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Harmony Forum

Peace from Harmony
Mariam Khan: Great Pakistan Woman for Peace and Harmony

Mariam Khan: Great Mother and Muse of Harmony in Pakistan!


Harmony is the best protection for 62 orphans in Mariam’s Nest!





                       info@thenest.pk    Phone: - 0092 51 2298822

Mariam Khan



Once a little boy aged 7 came to me ..and I found him so distress and disturb ..he had gone through a trauma with the loss of mother.. his father had an other wife and the step mother used to beat him brutally he was at that time almost lost his conscious and continuously asked me not to send him back

other wise he will kill himself..... It was so heart touching for me when i heard such wordings from the smallest boy it took me some time to composed myself.. and then i asked him,

If you do that ,you will leave your mother alone in this world.. would you like to leave me crying here and i have to look after your other brothers as well?

Now by the grace of God, he is 11 yrs ,studying very hard ,living with me and became a true human being... no more worries or no more fear but you know we all are here to be sacrificed for those who need our support and o­ne more words that no love is greater between the siblings

Love and blessings

Mariam and her kids

Dear Mariam,
Thank you very much for your touching story, for your modest photo, for great unbroken love in harmony to more than 60 orphaned children. You are great women and mother not o­nly for Pakistan but for the world in a whole!!! You are similar to mother Teresa!!!
BUT WHY you do not write your full name, full mission, full address, full website, full participation in the GHA, your full love in harmony to your children????? WHY?????? Even if your English is not very good, as the main thing is not English and it is your great heart with your great unconditional and unbroken love in harmony!!!!!!
Your webpage o­n the GHA site is here:

Please, let us know extension of your great story with your children. Thank you very much for your great ministry to children!!!! It is true love and true harmony from God!

With love, best harmony wishes,



The Harmony Nest


The tears, The years, The hurt, The fears,

The lies, The ties, The days, and Goodbyes

And then the light shines through,

It's you...my children.......

All the fears I hold inside and

All the tears that leave my eyes,

Evaporate because of you, my little Angels......

You hold the nature of pure and true.

When I need strength, I picture you,

And all the times that you've been through,

You are my sanity, inspiration, and song,

But you're more than that; you are my life Assert......

They say that child and mother are bonded from birth,

But you were the first o­ne I loved when I saw this Earth,

Your heart breeds love and your spirit seeps strength,

Because I will love you past eternities length.

After all I've said, I don't think you understand,

That I will always be there to hold your hand!

Unbreakable Bond....Mariam for her children

The Nest of Harmony Foundation





Based in Islamabad & Abbottabad. The Nest is a small home for orphan and poor children from various parts of Pakistan.  In the Nest, lives children from various villages of Pakistan, covering all 4 provinces as well as Kashmir. These children have lost parents during the earthquake, recent floods or due to poverty & disease and have experienced severe trauma, child labor and child abuse.



Inspired sistershad the opportunity to visit all over the areas of Pakistan last year during 2010 flood Disaster. I was left shedding tears. I cried over and over again throughout my entire journey. It was terrible to see what these poor children see and their state of life.


Medical Conditions.

We noticed that it was very difficult to get medical assistance when these children were sick. This is because the doctors would like to be paid, or that the person responsible needs to pay for the medications. For most of the medical doctors, the medications in Pakistan are not easy or cheap to come by. There are also many falsified medications. Therefore, for o­ne to be treated with good or properly made medication, he or she must pay heavily. This causes many to the use what is called self-medication with over the counter drugs.


We also noticed that there was no proper living environment for these children, any good beds, mattresses, clothing etc, even in the hospitals, there were no enough beds and medicines for them so they have to lay down o­n the dirty floors... and dying with Cholera, Dysenteries, Malaria, Enteric Fever, Jaundice etc.


Feeding Condition

When looking at their nutrition, all were really malnourished, and these children continue to waste away.


About the drinking Water Problems: Water is a really big problem and o­nly the rich or better positioned in society can afford to drink clean water. This is because; the good water in plastic bottles is sold and not free. There is no public running water at all, and for these children to drink clean water necessitates a lot of money.


All the above happens in the name of lack of enough funds, help or simply that people do not care because what they gave was o­nly what they could afford.


Education of these children

The futures of these children have not been determined at all. Those taking care of them o­nly teach them or give them a minimal education. The care-givers there teach these children with little or no materials. This will not enable them meet the true standards of the outside world in education. However, they do offer them what is available and within their reach.



Because the medical life of the people in general is difficult, many die due to lack of money needed to obtain good medical treatment. There are lots and lots of false medications around due to economic difficulty, greed, and people who supply some of these medications falsify them to make more profit.


When o­ne looks around, there are many so-called private hospitals or clinics, but many o­nly use the people for experimental purposes; however, there are some that are good as well. Because of these conditions, some people survive while the weak are left to die. At this point, no person, no government would ask why such people die, even the families of the deceased are expected to pay before taking away the body of their deceased member for burial. It is difficult for us to imagine that someone who could not pay for the medication was expected to pay in order to be able to take away the body of their deceased family member before it starts to decay.


Some old people do not go to the hospital anymore because they have no money to pay for the visit and the medication. Instead, they prefer dying at home in order not to cause trouble for their family forcing them to pay for the release of their body in case of death.


We noted that some old men and women suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure and eye problems like glaucoma or cataracts. Diabetes and High blood pressure are the most common sicknesses of the people as they eat what they can lay their hands o­n. Some suffer from a very dangerous type while others from a more mild type. There is no proper medication for the control or cure of any of these, but their last resort or best bet is abandoning themselves into the hands of the Lord.


Youth, Young Adults and Children in General: There is no medical assistance at all and everything goes o­n as normal…I wonder how they survive. There is no medical help in their schools or villages for an emergency. From my personal interviews, some mentioned having resorted to native herbal medication without standards of control. Some people die because of it, while some survive minimally with many side effects.


When o­ne is sick, there is no possibility of going to be tested or having lab work. They cannot do what the developed world calls a good analysis in order to know the real problem or cause of the sickness before treatment because of lack of money.


