Peace committees in Mohmand Agency have become divided about who to blame for the breakdown of peace in the agency.
Some committees are blaming the political administration for malpractice, while others are praising the administration and blaming other committees. While there is need have a united front in the effort to curb militancy, personal interests seem to be shadowing national interests.
The Safi peace committee blamed the Political Agent (PA) for corruption and boycotted Independence Day celebrations. Other committees, namely Haleemzai, Khwaizai, Baizai, Ambar, Daweezai and some in Safi, support the Mohmand PA.
Haleemzai leader Muhammad Ali, Khwaizai leader Fayaz Khan, Baizai leader Sultan Khan and Safi leader Malik Sadool said that the Mohmand PA was cooperative and due to him, peace has slowly been restoring in the area. However, the four leaders criticised the Safi peace committee leader Subidar Safi for only joining the committee to protect his assets, which are mainly marble mines.
Subidar Safi, Azeem Qandari Mukhtiar Dawizai and Khandan Ambar have instead blamed the Mohmand PA for corrupting around Rs8.4 million of khasadar salaries in the past month. They also said that they had not received any money allocated by the federal government for the peace committees.
All leaders have been exploiting their sacrifices for restoring peace in the area and are blaming others for being corruption and for malpractice.
The allegations arose when the present Mohmand PA, Adil Siddique, who has a keen interest in financial matters of the agency, stopped issuing the monthly stipend for some committees and decreased stipends of others. The salaries of the Safi and Khwaizai Baizai khasadar have been stopped since 2008.
The most powerful stakeholders in this matter are the security forces, who are directly involved in restoration of peace. Tribal sources claim that they are secretly supported by the Safi peace committee leader, as Safi is one of the most volatile areas with its conditions affecting the rest of the agency’s peace.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2012.