by: Sadiq Khan
Mobile service has been successfully restored in lower Orakzai agency. Approximately all lower Orakzai Agency is covered by all Major Service providers working in Pakistan.
In the past mobile service was not available, so there was extreme load on PTCL wireless. All the residents have been using PTCL for communication purposes. Since the mobile service is restored residence rarely use PTCL wireless which also helped PTCL to overcome extra load.
In order to bring revolutionary changes in lives of tribal folk and ensure socio-economic uplift of guardians of frontiers, the FATA ADP 2014-15, that carries a total outlay of Rs 19 billion with a foreign aid component of Rs 1.9 billion, mainly focuses on improving education, health, communications network and livelihood. This is in line with the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Governor Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan’s determination to put the Federally Administered Tribal Areas on the track of speedy development. The development schemes for FATA have been pitched at 941 for 2014-15 with enhanced allocation for the ongoing schemes leading to expeditious completion. There are Rs 1.7 billion funds for the FATA Development Authority, which works in six sectors. The education, communication and health sectors have been given top priority in the ADP as they receive Rs 3.8 billion, Rs 3.6 billion and Rs 1.6 billion respectively. The value of the previous ADP for the tribal areas was Rs 18.5 billion, so the current one is 2.7 percent higher than it, shows an official document.
In addition, FATA will get Rs 4 billion under the prime minister’s special package program. The funds will be used in four different sectors to be identified in consultation with parliamentarian and experts.
The document showed all FATA portfolios had been enlarged to 40 percent with a focus on service delivery, while consolidation, standardization, strengthening and rehabilitation had been given top priority in planning opposed to expansion. It said the solarization of existing facilities in different sectors had been accorded high priority.
“The government is also installing solar panels in school labs, hospitals and offices of several departments to ensure uninterrupted supply of electricity.” Spokesman of the Directorate of Information FATA Fazal Ullah said.
An official said the Civil Secretariat FATA couldn’t approve a scheme, whose value exceeded Rs.200 million. He said the secretariat had to request the federal government for approval of mega projects.
Another official said on the directives of the governor, the planning and development department had excluded dozens of incomplete and unapproved schemes from the ADP 2014-15. They said the governor had directed the relevant authorities to clear arrears of contractors, while the un-utilized funds of abandoned projects would be diverted to other key projects.
The officials said the projects had been mainly conceived and approved by the officials concerned, to favor some influential people and that they had nothing to do with the community’s welfare.
As for the sector wise allocation, Rs. 3.8 billion have allocated for education, Rs.1.6 billion for health, Rs.1.2 billion for public health engineering, Rs3.6 billion for communication, Rs.485 million for housing, Rs.120 million for power, Rs.340 million for agriculture, Rs.419 million for livestock and dairy development, Rs.709 million for forest, Rs.18 million for fisheries, Rs.172 million for rural development, Rs.986 million for regional development, Rs.1.26 billion for irrigation, Rs.206 million for minerals, industries and technical education, Rs.32 million for social welfare and Rs.113 million have been year marked for sports, culture and youth affairs.
The ADP is distributed among seven tribal agencies and six Frontier Regions (FRs) on the basis of area, population and backwardness.
Currently, the share of South Waziristan Agency in the ADP is 10.39 percent followed by Khyber Agency with 8.71 percent and Bajaur Agency 8.30 percent, Kurram Agency 8.11 percent, North Waziristan Agency 8.07 percent, Mohmand Agency 5.87 percent, Orakzai Agency 3.95 percent, FR Peshawar 0.86 percent, FR Kohat 1.43 percent, FR Bannu 0.82 percent, FR Lakki Marwat 0.19 percent, FR Tank 2.03 percent and FR Dera Ismail Khan 1.27 percent.
Orakzai levies demand administration stop halting salaries
“It is shocking that whenever a major [security] incident happens in a particular area of the agency, the administration stops the salaries of our colleagues based there,” said Hawaldar Pir Gul.
Over 100 levies officials protested outside the office of the political agent in Orakzai Agency on Wednesday, demanding authorities drop the policy of halting their salaries under the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR). They also demanded that the process of giving them pay should be made easier.