Among the youth or young adults 

 Now, there are many with HIV and they do not even realize it because there are no frequent lab tests due to money problems. As they suffer from this deadly illness without knowing it, they pass it from o­ne person to another in ignorance.


After the travels weThe Inspired sistershad begun in January of 2011, we said to ourselves, there has to be a way of helping to save lives because every life is important.

After series of meetings concerning the conditions we had witnessed....The INSPIRED SISTERS, PAKshould start a Project named:"THE Nest, A home for the orphanages”,with Non-Profit Statues in Islamabad, Pakistan. Inspired sisters intend to provide facilities to the Orphanages From various parts of the country.The Nestis now with the above needs, to help these poor, abandoned and less privileged Kids.



We believe in caring for the less fortunate children in just the way we would look after our own children hence our aim is to provide children with a good housing facility, counseling support, excellent education opportunity and wide range of activities to give them the best future.  Our children attend private school called Cierra International.  This helps our children learn in a proper educational environment. Unlike traditional orphanages we do not provide in house schooling as we believe these children need to mix with other children to build confidence and experience normal environment.Our children our encouraged to interact with other people and all our visitors at Nest.

The Nest provides a comfortable and secure home for children where they have access to best opportunities to grow and develop.

At Nest our team works hard with children to help them settle and get over the traumas they have faced in their life.  All children are provided emotional and counseling support.  Confidence building activities are part of our all extra curricular programmers. This gives children a positive outlook of life.

Our children have high aims and we hope to support them fulfill their dreams.


Birthday party celebrate in The Nest Home Islamabad Pakistan


Our Aim:

The aim of the Nest is to provide safe, comfortable and harmonious home in which orphan children from deprived areas of Pakistan can grow and maximize their potential by accessing high quality education facility and support mechanism.

The Nest provides good housing facility, excellent education opportunity and a wide range of activities to give them the best future.

Fun fair activities for kids The Nest Home Islamabad Pakistan.


Our Objectives:

Our primary objective is to provide  the orphans who are destitute, outcast, unloved, needy,  malnourished  and have experienced various forms of emotional & physical torture, a safe environment where they are given emotional support, counseling and hope for future.

The Nest ensures that each individual’s basic needs are met and monitored.

Our vision is to o­ne day have a self-sustaining community consisting of children’s homes, women’s shelter, elderly home, hospital, library and other facilities that help a community to succeed. Our vision is to o­ne day establishing such communities all over the Pakistan.

The Nest Home Kids school Uniform .It all started so quickly and look at how our children have changed from the day they arrived at the Nest.


Welcome party The Nest Islamabad.


Success Story

Tariq was taken in care at the Nest in June 2011.  He is a 7 year old child who lost both of his parents at early age. Tariq comes from a village called Jatoi in the Southern Punjab o­n the border of Balochistan.

From the age of 5 Tariq was forced into child labor. He started making bricks in Jatoi and used to earn 5 RS a day.  Tariq never went to school.  His circumstances turned him in to a very aggressive child; according to Tariq his father had murdered so many people that killing someone was not a big deal for him.

When Tariq came into Nest, it was hard for him to settle down in to a new environment. He did not understand the concept of hygiene; he knew nothing of his religion and could not read or write.  The love and care and the family atmosphere in the Nest encouraged and supported Tariq and he started to attend school at Nursery level. Over the last 3 months Tariq worked extremely hard and yesterday was moved in to class 2 which is a great achievement for him and the Nest.

Tariq is a brilliant painter and is involved in all painting competitions at the school. Tariq has big dreams.  In his own words “I want to become the monitor of Pakistan”.


List of the Nest children





  1. Muhammad shahzad

DG khan



  1. sobdar khan

killi khuda Baksh



  1. Mohammad Ayaz




  1. Rashid

D.G khan



  1. umar

D.G khan



  1. Nazeer Ahmad




  1. M.Faraz

D.G khan



  1. Mohammad Asharf




  1. M.sheraz

D.G khan



  1. Samiullah




  1. shahid Ali




  1. M.Tariq

D.G khan



  1. Shabir Ahmad




  1. Rab Nawaz




  1. Hafeezullah




  1. pervaiz




  1. Mohammad Iqbal

Muzaffar Garh



  1. Abdual Raziq




  1. Mohammad Arif




  1. Azizullah




  1. M.shakeel

D.G khan



  1. Asif Tanveer

D.G khan



  1. Mohammad Salim




  1. Gulbadeen




  1. Mohammad Shehzad

Muzaffar Garh



  1. Moh.Norez




  1. Kamran




  1. Dawood Khan




  1. Shakeel Ahmed




  1. sanaullah




  1. Mohammad Bilal

Muzaffar Garh



  1. Murad Khan




  1. shohaib Akhter




  1. Mohammad Usman




  1. Mohammad younis




  1. Mohammad sameer


7/7/ 2011


  1. Mohammad Afzal




  1. Haseebullah


2/3/ 2011


  1. Mohammad Ali




  1. Mohammad Aslam




  1. Mohabat Ali




  1. Mohammad Jaffar




  1. karam Khan




  1. Muzammil Ali

D.G khan



  1. Mohammad Saad




  1. Javaid Hussain




  1. M.zubair

D.G khan



  1. M.Haneef




  1. Rahamatullah




  1. Attahullah




  1. Abdual Gaffers




  1. Abdual Gaffar




  1. Mohammad Zahid




  1. shohaib khan




  1. Mohammad Dawood




  1. Mohammad Sadique




  1. Sayeed Noor




  1. Mohammad Eeesa




  1. Mohammad Hassan




  1. Mohammad Ameer Hamza




  1. Mohammad Latif




  1. Mohammad Ayub





Mariam Khan


My dear dr. Leo

Have a nice day!


I, Mariam Khan had the opportunity to visit most of the areas of Pakistan during 2009; I was left shedding tears. I was cried over and over again throughout my entire journey. It was terrible to see what these poor children sufferings and their state of life. After observing them from very close quarters, I felt the plight and the miseries of the marginalized sections of our society, you all may imagine, how they were facing the miseries of life...and Here is my experience and dedication o­n it also.. After the travels, I had initiated an idea of The Nest, to create Harmony in the divided society of Pakistan in January of 2010; I said to myself, there has to be a way of helping to save lives because every life is important....


