PESHAWAR: The disarming of tribesmen during counter-terror operations and enforcement of a ban on the exhibition of arms throughout the tribal belt has resulted in a changing mode of fighting between tribesmen involved in family and property feuds.
Earlier, when tribesmen were allowed to possess and exhibit arms, tribal feuds always caused loss of lives as rivals used heavy weapons. But now sticks, stones and knives are being used during clashes.
At least 11 persons were injured when rival tribesmen clashed with each other in the village of Shehzad Kot near Miranshah on Thursday. The injured were later admitted to hospitals in Miranshah and Bannu for treatment. The clash erupted over a decade-old property dispute, with the opposing groups having used stones, sticks and knives against each other.
A similar fight occurred in the village of Hamzooni near Mirali town of North Waziristan a few days ago, causing minor injuries to 70 people. As in the case at Shehzad Kot, a property dispute between two groups led to an exchange of fists and then fighting with sticks and stones. A number of youths from both the sides had also used knives against each other.
“It is the positive impact of arms collected from tribesmen during and after military action Zarb-e-Azb. Now bloody violent clashes cannot occur in the area,” said Noor Behram Wazir, a journalist from North Waziristan.
However, the journalist argued, lack of arms have caused a sense of insecurity to develop and that the government must develop a system permitting possession of weapons for self-defence.
Hafiz Shaheen Islam, a progressive poet from the area, said that the absence of an effective mechanism for dispute resolution is the primary cause behind the clashes. As such, he argued that the government needs to provide a system to help resolve land and property disputes.
Former Peshawar High Court (PHC) judge and an important figure at the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Justice (Retd) Sher Muhammad Khan said that government organs have failed to perform their duties, the chief reason behind the volatile situation in the area. He urged the government and especially the law enforcement agencies to ensure all government organs complete required tasks.
Targeted killings have also plagued the areas in recent days. Nawaz Khan, a shopkeeper at Miranshah’s Pakistan Market was kidnapped by unknown assailants from his shop and his bullet ridden body was discovered close to the market. Eight people have fallen victim to target killings across North Waziristan over the last two months.
In addition to the killings, two terror attacks have also occurred in different locations of Mirali Tehsil where two schools were blown up with explosives by unknown attackers.