S. Waziristan to be bifurcated into two zones

December 6th, 2007 - 4:58 pm ICT by admin  

Peshawar, Dec 6 (ANI): The Pakistan Government plans to divide South Waziristan into two zones to give the Ahmedzai Wazirs a separate entity and end their dependence on the Mehsud, official and tribal sources have said.
The move aims to pacify the Wazirs and isolate the Mehsuds, who are proving a hard nut to crack in the face of an ongoing military operation against militants linked to al Qaeda and the Taliban.
“It is being considered (by the government) whether the South Waziristan division will help the government or not as far as the war on terror is concerned,” official sources said.
The Wazirs have been demanding freedom from Mehsud dominance, who have benefited from the Nikat System that was devised by the Britishers before the Indian subcontinents partition.
Under this system, the Mehsud tribes get a 75 per cent share of all resource distribution. The Wazirs only get a 25 per cent share, which they claim does not match the size of their population almost equal to that of the Mehsuds.
The government has stepped up work to improve the Gomal Road linking Wazir-inhabited areas of South Waziristan with Dera Ismail Khan. This being done to avoid using any route passing through Mehsud-inhabited areas.
The road was previously closed following a protest by Mehsuds.
According to a tribal source in Wana, the project is being executed in “extreme secrecy” to avoid a backlash from the Mehsuds.
“The work on Gomal Road is in full swing, whereas the Wana Airport is also close to its opening. The government has asked influential Wazir elders and Taliban commander Maulvi Nazir not to publicise the plan before it is fully implemented,” a tribal elder said.
According to a retired political agent of South Waziristan, the division will be contrary to the former colonial powers policy, which always set up a tribal region with two opposing tribes to pursue a “divide-and-rule” policy.
“I think giving the Wazirs a separate tribal district status will compound problems for the government,” the Daily Times quoted the agent, as saying. (ANI)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in South Asia |