Thrown to the wolves

Dire situation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

All is not well in the Waziristan districts of the erstwhile FATA. And there is also spillover into the rest of the province as well. PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman went to the extent of claiming the other day that the southern districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province were “ruled” by armed groups. The Maulana should know a thing or two, what with the aforementioned districts being his party’s stronghold. This particular problem is almost as dire in Dera IsmaiI Khan, Tank, Lakki Marwat and Karak as well.

Not to imply that things are well in the rest of the province either. ANP provincial chief Aimal Wali made some rather shocking claims recently at a PDM press conference, alleging that several key members of the ruling PTI had actually paid off armed groups personally. If such key figures are reduced to paying bhatta then what hope does the hapless general public of the province have?

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Of course, in the larger picture, things much larger than the provincial, or even the federal, for that matter, civil government are the root cause of the crisis. Reports of the military negotiating with the TTP are indeed distressing. After being repeatedly told that the military has broken the proverbial backs of the terrorist organization, a befuddled Pakistani public is now hearing that the same military is negotiating with the same organization. But this is news only for the rest of Pakistan. The people of the erstwhile tribal areas and indeed of the larger Pashtun belt, already knew that the supposed victories were more PR than ground reality. In fact, if the statements of some of the elected representatives of the area were to be believed, there seems to have been some collusion as well; the negotiations are being brokered by the Afghan Taliban, after all.

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The Editorial Department of Pakistan Today can be contacted at: [email protected]

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