Political administration not prepared to replace army in Fata

Monday, December 16th, 2013 12:30:16 by

PESHAWAR, Dec 15: Though the state writ has been largely restored to the militancy-stricken tribal areas through military operations, the question perturbing the major stakeholders is that how the void would be filled in case the army pulls out of the region.

A senior officer looked pensive and breathed heavily after taking the question whether the political administration in the respective tribal agencies have the capacity and capability to handle post-conflict situation if the security forces are sent back to peace time position.

“Not at all, the government has no such plan,” the officer replied in a compassionate mood. “The president, prime minister and other relevant quarters have been briefed on this subject, but nobody bothers about it.”

A senior security officer during an informal interaction with a group of journalists recently expressed similar concerns. “Administratively, Fata is totally dysfunctional and its system has collapsed. Security forces (Army and Frontiers Corps) will have to go back to barracks sooner or later. Militancy can be wiped out within months, but the question is whether the administration is ready to govern the area,” he questioned.

“Despite risk factor the seats of political agent and assistant political agents are the most sought after because of the financial powers and money involved,” he said. Just imagine, the political agent of Khyber Agency had visited Landi Kotal sub-division after one and a half years which was very shameful while political tehsildar or his subordinates had never ever gone to Tirah valley, he added.

Top functionaries in the bureaucracy blame the commanders and lukewarm response of the federal government for mess in Fata. They said that Shakai agreement was the turning point when military commanders directly struck a peace deal with Taliban in South Waziristan in 2004 and bypassed the administration.

An officer dealing with the affairs in Fata said that the century-old administrative system suffered setback when the then corps commander ignored political agent and governor and brokered deal with Taliban at that time.

“No doubt, before militancy the political administration was corrupt but it ran the system by hook or by crook. Now the administration is corrupt as well as toothless since commanders have been sitting in the driving seat,” he observed, adding it would be difficult to restore the old mechanism.

It is learnt that top officials have proposed two options to the federal government for the future of Fata; one is the introduction of local bodies system in the area with maximum participation of local people and second, integration of Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

“Unfortunately, the federal government has adopted complete silence over these two proposals,” the official said.

The security forces have eliminated militancy from larger part of Fata except North Waziristan Agency which has become a political issue. But, overall situation in Fata has become very complex.

Over 1.5 million tribal people are still living as displaced persons. Fata Disaster Management Authority said that over 60,000 private houses have been demolished partially or completely. Reconstruction of damaged infrastructure requires funds in billions. Mehsuds’ dominated area has been turned into virtual no man’s land.

The power has shifted from the tricky “club of elders” to Mullahs who had no role in the system before surge of militancy. Hundreds of elders and Maliks have been killed which has created a big vacuum in the tribal society.

Over 100,000 army and paramilitary troops have been deployed in Fata. Officers of the army and Frontier Corps have encroached upon powers of the political administration. The office of the colonel commandant once subordinate to the political agent in every tribal agency has emerged as a new power house that has weakened the role of political agent. The army has also penetrated into development sector, executing various mega and small projects.

Presently, there are 9,289 Levies personnel and 17,965 khasadars, an untrained traditional security force in Fata. The federal government had worked out administrative reform plan for Fata in 2002 that included introduction of local bodies system and strengthening of Levies Force.

The government with the financial assistance of the US government had started construction of Levies training centre at Shahkas in Khyber Agency in 2007. The project has been put in cold storage despite availability of funds while increasing the strength of Levies Force from 9,000 to 25,000 had been shelved.

The government instead of building institutions and system in the tribal areas spends huge funds every year on strengthening capacity of civil secretariat Fata and its affiliate bodies in Peshawar. Energy and resources have been wasted on alteration and modification of offices in Peshawar rather than to address core issues.BY(CCNI NEWS)peshawar

Peshawar News Sources

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Short URL: https://peshawar.newspakistan.pk/?p=30597

Posted by on Dec 16 2013. Filed under Latest News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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Political administration not prepared to replace army in Fata

Monday, December 16th, 2013 12:30:11 by

PESHAWAR, Dec 15: Though the state writ has been largely restored to the militancy-stricken tribal areas through military operations, the question perturbing the major stakeholders is that how the void would be filled in case the army pulls out of the region.

