Militants get their ‘share’ in FATA development funds | Pakistan Today

Militants get their ‘share’ in FATA development funds

PESHAWAR: The militant groups in the volatile Federally Administrated Tribal Agencies (FATA) are taking their ‘share’ from the development funds, it has been learnt reliably.
Sources privy to the matter revealed to Pakistan Today that the militants would not oppose any development work in areas under their complete control once they got their ‘share’. They said the militants were getting 15 to 20 percent of the money being spent in the development projects, which would some times even employ some of their men too.
“If the officials refuse to pay them their cut and or deny jobs to their men, the militants resort to violent ways of kidnapping or attacking government offices and officials”, said one of the contractors adding that he himself had to pay extortion money to the militants. He asked not to be named.
He said, “I paid Rs 0.7 million to a local militant group affiliated with Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan. I tried not to pay but I was threatened of dire consequences and I was left with only two choices- either to pay them or abandon the work. I opted to work.”
Another source from the North Waziristan told on phone that the development work in that agency was being done under the direct supervision of local militants. “Some commanders even get development projects indirectly. A local commander associated with Hafiz Gul Bahadur group from the area of Mirali surroundings is executing two projects, a street pavement and an irrigation related project”, he added.
An official in Fata Secretariat said there had been reports of involvement of people working on projects with l links to militants but most of the projects were foreign-funded. He said no one ever registered a complaint officially with the authorities.
People familiar with the ‘routine’ said militants in ‘return’ provide security to these projects because they were the only one who could sabotage the work. They said the development projects were becoming one of the constant sources of income to the militants- the others being kidnapping for ransom and attacks on Nato containers.

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