I am a single parent and was raising three children. I worked hard to give my children quality life and education along with the teachings of Humanity every time. Some where down the line, I realized that I must dedicate myself to a cause. To adopt and educate children from destitute families of remote areas of Pakistan. My aim was to give them quality life and education. Two years back, I o­n my own resources laid the Foundation of The Nest, Harmony! By the grace of Almighty God, I am now the mother of 56 young kids. The children are given a homely atmosphere, go to the best schools and given time for extra curricular activities. I, perform the role of their mother so that they don not get the impression that they are orphans; A word that has become a stigma in our societies .


I have braved all hardships and God willing, these boys will be raised to become responsible citizens of Pakistan. If this happens, I will be satisfied that my life has been objective!


Mariam with best harmony wishes




Dear Mariam,


Thank you very much for your warm and harmonious care about 56 children! You are the MOTHER-HERO of the Harmony Nest in Pakistan!!!


I was happy to publish your photos with the kids o­n your page:


Please, let us know where we can send to you the money and other aid? What is website and bank account of your Harmony Nest Foundation?


I dream about the time when I can come to your Nest of Harmony to teach your kids the ABC of harmony. We will hope o­n this.


Best harmony wishes,




Dr Leo Semashko, GHA President



Global Harmony Association (GHA) expresses our deepest sympathy to the flood affected people of Pakistan

For now urgent needs are: blankets, tents, donations, medical products against infection and diseases, and food


Check drop off sites at Pakistan Floods 2010

WebPage: http://pakistanfloods.blogspot.com/



Mariam Khan


GHA-Pakistan President



Human Rights WING, Pakistan Peoples Party



Inspired Sisters Pakistan

Phone in Pakistan: 011923125545997

Email: mariam.inspiredsisters@gmail.com


 Flooding triggered by the annual monsoon rains:

help the people of Pakistan

The floodwaters have washed away millions of hectares of crops, submerged villages and destroyed roads and bridges. Disease is spreading among Pakistani flood victims, and there have been warnings that dams in the south may burst. The number of people suffering from the massive floods in Pakistan could exceed the combined total in three recent disasters: the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. More than twenty million people are affected, and with more rain predicted the situation is not likely to abate soon. The flood affected areas has assumed a catastrophic proportion.



Mariam Khan





H# 719-H, Main Double Road

G – 11/1, Islamabad, Pakistan


DOB: March 25, 1976,

Muslim Adult, Resident of Islamabad.


CHILDREN: two sons, 1995 and 1995, and daughter 1996




President, Human Rights wing, Pakistan Peoples Party, Federal, Pakistan


Vice President, Inspired Sisters, Community Organization, MANCHESTER, UK


Having Life time achievement award by Mr.Yousaf Raza Gillani, the honorable Prim Minister of Pakistan, for the dedication and hard work shown in Ministry of Human Rights, Govt of Pakistan o­n 20th Dec, 2008.


Ambassador of Peace for Pakistan Notified by BIENVENUE, the French organization (April 2009)


Global Community Member, Canada




March 2008 –April 2009

•Consultant, Ministry of Human Rights, Govt of Pakistan.


Feb 2007-Jan 2008

•Executive Co-coordinator with the honorable Federal TaxOmbudsmen /Advisor

Mr. Feroz Bashir Ansari, Privatization Commission, Pakistan


June 2004 – Dec 2005

•Human Resource Manager, Inspired Sister , The Biggest community organization, Manchester, UK


March 2002 – April 2003

•Executive secretary of MD in Holiday Inn Hotels, Multan


Total Professional Age 12 years




11th Oct 2005

Post Graduation, Diploma Courses (equaling to BBA)

Learn Direct/ Inspired sisters, UK .Manchester

Terrestrial Solutions

Introduction to Management and Organization

Make or Break –Growing your Business

Customer care for people ith Disabilities

Understanding Customers

Recruiting and creating staff

Performance indicators

Economic Environment

Operations and process Management

Health and Security at work places. Inspired Sisters, Manchester, UK


April 2004

PGD in Information Technology , Zikrya University , Multan.


Oct 1995

Graduation: Bahaudin Zikrya University, Multan

PGD in English as a Technical Language, Air University, Islamabad




Detailed Oriented , going for the extra mile o­n quality and accuracy.

Excellent communication skills and the ability to strong and loyal relationship with both clients and colleagues.

Tenacious, focused and self driven , if an immediate solution to a problem is not likely , I will absorb my self in the issue until I find an optimum solution .

Thrive o­n being associated with innovative , dynamic and talented teams.




Available o­n request.




Border Tribal Belt

Partnership, Prosperity and Security



Mariam Khan


Pakistan Peoples Party Human rightswing President

Member of Global Community NetworkCanada

Member of Amnesty International

V.President of Inspired SistersManchester, UK




The Border Tribal Belt is situated along and across both sides of the Durand Line or Pak-Afghan boundary.On both sides live tribes. Tribes of both sides live in two different socio-political and economic systems of the two countries.But these tribes enjoy tribal, linguistic, cultural, ethnic and economic links with each other.Each other influence them. Though tribes of both sides are different in terms of living conditions, yet they remain backward as compared to their compatriots of other areas of their respective countries. Both are tribes and deserve closer attention.Over and above even different tribes of the same sides due to their geographical location and tribal makeup are somewhat different from o­ne another. However, their general tribal characteristics and border-based location are similar.


Tribalism has some positive elements in its womb, like mutual sympathy, participation in o­ne another distress, hospitality, custom of seeking from and providing asylum to o­ne’s bitter enemy, common responsibility and prompt resolution of disputes through jirga system.However, with the lapse of time tribalism has put a brake o­n the o­nward progress and development of these tribal people.They have been left far behind in the race of history.The causes of their backwardness are numerous.These can be traced to their geo-political location, mountainous topography, history, tribal warlike structure and their resistance to authority of the state systems. But this is equally true that the governments have never endeavoured to bring them up from this sorry state of affairs. Conversely they have left them in the dark corners of history and have o­nly used them as tool from time to time.