“It is shocking that whenever a major [security] incident happens in a particular area of the agency, the administration stops the salaries of our colleagues based there,” said Hawaldar Pir Gul. He added fines are also imposed on tribesmen living in the area where the incident takes place.
Subedar Zandi Gul, hawaldar Zameer Gul, sepoy Jamadar Gul all said there was no presence of the political administration and officials paid no attention to difficulties faced by the levies.
Zameer said decisions like the one to hold their salaries under the FCR will not be tolerated any longer. He pointed out dozens of his colleagues lost their lives in the war against militants and were even given awards by the government. Gul added the paramilitary force was determined to protect its soil.
Soldiers faced tremendous complications in getting their salaries and sometimes have to queue up for two to three days. This is in addition to facing hostility from the clerical staff, said Zandi.
“We are not beggars and must be treated fairly like government servants working in other parts of the country,” he said.
The levies personnel said they were finding it difficult to repay loans due to the delayed salaries.
The demonstrators said the federal interior minister, K-P governor, Kohat division commissioner and Orakzai political agent should shun the policy of halting or deducting their salaries under the FCR. They said officials must place a mechanism which allows the soldiers to get their salaries without hassle or there will be more protests.
The administration has been asked to replace levies personnel who are 60 years or older with their younger relatives. However, the paramilitary officials complained authorities stood idle over the issue.
“Officials reaching retirement age should be replaced by their young relatives, but the administration is not willing to recruit fresh blood,” said Zandi.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the political administration said they are preparing a list of officials over 60. He added there was a provision in the FCR to halt officials’ salaries.
By: Khitab Gul Orakzai
As a result of military operation in Orakzai Agency in April 2010, more than 0.2 million people have been displaced from the agency. Where the operation is getting prolonged, the plight of Orakzai IDPs is becoming deeper. Majority of Orakzai IDPs are settled in Hangu and Kohat districts.
Each month, International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) is providing food ration to almost 32,000 internally migrated families who are now resided in Hangu. Some 13,000 Orakzai IDP families in Kohat, are assisted by World Food Program. Now most of the IDPs from Kohat are returned to their hometowns as security situation has improved in the lower part of the agency.
The IDPs from Upper Orakzai are still waiting for their turn to safely resume their normal life but they are quite pessimistic about the situation as fear and uncertainty still looms over them.
FRC correspondent in Hangu confirmed that there are handsome amount of IDPs who are unable to get ration and instead being looted for their registration by fake representatives of ICRC and Pakistan Red Crescent Society, who jointly are assisting IDPs.
The unregistered IDPs complained that the procedure of IDPs’ registration is quite confusing. ‘We don’t know where to go for registration, there is no responsible office for it. We travel to distribution point, but no one listen to us there, we resort to office but they don’t open the doors of the office and pretend that a team will come to your village for registration. For sure teams, sometimes come for 2-3 hours to someone’s Hujra but goes back without even informing the IDPs. If you miss the team once, you have to wait for 4 months for your turn.’ An IDP told FRC researcher in a remote village in Hangu.
“I give 2000 rupees to a man who had pledged me for registration and issuance of card for food ration but soon he disappeared after looting score others like me,” another IDP told.
Some IDPs are confronted with the dilemma of proving their identity as IDP. FRC researcher founded that there are plenty of IDPs who have their NI cards on Hangu district but they were permanently living in Orakzai Agency. Some are those who have double addresses on their CNIC, one of Hangu and other of Orakzai Agency, such like card holders are bluntly denied of registration for ration.
It was further revealed that majority of IDPs prefer to live in rented houses and avoid to reside in IDP camp. The main reason behind it, observed was cultural as there is no proper arrangement of purdah which tribesmen usually practice rigidly.
The extremely poor section of the migrated population is resorting to the lonely Togh Sarai IDP camp in the district, which is running by CERD a local NGO and funded by UNHCR. Among 1587 families only 499 are left in the camp while others have either returned to their hometowns or they have managed to get rented houses in Hangu.
