Umar Daraz Wazir & Mehran Ali Khan Wazir
The hope of having first time party based elections on their land is sharply fading among the people of North Waziristan Agency with an uncertain security situations in the area. 20 Pakistani soldiers including 4 civilians were killed while 40 others sustained injuries in a suicide attack, carried out by a banned militant outfit, on a military check post in North Waziristan Agency. The attack came on Saturday when an explosive laden vehicle rammed into the limits of check post manned by security forces.
In the same connection TTP has recently released a fresh video message wherein they have threatened the Ex-President Pervaiz Musharraf on his return to Pakistan. The TTP and other militant group threats may triggers new row of clashes between security forces and militants. It seems that chances of holding free and fair elections under such circumstances are quite low.
According to our consistent reporting from North Waziristan Agency the first ever party based elections in FATA were welcomed warmly by the people of the agency. They have shown a keen enthusiasm in registering their votes besides showing their allegiances to different political factions. It has been perceived by political analysts that such activities would be short lived. The two major, security related, developments in North Waziristan in particular while FATA in general indicates that the upcoming general elections would be uncertain.
The details of the recent suicide attack clearly shows that security forces were the target as the check post was located adjacent to the military residential barracks, quarters of Khassadars and FWO’s workers, which is located seven km in the east of Miranshah. The adjoining area of Aishah Check Post was taken over by military soon after the occurrence. No one was allowed to visit the spot even the officials of political administration. Curfew was imposed across North Waziristan immediately, after the attack, by the security forces.
Tribesmen are of the view that if a single incident has the power of imposing curfew in all over the agency then how voting could be made possible under such circumstances. It is a point of great concern that an ordinary man is not sure about the security arrangements during the upcoming elections. They claim that if military by itself is prone to suicide attacks then how crowd would be secured on the day of voting. These views were expressed by Brig (Rtd) Asad Munir while talking on the general elections in FATA.
Such like security situations has badly affected the routine lives of tribesmen. This would definitely implicate the electioneering processes in the agency. The grievances among the tribesmen increased manifolds when Mujahedeen-e-Ansar’s spokesman Abu Baseer claimed the responsibility of the blast. The worrisome moment for the locals is the increasing powers of hitherto militants groups in the area.