A senior officer looked pensive and breathed heavily after taking the question whether the political administration in the respective tribal agencies have the capacity and capability to handle post-conflict situation if the security forces are sent back to peace time position.

“Not at all, the government has no such plan,” the officer replied in a compassionate mood. “The president, prime minister and other relevant quarters have been briefed on this subject, but nobody bothers about it.”

A senior security officer during an informal interaction with a group of journalists recently expressed similar concerns. “Administratively, Fata is totally dysfunctional and its system has collapsed. Security forces (Army and Frontiers Corps) will have to go back to barracks sooner or later. Militancy can be wiped out within months, but the question is whether the administration is ready to govern the area,” he questioned.

“Despite risk factor the seats of political agent and assistant political agents are the most sought after because of the financial powers and money involved,” he said. Just imagine, the political agent of Khyber Agency had visited Landi Kotal sub-division after one and a half years which was very shameful while political tehsildar or his subordinates had never ever gone to Tirah valley, he added.

Top functionaries in the bureaucracy blame the commanders and lukewarm response of the federal government for mess in Fata. They said that Shakai agreement was the turning point when military commanders directly struck a peace deal with Taliban in South Waziristan in 2004 and bypassed the administration.

An officer dealing with the affairs in Fata said that the century-old administrative system suffered setback when the then corps commander ignored political agent and governor and brokered deal with Taliban at that time.

“No doubt, before militancy the political administration was corrupt but it ran the system by hook or by crook. Now the administration is corrupt as well as toothless since commanders have been sitting in the driving seat,” he observed, adding it would be difficult to restore the old mechanism.

It is learnt that top officials have proposed two options to the federal government for the future of Fata; one is the introduction of local bodies system in the area with maximum participation of local people and second, integration of Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

“Unfortunately, the federal government has adopted complete silence over these two proposals,” the official said.

The security forces have eliminated militancy from larger part of Fata except North Waziristan Agency which has become a political issue. But, overall situation in Fata has become very complex.

Over 1.5 million tribal people are still living as displaced persons. Fata Disaster Management Authority said that over 60,000 private houses have been demolished partially or completely. Reconstruction of damaged infrastructure requires funds in billions. Mehsuds’ dominated area has been turned into virtual no man’s land.

The power has shifted from the tricky “club of elders” to Mullahs who had no role in the system before surge of militancy. Hundreds of elders and Maliks have been killed which has created a big vacuum in the tribal society.

Over 100,000 army and paramilitary troops have been deployed in Fata. Officers of the army and Frontier Corps have encroached upon powers of the political administration. The office of the colonel commandant once subordinate to the political agent in every tribal agency has emerged as a new power house that has weakened the role of political agent. The army has also penetrated into development sector, executing various mega and small projects.

Presently, there are 9,289 Levies personnel and 17,965 khasadars, an untrained traditional security force in Fata. The federal government had worked out administrative reform plan for Fata in 2002 that included introduction of local bodies system and strengthening of Levies Force.

The government with the financial assistance of the US government had started construction of Levies training centre at Shahkas in Khyber Agency in 2007. The project has been put in cold storage despite availability of funds while increasing the strength of Levies Force from 9,000 to 25,000 had been shelved.

The government instead of building institutions and system in the tribal areas spends huge funds every year on strengthening capacity of civil secretariat Fata and its affiliate bodies in Peshawar. Energy and resources have been wasted on alteration and modification of offices in Peshawar rather than to address core issues.BY(CCNI NEWS)peshawar

Peshawar News Sources

Tags: , , , , ,

Short URL: https://peshawar.newspakistan.pk/?p=30596

Posted by on Dec 16 2013. Filed under Latest News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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