Talking to the home-returned IDPs in lower Orakzai Agency, FRC correspondent came to know that people are not happy with the security situation and the economic assistance for which they were pledged by the government officials.
“Many houses are damaged either by Army shelling or the devastating monsoon rains of August 2010. Our cattle are missing and many are fled to jungles and not been returning to houses. The security situation is uncertain and no economic activity is possible to be resumed,” a repatriated IDP in lower Orakzai told FRC.
It is notable that Orakzai people were scared of militants. Besides security issues and other multiple problems the IDPs prefer to partially pull out from Hangu so that their repatriated members of family may judge the exact situation in their respective villages in Orakzai Agency.
By: Arch: Marwat Khan;
Our meeting was scheduled on 28 February 2012 with President of Pakistan but it was cancelled due to unknown reasons. The following problems were identified for presenting to president of Pakistan, as he is the ultimate head of tribal belt.
1. The first main problem is that this land is lawlessnes, FCR is not a law, but only a way of disgrace and to keep tribal away from Government and leadership. In this law political agent is the king of the kingdom (main person) who runs the tribal area. He is the king of the no go area. Proper legislation must be done for tribal area to solve the problem of rules and regulation.
2. The boundaries of the whole tribal area are unsafe and vulnerable to interference and smuggling. It should be ensured to safeguard the boundaries of the tribal area otherwise Baluchistan like situation will be created.
3. When Pakistan came into being then we tribal were happy, because we expected relief and fast progress of the area. Our whole energy was wasted to serve the country and fought whole heartedly for this new State. But in return we get ignorance, joblessness, hate, poverty, lawlessness, FCR and killing of the tribal people in the name of war against terrorism. Now we are facing worse situation in the world war. Tribals are very peaceful and patriotic people, but unforeseen hands do not want them to live with peace and harmony. It is the responsibility of the state to safeguard the boundaries and to keep peace and prosperity in the area with the help of tribal people.
4. It is astonishing to say that male literacy rate is 29.51% and female literacy rate is 3% in the tribal area. There is no any university for 7 Lacs population. The condition of colleges and schools are worse than ruins. Education is the basic need of humanity according to UN charter, but tribal people are deprived of this basic facility even in 21st century.
5. Billion, trillion funds are coming in the name of tribal people, but those funds cannot reach to the people of the area nor did it spend on the infrastructure of the area. Even the tribal belt is rich with mineral mines and forest resources. But our mineral are mess-utilized and our forests are cutting ruthlessly and for that we have no any return.
6. The infrastructure of tribal areas are in very dilapidated condition. All roads are broken and kacha/shingle. Tribal area is 200 years back from the rest of the country. There is no electricity, gas, roads and other facilities. The first thing in infrastructure is road which may be implemented on war-footing basis. Motorways, highways and roads may constructed in the initial phase thus through this way other facilities will grow automatically.
7. Development authority for each Agency should be evolved and established to carry plan and implement the development projects in tribal areas.
8. Corruption is a big problem in the area. Major source of corruption exists in the development sector. Everyone is aware that only 20% of the fund is spent on development project, while the rest 80% is wasting in corruption.
9. The people of tribal areas are peaceful and hard-worker. Tribal peoples hate crimes. The tribal people do not want to indulge in such activities, but we do not know, who they are enforced and from where they came and who these people are who push the innocent tribal to do such activities. Most of the tribal people are uneducated and they are used for crimes by other. Neither they have the sophisticated technology to print dollars, nor they can invent the machines to produce heroin. All these are done by the elites exploiting the ignorance and unawareness of the tribal, for their notorious interests. Most of the prisoners belong to tribal area who does not know how to hire lawyers for their cases. Majority of the prisoners have been put in the prison for nothing but under FCR. They do not know their sin.
10. MNAs & Senators of tribal areas are involved in malpractice from the beginning. They are elected on the seats of tribal area and they are called the representative of the people of tribal area. But everyone know and note their shameful activities. At last the people will raise and clear the account of 65 years.
The President of Pakistan should announce full pardon to the political prisoners and prisoners of under FCR of FATA and 50% pardon for other prisoners belongs to these tribal areas as they are surely innocent.