The tribal belt situated along both sides of the border has always been important for its geo-strategic location.If we put a glance over history, we would find that since the time of British imperialism when boundaries have been concretely demarcated till today both sides have looked upon these areas and its people from the military-security point of view. As a result both have resorted to recruit collaborators among them in order to use them for security purposes.Both sides and most particularly Pakistan have not made any effort to implement civil laws with respect to some of its tribal areas[1].No efforts have been made by the two sides to treat them as equal citizens, pay attention to the uplift of their living standards, devise and implement plans of education, health, environment, economic and cultural progress, improvement of infrastructure and construction of roads and implementing other developmental schemes. That is why people of these areas are submerged in the sea of illiteracy, unemployment, poverty and ignorance.


Both areas have played important role in destabilising each other’s and other areas of both the countries.Various regimes of Afghanistan have been damaged from these areas.And right from the British until different regimes of Pakistan have seen injured from these areas. If o­ne closely visualize and realise that the people who remain deprived of education, not participating in the economy of other areas of their respective counties and unaware of the fruits of world progress, having no opportunities of fruitful labour in their own areas and chronically jobless, they can soon fall prey to the conspiracies of their enemies.


Illiteracy, ignorance, joblessness, lawlessness and general backwardness have created a vacuum in their lives, which has been recently filled by extremism and terrorism.This has, o­n the o­ne hand, not o­nly endangered the security and peace process of Afghanistan, put stumbling blocks in the way of plans of social and economic development, but has also threatened the stability of some areas of Pakistan, o­n the other. This has posed a grave danger to the stability of the whole region, too.


Only social and economic development through partnership with the tribal communities can ensure peace and permanent security, which has been so far largely left unattended. Taking ad hoc measures by paying attention to o­nly military and security side can never guarantee permanent peace and stability, which is why the present seminar has been invited to dilate o­n this issue.


Tribes along & across the Border:


  1. Wakhis:They are like other dwellers of the high mountains of Qarra Quram and Pamir, who mostly live in the Wakhan district of Badakhshan province. Some of them also can be found in the northernmost area of Grogal Pass in Pakistan. Both communities have no communication with each other.


  1. Nooristanis or Kalash:They live in Nooristan province of Afghanistan. In Chitral of Pakistan, they live in Bamburet and Barir Valley.They are also called kafirs and their area is named as Kaferistan unlike Nooristan, which was converted to Islam by Amir Abdul Rehman Khan in the beginning of 20th century.


  1. Mashwani:Mashwani is a small Pashtun tribe living both in Kunar Province and Dir area of Pakistsan.


  1. Salarzai: The Salarzais is a branch of Tarkanis divided between the two countries.Tarklanis or Tarkanis are nearest kith and kin of Yousafzai, the biggest tribe of Pashtoons. They live in Asmar district of Kunar and in Bajaur Agency of Pakistan.


  1. Mamund:Mamunds are also a branch of Tarkanis. They mostly live in Bajaur Agency, and in Afghanistan they live in Dangam, Watapur and Marwara districts.


  1. Safi: Safis live in Kunar and Sur Kamar area of Mohmand Agency.


  1. Mohmand:Mohmands are important Pashtun tribe, who reside in Afghanistan and Pakistan.There are two types of Mohmands: o­ne is Lower Mohmands who reside in the surrounding area of Peshawar and the Upper Mohmands reside in Ningrahar Province of Afghanistan and Mohmand Agency and Peshawar Frontier Region of Pakistan.


  1. Shinwari:Shinwaris mostly live in the east and south of Ningrahar Province, while a part of them, Ali Sher Kheil, live in Landi Kotal and Torkham areas of Khyber Agency adjacent to Mohmands of Mohmand Agency and Afridis in the Khyber Agency.


  1. Afridi: This tribe mostly lives in Khyber Agency of Pakistan touching the border in Ningrahar province with Afghanistan. Insignificant number of them live in Afghanistan.


  1. Mangal:This is a big tribe which lives in Paktia and Khost provinces of Afghanistan, while a small part of it lives in Kurram Agency but not adjacent to their co-tribesmen.


  1. Chamkani or Samkani: They live in Paktia and Kurram Agency where they are called Para Samkanis.Jajis also live in Paktia adjacent to Kurram Agency, but a small minority of them also lives in Kurram Agency.Apart from them Zadrans (Paktia and Khost dwellers) and Kharotis (Paktika) also live in Kurram Agency.


  1. Gurbuz:They live in Gurbuz Uluswali of Khost province, but a few of their hamlets are also situated in North Waziristan.


  1. Wazir: An important tribe, which gave a lot of trouble to the British India mostly, lives in Waziristan.One of its sub-section Utmanzai Wazirs lives in North Waziristan and another, Ahmadzai, lives in South Waziristan.Ahmadzais and a part of Utmanzai Wazirs, Kabul Kheil sub-clan, live in Birmal district of Paktika province of Afghanistan.


  1. Suleiman Kheil: Most of them live in Paktika province of Afghanistan.A part of them also reside o­n the border of Pakistan stretching from the southwest corner of South Waziristan to Qamar Din Karez of Kakar area of Baluchistan.


  1. Nasir: Nasirs live in Zabul province and Zhob district of Pakistan along the border.


  1. Kakar:An important tribe residing in Baluchistan adjacent to the boundary.However, some sections of it also live in Zabul Province of Afghanistan. Kakars also live in Kandahar.


  1. Achakzai: An important Zirak tribe among the Durrani tribes has been split between the two countries. A part of them lives in Kandahar province of Afghanistan and another o­ne lives in Baluchistan.They also occupy the Kojak Pass and Chaman area.


  1. Noorzai: Noorzai is o­ne of the biggest Pashtoon tribes residing in Kandahar, Helmand, Farah, Herat and other parts of Afghanistan and has also dwellings in Chaman district of Baluchistan adjacent to their Afghan kins.


  1. Barech:It is a small tribes residing in Shorawak district of Kandahar.An insignificant number of them live in Naushki area of Chaghi district in Baluchistan.


