 9:32AM

    white lies? well,yours are multiclored and changing all the time.

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  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Nov 11, 2011 - 12:40PM

    Yes, there is a dire need for more provinces in Pakistan. Punjab 3, KP 4, Baluchistan 3 and Sindh ……hmmmmmmm.

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  • fazal
    Nov 11, 2011 - 5:36PM

    Definitely believe on Waziristan Provence. my vote is for the Provence.
    Rather would like to have the FATA as a provence as well.Recommend

  • Mushtaq Ahmad Gaadi
    Nov 11, 2011 - 6:41PM

    Demand of carving out more provinces is just and purposeful for overall administrative and management ease. This can be related with the functioning of any organization. In the organization, whenever management creates teams , they can perform in exceptionally efficient and effective manner producing wonderful results for the organization. More provinces, whenever created will produce exceedingly commendable results for the federation. The demand of provinces should be viewed, in totality. On one hand, the people from respective areas are asking the same after having experienced inefficiency of current system of administration. Secondly, intelligentsia, civil society, scholars, academia etc have also voiced collectively for the change. Traditionally, change is feared, probably this is the reason over here also. For example, people of Saraiki belt are crying for a separate province since long, they just want equitable rights. How can one expect a student from remote areas of Dera Ghazi Khan to compete with a student brought up in Gulberg of Lahore where mere presence is an education itself. Resultantly, such like students will remain deprived for the years to come. Hence, demand for creation of more provinces is beneficial for the overall progression of the country and be taken in right spirit.

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  • MarkH
    Nov 11, 2011 - 6:42PM

    Islamia? I know they’re Muslims and everything but, seriously? Islamia? Something about it just makes me laugh a little. Not in a mean way but, it just sounds like some far off imaginary place you’d only read about in legends. Like a Pakistani Atlantis.

    Anyways… Yeah, I took this seriously right up until they forgot to stop before they went overboard on the denials by denouncing every past accusation and claim made all at once. Some of that is just plain outright lies. True or not, taking it that far made it look like a militant protection attempt more than innocent victims. I just can’t imagine any reason why this is only happening now, when pressure in the area has been increased by the US and the Pakistani military’s current activities. It’s just not something people procrastinate on and most of the things they’re denying and having problems with are far from new.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Nov 11, 2011 - 8:05PM

    @Mark H
    Why England flag has cross and why new zealand has christ church town name and why
    not islamia or umar town. or muhammadia.

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