North and South Waziristan (in Red, bottom left), source Election Commission of Pakistan
North and South Waziristan, inhabit the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) (which IS NOT Federally Administered). These are Pastuns. Pakistan, since it was formed, has left this area alone, not pushing their government on them. They have co-existed, sometimes having battles, but these have been resolved in the past. If the Pakistan Military (and U.S. DRONES) begins to fight here, it will never end, the Pashtuns will seek revenge forever. There’s a tale of a 300 year old feud mentioned in their paper “No Sign until the Burst of Fire, understanding the Pakistan -Afghanistan Frontier”, Thomas Johnson and M. Chris Mason state
“According to tradition, members of the Pashtun Hill Tribes who inhabit the FATA are descendents of Karlan, a foundling adopted as the fourth son of Qais Abdur Rashid, a contemporary of the Prophet Mohammed and the Ur-ancestor of the Pashtun ethnic group. The Hill Tribes, or Karlanri, include many of the warlike tribes, such as the afridis, Daurs, Jadrans, Ketrans, Mahuds, Mohmands, and Waziris. Of all the Pashtun tribes, the Qaziris or the greater Waziristan (a region that includes North Waziristan Agency, South Waziristan Agency, and the Bermol District of Afghanistan’s Paktika Province) are reputed to be the most conservative and iracible. The Waziris pride themselves of never having paid taxes to any sovereigh and never having their lands, which they consider veiled, or in purdah
[Ed. Note: This is a must-read paper by all who have anything to do with Afghanistan/Pakistan. I hope our State Dept., and Defense Dept., and all of the White House staff are made to read this paper. It spells out in great detail the history of Afghanistan/Pakistan and the Pashtun Area that was absorbed by both countries, one of the major causes of the problem of “the Border”, as it splits the area into two pieces]
The DRONE attacks in North and South Waziristan have killed Pastun Tribal leaders, some are called “Taliban”. The tribes in these areas (over 350 separate tribes, according to Johnson/Mason) have many clans (or Khels), and some are so large there are sub-clans. The Pashtuns have a social code called “Pashtunwali”, which means “the way of the Pashtuns”. This social code has kept the Pashtun Tribes as a unit for over 1,000 years. The Pashtuns follow the code to maintain “Honor”. The Pashtuns settle their differences themselves, by following their codes. They wil accept no law but their own.
These core tenants of the code include self-respect, independence, justice, hospitality, forgiveness, and tolarance. They can not be ruled by a Central Government in Pakistan, that is impossible. Same for the Pastuns on the Afghanistan part of the border. They go by the same code. Here’s a map of the Pashtun lands that were divided by the Durand Line in 1893. It just split up 40 Million Pastuns and “made” them Afghaistani or Pakistani.
The Pakistan Military’s action in SWAT Valley has proven what a tragic event that has become. Over 2 Million people left their homes. Lived in tents, or with others that took them in, for months, while their homelands were destroyed by cannon fire and bombs dropped from airplanes and helicopters. It is reported that only 1,000,000 have returned to their homelands. The infrastructure is broken, their homes and lands in some cases do not exist anymore. Attacking North and South Waziristan will only repeat this tragedy, this war crime. For What?
UPDATE: US Ambassador Slams ‘Reluctant’ Pakistan for Lack of Support Pakistan, US Have Different Priorities Ambassador Anne Patterson is accusing the Pakistan Government of not taking on the fighters in North and South Waziristan, and the Pakistan Government is afraid that it would be “Unwinnable”.
I leave you with this “Who they Are”and Please read their great analysis on the People of the Area, and history of the area: Thomas H. Johnson is Research Professor in the Dept. of National Security Affairs and Director of the Program for Culture and Conflict Studies at the Naval Postgraduate School. His most recent articles on Afghanistan have appeared in numerous journals, edited volumes, and other texts. M. Chris Mason is Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Defense Studies, He served as a political officer on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and is recently retired fro the U.S. Foreigh Service.
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