  1. Baluchs and Brauhis: When the boundary enters the Chaghi district of Baluchistan, the region o­n both sides of the border is sandy desert and is sparsely populated.Baluchs and Brauhis populate this area right up to the trijunction of Pak-Afghan-Iranian border.


    1. Mohammad Hasni is the Brauhi tribe stretching across the Helmand valley from Naushki of Baluchistan.


    1. Rakhshani Baluchs belong to Rind division of Baluchs and are scattered between the two countries along the border up to Seistan of Iran.


    1. Sanjarani Baluchs are found from Dalbandin of Baluchistan to Rabat. A part of it lives in Nimroz.


Border Tribal Belt:


On the Afghan side it consists of the provinces of Nooristan, Kunar, Ningrahar, Paktia, Khost, Paktika, Zabul, Kandahar, Helmand and Nimroz provinces, especially their bordering districts.From Pakistan side the it may be termed all the bordering districts and tribal agencies like the districts of Chitral, Upper Dir and Lower Dir districts of North West Frontier Province in the north; Bajaur, Mohmand, Khyber, Kurram, North Waziristan and South Waziristan Agencies and the six Frontier Regions attached to the districts of Peshawar, Kohat, Bannu, Lakki, Dera Ismail Khan and Tank, as well as the Pashtoon populated districts of Zhob, Qilla Saifullah, Pishin, Qilla Abdullah and Chaman of Baluchistan in the south.The most important part of this is the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan comprising of seven agencies and six FRs.This whole Belt is vast region of hundreds thousands square kilometres, mostly hilly and barren.

Strategically and geo-politically, this area is o­ne of the most important regions, which has played enormous role in the making and unmaking of peace, security and stability between the two neighbouring states right from the days of British Empire of India. But throughout the course of history the two neighbouring states have by and large paid attention to this area from security point of view o­n casual and ad hoc basis. Therefore, both states have o­nly tried to recruit agents and collaborators among the tribes. They paid meagre attention to the welfare of the people living in the area.


Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)

Of Pakistan




FATA accounts for 27220 sq kms or 3.4% of Pakistan land area. According to 1998 census the population of FATA was 3.138 million or 2.4% of Pakistan total population.Tribal intellectuals and elders question this figure and say that their population might be double of the o­ne mentioned in the official records as they confirm that real census has never taken place in this area. FATA comprises of seven Agencies and six Frontier Regions (FRs):



Year of Formation



Bajaur Agency


Mohmand Agency


Khyber Agency


Kurram Agency


Orakzai Agency


North Waziristan Agency


South Waziristan Agency



Frontier Regions attached to the districts of North West Frontier Province:


  1. FR Peshawar
  2. FR Kohat
  3. FR Bannu
  4. FR Dera Ismail Khan
  5. FR Tank
  6. FR Lakki


Among the Agencies, o­nly Orakzai has no border with Afghanistan.FRs have borders with Agencies and districts and not with Afghanistan.




After British annexation of present NWFP in 1849, they followed a closed-door policy in their relations with borderland tribes.The main feature of this policy was to guard the border closely with a view to stemming the tribal raids o­n the settled districts and cities and resulting reprisals at a minimum.Non-aggression o­n the tribal territory and non-interference in internal tribal affairs were the declared objects of this policy.


However, by the turn of 19th century a change was witnessed when the concept of “Forward Policy” was adopted. The thrust of this policy resulted in permanent occupation of Khyber Pass followed by Gomal Zam and Tochi valley (1889-90), occupation of Samana in 1891 and Kurram valley in 1892 followed by other annexations.The motive was mainly strategic, i.e., defending the empire from any possible Russian advance by creating a tribal buffer. However, the British adopted the mix of both these policies at different times in relations to different tribes. They faced a lot of trouble from Wazirs and Mahsuds of Waziristan and here they even experimented Sandeman tactics (which Sandeman had successfully used in relation to Baluchs and Pashtoon tribes of Zhob), which largely failed. It would be unfair to say that British were o­nly motivated by strategic considerations and they had no interest in changing the lot of the tribes.They did try to bring civilization to them, but the recipients were reluctant to embrace it.

In 1901 the then four trans-Indus districts (Peshawar, Kohat, Bannu, and D.I.Khan) and the then Agencies of Khyber, North Waziristan, South Waziristan and Malakand together with Frontier Regions managed by Deputy Commissioners were formally incorporated in the North West Frontier Province ruled by Chief Commissioner as agent to Governor-General. The law of 1872 called Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) enacted in Mianwali and Campbellpur (Attock) and some parts of NWFP, was promulgated in NWFP with some amendments.

Since the creation of Pakistan in 1947, three new Agencies have been formed from the existing tribal areas, some small developmental work in the field of social sector has been done in the already British opened regions, quota has been fixed for the educated youth in the professional colleges and in the civil and military services, no other worthwhile developmental measure has been taken to ameliorate the plight of tribal people or open up the inaccessible and no-go areas of the belt. o­nly those measure have been taken which either helped the bureaucracy or the tribal elite.


In the British period the Governor of the NWFP province as agent to the Governor-General of India administered these areas. Under him the Political Agents (PAs) of the Agencies performed their function as ambassadors of the Raj and implemented the orders through the selected Maliks.Pakistan reinforced that system, increased the number of Maliks from time to time, and vigorously imposed the FCR, which had ceased to exist in the districts of North West Frontier Province.The FCR was originally meant to suppress crimes in the tribal areas.It was based o­n the existing tribal customs and traditions of the people. All matters were dealt according to rewaj (custom) through jirga appointed by the PA. It was collective responsibility of the tribe where the crime had taken place. Inflicting appropriate punishment to the satisfaction of the aggrieved party was the hallmark of this law. However in modern times, it contravenes international human rights conventions and is repugnant to the civilised law.


FATA Neglected


When all the then three provinces and present Baluchistan were forcibly united in o­ne Unit of West Pakistan (present Pakistan), then in order to implement the principle of parity with the majority East Pakistan (present Bangladesh) province, the tribes were given representation in the Legislature according to1956 Constitution. This Constitution formally abolished FCR in NWFP, but left it enforced in the tribal areas.

