South Waziristan: Taliban set guidelines for contestants

Mullah Nazir Group promises free balloting in NA-41.

Our Correspondent April 06, 2013
Mullah Nazir. PHOTO: AFP/FILE


The Mullah Nazir Group of Taliban has assured aspiring candidates that the insurgents would not interfere with the election process in the South Waziristan tribal region.

The assurance was made by Mullah Nazir Group chief Salahuddin Ayubi, locally known as Bahwal Khan, in a meeting with over 50 candidates contesting NA-41 (Tribal Area-VI, South Waziristan) or their representatives in Wana, the main town in South Waziristan Agency.

Local tribesmen are free to vote for the candidate of their choice, a source privy to the meeting quoted Salahuddin as telling the meeting.

Though he assured the candidates that his group would not interfere in the voting process, he attached some stringent conditions for trouble-free balloting in the constituency. Firstly, the candidates will have to stage public rallies in an open place outside Rustam Bazaar, the main market in the area, due to security concerns.

Secondly, candidates with no  popular vote bank should better not contest the elections. Thirdly, the candidates have to avoid indecent criticism of their rivals in their speeches.

Fourthly, the candidates of three parties – PPP, MQM and ANP – were told about the security threats they might face in the region. They have been told to avoid open election campaigns, use of party flags and banners in public places. The ANP has even been advised against holding public meetings.

Invitation to Friday’s meeting was made through pamphlets distributed by the Taliban in some parts of Wana, including Rustam Bazaar. In the pamphlet, they were asked either to come in person or send their representatives for the meeting where they would be served with ‘tea and biscuits’.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 6th, 2013. 


Supersequel | 8 years ago | Reply

This region, under Pakistani constituon, is semi autonomous and given its govern under tribal laws political wise mullah nazir has the power--however, if he were to go against the state by saying elections can't be held then he will be held accountable. Mullah Nasir is called the good Taliban because in reality he doesn't subvert the Pakistani constitution unlike the TTP holed up in other regions, which says to basically kill anything pakistani. This area operates like a princely state in Europe--think of leichenstein--in which Pakistani government ensures defense and other federal matters but that's it. But a major act the ppp government did, which we will realize after this decade, is they introduced political parties laws-- the British, the might of the world pre-independence, couldn't even do that or let alone control them. So, in essence, yes per tribal customs he isn't violating anything. The liberals of Pakistan must realize Pakistan is a mix of federation with semi autonomous states like say the commonwealth of Great Britain. There are certain affairs Islamabad can't intrude on or influence directly and immediately but slowly.

Someone | 8 years ago | Reply

@VINOD: There were several comments before yours. Are you unable to read or unaware that comments are moderated before they're published? Idiotic comment.

Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