Reforms in Fata

This Article appeared in Daily Dawn on June 10th, 2010.

THERE is a dire need for changes in the system of governance in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) but given a highly conservative society, they cannot be achieved in any radical manner.

The British and earlier rulers were interested in the control of the routes passing through the tribal areas. The Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) of 1901, which remains in force, was not invented by the British but in fact codified the existing practices in the area.

These arrangements were acceptable to both the British and the tribes. The former had control over the routes and the latter retained the independence to administer the interior according to their traditions. If the tribes misbehaved, the British sent punitive expeditions against them while the government used to pay maliki, lunge, muajib and khasadari allowances to the tribes as remuneration.

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Possible US strikes

This Article appeared in Daily Dawn on June 02nd, 2010.

THERE are reports in the US media that the US government is mulling over the possibility of conducting strikes and troops incursions inside Pakistan. There is a belief that this will happen if the latter fails to start operations in North Waziristan as per America’s dictates.

Although the US government at times denies such reports, the stark warning issued by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — when she stated that if a Faisal Shahzad-type incident in America was traced to Pakistan there would be dangerous consequences for the country — should not be taken lightly.
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