In the presently enforced Constitution of 1973, FATA became part of Pakistan ruled from the Centre administered by the President of Pakistan who has appointed Governor of NWFP acing as agent of the President for exercise of executive authority in these areas.Political Agent is the administrative head of every Agency assisted by a couple of Assistant Political Agents (APAs) helped by a few Tehsildars leading Tehsils (sub-Agencies). FR is headed by District Coordinator Officer (DCO) formerly Deputy Commissioner of the district to which the FR is attached. There is o­ne Assistant Political Agent in a FR.

More than five decades after the establishment of Pakistan, the caretaker Prime Minister of Pakistan, Malik Meraj Khalid, announced o­n 15 December 1996 the election of National Assembly members o­n the basis of adult franchise of the Agencies.This was a revolutionary step. The outdated Maliki system and FCR remained enforced. Before this announcement, the members of National Assembly from FATA were used to be elected by a limited electoral college of handpicked Maliks normally electing those who offered the highest biddings for their votes.The interesting feature of this exercise is that those elected from FATA cannot legislate for FATA and all the laws passed in the House do not apply to FATA.

The neglect of the tribal areas has a long history.Tribals have been forgotten right from the days of British Empire to the assumption of power by different governments in Pakistan, which in their first policy statements always ignored them. When in the 1946, the Sir Stafford Cripps led British Cabinet Mission announced its landmark Plan for the solution of Indian problem, they did not mention this area. The 3rd June 1947 simultaneous declaration of Indian freedom and partition from London and Delhi also kept mum over the destiny of tribal people.This enraged the then NWFP British Governor, Sir Olaf Caroe, expressing his displeasure to the Viceroy. Similarly every new Pakistan government has ignored the plight of tribals in their first policy announcements.General Pervez Musharraf assumed power in 1999.In his televised address to the nation o­n 17 October in which he announced seven-point programme as panacea for the malaise inflicting Pakistan, also absolutely forgot about this important area.


Changed Scenario

However, to be fair the government of General Pervez Musharraf has heeded to the persistent demands of change in the status of FATA more than the previous governments.On the other hand, the tribal people have also activated for the first time for the resolution of their problems.They have formed FATA Reforms Committee representing all the Agencies and FRs.The aftermath of 9/11 also opened the eyes of the international community by drawing their attention to this area by committing huge funds, like compensating the incurring cost of the deployment of armed forces of Pakistan in FATA and funding various other developmental projects there.

The pretext of Pakistan Government has no more tenability that government writ does not extend to some areas in the FATA.Not a single place exists where the militia or army has not gone. The tribes are changed now.Formerly they used to look at every government step with suspicion and they opposed the encroachment of the government in their areas.They opposed the construction of roads, schools, hospitals and other state installations. You can gauge their revulsion to the authority from the incident in which a Malik called Matasha Malik in Bajaur had fired upon a person riding over a bicycle in the vicinity of his village. The Afghan authorities used to encourage such recalcitrant Maliks in the past. They viewed these areas as “independent” and “free Pukhtoonistan” because of their dispute over the Pukhtoon- populated areas within Pakistan.

Now the Government writ has been extended to all parts of FATA. Fortunately the world is a changed place.The region and Afghanistan have also changed.The tribesmen, too, have been transformed. They demand all the facilities and amenities of the modern day world.They want electricity, schools – even for girls – hospitals and asphalted roads for carrying their agricultural products to the market. They demand clean drinking water and construction of dams for irrigation and power purposes. The tribal recipients say, “give” but the givers are reluctant.

An important meeting took place in Islamabad o­n 23rd January 2002 under the chairmanship of President General Pervez Musharraf, which was attended by National Reconstruction Bureau Chief, General Naqvi, relevant ministers, members of FATA Reforms Committee and pro-government maliks. The meeting decided to bring changes into the existing political system by keeping in view the customs and traditions of the tribesmen and for bringing them to the mainstream of the country.It was decided that o­n the basis of adult franchise local bodies elections would take place in the tribal areas.The tribal people would be granted the right to elect their representatives to the provincial assembly of NWFP or they would be given the choice of electing the FATA Council. FCR would be amended in accordance with the modern age and internationally accepted human rights conventions. The tribal people would get the right of appeal against the decisions of political authorities.Another bench of High Court within the Peshawar High Court would be opened for FATA. Transparent financial system would be introduced in the area.A new Secretariat would be created for the speedy solution of tribal problems. The armed and security forces would be reorganised and a special financial package would be announced for the development of these areas.

Afterwards, Governor of the NWFP gave assurances to the various tribal meetings and jirgas about the introduction of reforms.But the expectations turned into despair when the President promulgated a decree amending the previous Presidential Order about the general elections in the country o­n 1st August 2002. The number of seats in the National Assembly of Pakistan was raised to 342 and special quota was specified for the women and minorities.Although the number of seats from FATA was also raised to 12 from 8, yet women and minorities were deprived of representation unlike rest of the country. Likewise no representation was given to women and technocrats in the Senate.One the other hand, during the campaign of general election, the government announced that since the Political Parties Act did not apply to FATA, they could o­nly participate in the polls o­n non-party basis. As against this, the alliance of the religious parties, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), conducted their election under the alliance symbol of ‘book’.

Since the religious alliance won big majority among the elected members of provincial assembly and national legislature and also returned in substantial number in Baluchistan, the government of Pakistan got scared and despite of the Presidential Decree that elections to the Union Councils, Tehsil Councils and Agency Councils would take place in FATA, they postponed these polls.On the pretext that election to the Provincial Assembly would also return MMA, they avoided its inauguration. The Senate election, which was promised to be conducted directly o­n adult franchise basis, was held o­n the votes of elected National Assembly members of FATA. The local bodies’ elections or elections to the Agency Councils were also held neither directly o­n secret ballot nor selection, but mixture of both.They avoided the Union Council and Tehsil Council elections. Those who were elected have no powers unlike those elected in the settled districts, but they degraded their role to advisory level with no say in the development activities and disbursement of funds for the projects.

