There are reports that some foreign elements in the garb of Taliban are active in the tribal areas. Pakistan intelligence agencies and army must root out such elements with selective use of force and accurate information. Local support is necessary to quell any insurgency, army must take local people into confidence only then security forces can curb the militancy and terrorism in tribal areas.
Pakistan must carry out dialogue and reconciliation with tribal elders and alienate militants from tribal society. There is a need for a comprehensive plan to restore peace in the tribal areas. Pakistan must address the grievances of the tribal people through peaceful dialogue and reconciliation process. Apart from this Pakistan army must revive tribal system of governance. This system faced huge setbacks in last one decade. Militants related to TTP are against the Pushtunwali code of conduct which is an ancient system to run the affairs of the tribal people.
After 9/11 militants in FATA started killing tribal elders, Maliks, and notables who could challenge them. According to some estimates more than 1200 influential Maliks, elders have been killed in suicide attacks, IED explosions and target killing. Pakistan army must revive tribal system. There is need to give confidence to the tribal maliks and elders. Army should support them and give them security to ensure long term peace and stability in tribal areas.
Tribal areas did not see major development for the past six decades and local people are mostly illiterate and economically impoverished. Unemployment and illiteracy is one of the reasons of resentment against the government. There is a need for massive development plan to create job opportunities for local youth. Local Lashkars or militias have played an important role in the fight against militants. It is imperative for Pakistan army to support such militias, who on the basis of self help fought against rogue elements in FATA. Without local support it would be difficult for Pakistan army to win against militants, Pakistan army should give confidence, weapon and equipment to these local people, only then they can stand against militants.
Pakistan security forces that are deployed in FATA, the Frontier Corps, Levies and Khassadars are not trained to such a level to fight such guerilla warfare; they are not well equipped with latest weapon and equipment. But on the other hand militants in these areas are trained fighters; they possess latest weapon and equipment. Moreover the security forces in FATA are paid an inadequate monthly salary of Rs. 3500 to 6000/- whereas the miscreants are paid a handsome monthly amount ranging from Rs.10000/- to Rs.15000/- with unlimited supply of petrol/diesel weapons and equipments. After OBL operation Pakistan asked American trainers to leave, because of the uncertain situation, but now FC and other security forces of Pakistan would get effective counter insurgency training from American trainers.
Cooperation between Pakistan and United States would be crucial for the long term peace and stability of the region. Concerted efforts are required to defeat threat of militancy and extremism in FATA. In short United States of America has to change its policy towards Pakistan; it must respect and honour sovereignty and independent stature of Pakistan. Allegations on Pakistan’s intelligence agency and army should end because it won’t help in the war against terror.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent any organization. Author can be reached at email@example.com