The tale of 25 villages where the villagers fight for an officially recognized status either be a part of Mohmand Agency (Fata) or Charsadda district (KP) is a long journey of about two decades.
Fata merger with KP seems a popular demand but it needs to be analyzed on the basis of ground realities; “Here is a case related to Mohmand Tribal Agency.”
There are more than 25 villages located between the Mohmand Agency and Charsadda inhibits about by 3,000,000 people. The status of villages is controversial whether it is a part of district Charsadda or Mohmand Tribal Agency.
The status controversy is created a lot of problems; education, health etc are in bad conditions. About 42 educational institutions are destroyed in militancy here. Earlier run via Agency Fund and now both district government and Political Administration are not compensating. It is learned that four months back these education institutions are handed over to the education department of KP.
A government school; — About 42 schools are non-functional as neither district government nor the Political Administration owns it. (Photo: TRIBAL POST – ISLAM GUL)
“On 26th October 2015, many houses were destroyed in earth quick. Mohmand Agency political administration compensated all but neglected our areas saying that you are part of the district. Similarly, when district government contacted for help we were told that you are part of Mohmand Tribal Agency,” said a local resident Zubair Ahmed.
Since the creation of Pakistan, the successive governments made several attempts to make it part of the district but failed due locals’ resistance. They have a movement and demand for the inclusion of these villages in Fata.
Asmatullah, 70 years old, is a resident of Yaka Ghund one of the controversial villages. He is an active member of the movement and also remained for three years in DI khan Jail. He tells the tale.
“First during field Marshal Ayub Khan’s time, an attempt was made to make these villages part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but local people resisted, and made it a failed plan. In 1999, PML(N)’s chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sardar Mehtab Abbasi, issued a notification in which stated that these 25 villages are part of District Shabaqdar. Security forces including police came and took control of the area at night 12 PM. Some youth set up a Protest Camp in front of the gate of the Political Administration of Mohmand Agency. Political Administration was not happy and forcefully ended the protest camp. Then, locals started protests in villages and raising slogans that we do not want police. The protest turned violent, many police check posts were burnt. Important leaders (Mashran) were arrested and sent to different jails of the country.”
“Nine years back, Quami Watan Party’s leader Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpaw inaugurated two small dames with a cost of Rs. 2.4 billion in areas of Main Pati and Shahid Banda, but the local tribes showed resistance stopped the construction work.”
“Some landlords of Shabqadar are claiming that these areas (land) were gifted to them by the British government. Now they called themselves owners, and trying to evacuate us from here,” added Asmatullah.
“We have reservation over merger of Fata with KP. Since long, we are following our own traditions (Rawaj laws). Fronteir Crimes Regulation (FCR) is not completely a bad law as it was made of tribal traditions. FCR is to be reformed only,” said a local resident and elder Malik Ameen Trakzai.
“We want to remain part of Mohmand Agency. We can’t live in a system of court and police because there is no respect for ‘women’s Pardah’, and these systems are expensive and delaying,” added Tarakzai.
There are political and social activists who are demanding for merger of controversial villages in district. Asadullah, a general secretary of Islami Jamiat Talaba, said: “New generation wants an end to FCR and Fata’s merger with KP. Not only these 25 controversial villages, but whole Fata to be made part of KP.”
In the recent census, there was a plan of including these controversial villages in District Charsadda, and also started work on it. Local residents appealed to High Court, Peshawar in which requested that all residents are having CNIC and Domicile of Mohmand Agency so deserved to made part of Agency. Peshawar High Court in its decision stated that these 25 villages are part of Mohmand Agency, so its people are tribal not residents of the settled district. However, despite the decision of high court, the issue is not ended.
Trakzai said: “There is underway a construction of gate in Yaka Ghund as a symbol of boundary between Mohmand Agency and District. When Gate is completed then will write over it as Baba Mohmand.
Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) is a frontline area on the war on terrorism. War-affected tribes are now raising voices for their basic human rights; primarily, they are demanding for Fata’s reforms.
PML(N)’s government constituted a Fata Reforms Committee which suggested the merger of Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Major Politico & religious parties, Fata educated youth’s support made a popular slogan; “Merge Fata with KP”.