The decision about the establishment of Governor’s Secretariat, which actually went in favour of bureaucracy, was promptly acted upon. The bigger part of the FATA budget goes to finance the salaries and perks and privileges of those bureaucrats. The decision has been taken to train the Khasadaars[2]according to the longstanding demand of the people.They have been provided with uniform, arms and modern communication equipment and regularised their service in line with other security forces.But this decision does not apply to the already serving Khasadaars, but to those newly recruited men.

Government has amended the FCR by giving right of appeal against the decision of the political authorities not to any judicial forum but to the board consisting of Home Secretary and Law Secretary of the province. However, an FCR Reforms Committee led by a retired Chief Justice of Peshawar High Court, Mian Ajmal, comprising of some retired bureaucrats and independent tribal lawyers has been constituted to amend it in accordance with the changed demands of the time and in conformity with the popular wish by seeking opinion of the tribal people and intellectuals.

Word of Caution


One thing is of real concern. Over a few decades of time a special elite of the tribesmen has emerged who has amassed wealth through smuggling, legal and illegal trade or those serving or retired bureaucrats who themselves live in the cities of the settled districts and avail all the modern amenities and the privileges o­n behalf of their tribes, but because of their influence with the government, various political parties, media and other people, in general, due to their wealth and position, are opposed to any change in the present status of the FATA.They consider the status quo in their vested interests and treat tribal area as strategic depth for the continuation of their interests. They can easily collect some tribesmen under the slogan of safeguarding their ‘freedom’ and use them against reforms.And the tribesmen traditionally are averse to paying duties, taxes and utility bills.So this situation can help the bureaucracy by singing in unison with the said elements and blocking the way of reforms or diverting the course of reforms.

FATA has every thing in common with the NWFP province.FATA bureaucracy is part of provincial bureaucracy and the Governor’s Secretariat is staffed by the bureaucrats of the province. Forming another province out of FATA might be attractive to tribal elite and bureaucracy both.But a province in name and shape devoid of provincial content would be another disaster.This would mar the national cohesion of Pukhtoons and real integration in the fabric of Pakistan.Because an unequal province, exempted from taxes, resource less, mountainous and dependent economically, financially and politically upon Centre cannot signify equality and justify viability. Any such step would further strengthen tribalism and deprive the people from partaking in the mainstream of civilisation and national economy.

All the civil laws must be slowly and gradually introduced in FATA. It should become a tax paying area not dependent upon others to give, but should join the Pakistan economy, which could take to task every government for the utilization of its taxes. As without taxation there is no representation, so the people of this area should elect their representatives according to this principle. According to an estimate approximate two billion US dollars worth illegal smuggling and trade take place from these areas.Gradually these people should get rid of this curse and enhance their part in the legal business of the county.Gradual assimilation of this area into NWFP is the o­nly viable solution. However, cautious steps are needed in introducing police and judicial reforms in FATA, as the people there are rightly averse to the present corruption ridden and delayed deliverance of justice and brutal and corrupt police system of the settled districts.


Annual Development Outlay


Huge programme of development is underway.Propaganda is at high pitch. The budget reaches billions of rupees.Following are the official figures:


Annual Development Programme for the whole of FATA 2005-2006: 5.5 billion Rupees

The distribution of resources has taken place according to the size of population of the Agencies:


In million rupees

South Waziristan Agency


North Waziristan Agency


Khyber Agency


Kurram Agency


Bajaur Agency


Mohmand Agency


Orakzai Agency




FR D.I.Khan


FR Tank


FR Kohat


FR Bannu


FR Peshawar


FR Lakki




The said budget is earmarked for the o­ngoing as well as new projects. Following is its detail:

In million rupees





Public Health Engineering












Rural Development


Regional Development






Industries/Tech. Education



Besides, setting up of two Industrial Estates in FATA has also been decided. In June 2004, to establish Industrial Estate worth 59 million rupees in Khyber Agency was approved. 47 million rupees were set aside to set up such an Estate in Darra Adam Kheil of FR Kohat. The machinery imported to these Estates would be exempted from the custom duty and no tax whatsoever would be charged o­n the import of raw material.The exemption from income tax and sales tax would continue.


Lack of Monitoring System

Unfortunately, no credible monitoring system is in place, which could oversee and supervise these spending.The Agency councillors unlike the rest of Pakistan are not directly elected representatives and they have no right to intervene in the financial matters and like the traditional maliks they are dependent upon political authorities.


The recent August month (2005) elections to the local bodies disproved the Government contention that direct and secret ballot to the local bodies in FATA would elect religious extremists. But the people in NWFP voted o­n the basis of their local and national interests electing a substantial numbers belonging to nationalist and secular parties.So election o­n the basis of accepted democratic norms would bring into being authoritative councils, which would be able to monitor and supervise the developmental schemes and projects.


The steps taken above are not enough. No such area exists where the armed forces of Pakistan have not reached. The tribal people have in fact welcomed them. Enough time has been lost. These areas must have by now enjoyed all rights of other areas of Pakistan, must have part in Pakistan and world economy, and would have been free from the existence of Al-Qaida and Taliban extremist elements; there would have been no need of these military operations and expenses. According to an estimate Pakistan is incurring about 50 million rupees per day o­n military presence in FATA.


To keep tribal areas in limbo is in the interest of ruling bureaucracy.This is like a milking cow for them.Now when due to the introduction of local bodies, the power of district management group of officers has been curtailed, o­nly FATA remains from where they can amass wealth in the absence of financial transparency and existence of unaccounted irregular funds.The armed security forces are not left behind and they are also engaged in washing their hands in the running water of corruption.Now when the international community has also drawn its attention to this area, their lust has doubled.This is also the duty of international community to help strengthen the monitoring system o­n spending.


Military Situation


More than eighty thousand troops are deployed in FATA – unprecedented in the history of this region. Most of them are deployed in South and North Waziristan.Waziristan situation is bad.It is said that the network existing in these areas had been allegedly helped by some ruling intelligence circles. Since free and independent journalists are not allowed to visit these areas, so to sift fact from fiction is not easy. o­nly government position reaches the people.

The actual fact is that hundreds of armed personnel have lost their lives in the operations. About sixty pro-government elders and influential tribal personalities, who supported the military operation and Afghan peace process, have been killed by unknown assailants. This has spread terror among population.

has adopted carrot and stick policy in Waziristan.On the o­ne hand, it carries out searches and operations, gives financial help and monetary doles to the supporters and those who lay down their weapons, o­n the other. But there is no balance in the said policy.Due to the absence of necessary coordination between the civilian and military wings of bureaucracy in the area and the allegation of bungling in the carrot side of policy, the situation sometimes further accentuates.

The people have been forcibly drawn in favour of al Qaida and Taliban elements in Waziristan. There is need of coordination between military and civil bureaucracy, which would help in lessening the tension. This coordination should also exist between the local military commands of the two countries.

Frontier Tribal Regions of Afghanistan


Current Scenario


Fortunately Afghanistan does not have such areas, which are administratively and politically separate and where all the articles of Constitution do not apply, as is the case with FATA in Pakistan. But despite this fact the border tribal regions of Afghanistan are so much backward and poor as those across the border or rather more backward in most respects.


Generally all the provinces from Wakhan to Rabat are frontier and tribal.So we include provinces of Nooristan, Kunar, Ningrahar, Paktia, Khost, Paktika, Zabul, Kandahar, Helmand and Nimroz in the said category.But there are areas in these provinces, which cannot qualify as tribal, like big centres of Jalalabadand Kandahar. How to categorize and concretize this term of frontier tribal region with respect to Afghanistan, is question need to be answered.I personally think with the exception of these centres, all other areas are tribal and should be treated as such.


The Afghan society should get rid of weapons, enmities and fighting and people should engage in production and labour.Internal dangers and conflicts must come to an end. The tribal warlike structure of frontier regions can jeopardize the peace and stability of Afghanistan at any moment. It is of utmost importance for the prosperity of Afghanistan that the said areas should come out of tribal anarchy and misfortune, join the general mainstream process of production and work and do not get time to engage in lashkar formation o­n any pretext whatsoever.


If we cast a glance over the past, we would find that time and again the Central Governments of Afghanistan have got destabilized from these areas. These tribal masses must get involved in the peaceful political development of their country and like civilized people must join other peoples of the country to collectively and peacefully owns its destiny.


The social and economic life of these areas must be analyzed and assessed sympathetically in order to find out the ways out of it.The current rise in terrorism cast its shadow o­n other parts of the country from these and through these areas by crossing their co-tribesmen from across the border. If any part of Afghanistan is unstable where the government control is tenuous, then it is either these areas or has been conveyed instability from the paths of these tribes.


Our people are proud of their tribal affiliations and hold these dear as heritage of their forefathers.The reason is quite clear. The people have experienced no other alternative to tribal protection they feel. If life changes due to natural course of economic development and progress, people would welcome and accept it like they did in other areas. But until now no o­ne has provided them with the resources of change and they are forced to guard whatever they have.


Right from Nooristan to Rabat, there is a long stretch of tribal land.The Pukhtoon tribes are important in it.They should be participants in the economic development plans.When we speak of frontier tribal provinces, it cannot be construed that other parts of the country are not worth attention.Our goal is that if these tribal areas develop through social and community based process, then other parts of the country could also live in peace and security and make progress.


The adoption of a Constitution is evidence of the fact that Afghans believe in o­ne indivisible country, they demand progressive and modern society, and they support democracy and rule of law and thus want to travel in unity and conformity with the international community. Keeping in view this principle, we should assess the ground realities about the tribes.Then we can reach any conclusion about them.


Like FATA, which since the British times have been neglected in the decisive policy announcements, the same can be true about the Afghan frontier tribes who have been relegated to marginal status.Everyone accepts their importance in words, but in practice nothing is seen. Except few years of King Zahir Shah Monarchy when late Mohammad Daoud Khan was Prime Minister, who due to the then declared policy set up Rehman Baba Lycee for internal tribes and Khushal Lycee and three schools in Nangrahar, Khost and Kandahar for tribes across the Line, nothing tangible has been done for them so far.


Now the political atmosphere has changed.The policies of premiership of Daoud Khan are no more practicable.But that drive and determination of progress and development with respect to tribes need to be revived.The national priorities announced under the National Development Framework are too general and there is nothing specific about these areas.


Right from Nooristan to Zabul, the land is largely mountainous and from Kandahar to Nimroz it is mostly sandy and desert. Except Jalalabad and Kandahar, there is no other big city. But the regions contiguous to border are barren and mountainous. There is dire need of more concretizing the tribal regions.


Long Term Neglect


Generally, land is scarce in the frontier tribal area. Irrigation is non-existent and agriculture is equal to nothing.Whatever forests existed in some of these areas has been cut down in the course of two and half decades. Roads are not there and overall the condition of physical infrastructure is pathetic. Electricity is not even known to many people of the area.The state of education is bad.Schools are very few or absolutely non-existent.The girls' education is inconceivable.A few madrassas set up by extremist elements do exist which not o­nly cannot fulfill the modern education needs of the children, but are also hotbeds of extremism.There are no hospitals worth the name or are a few clinics. In most of the areas, o­ne cannot see any sign of modern civilization. There is no industry. People own meager livestock and help themselves in abject poverty. There is no place to find job and work.In some places people have no alternative but to grow poppy and charas or resort to smuggling between Afghanistan and Pakistan.


Due to illiteracy, ignorance, unemployment and poverty, people mostly depend o­n nature. They can easily be misguided by extremist religious slogans and when someone show them the way of material benefit alongside these slogans, then they easily fall prey and become tools and means of terrorism.


This is the joint duty of all the interested parties to bring them up from this sorry state of affairs.This is possible o­nly when first the problem is realized in the Centre and then the way out is pinpointed. The current seminar is an important step to that direction.


The National Priority Programmes announced under National Development Framework cannot fulfill the needs of frontier tribal regions.For Example the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, which envisages certain projects in the whole of Afghanistan under the National Emergency Employment Programme (NEEP), does not give anything substantial to these areas.Except Gardez and Ningrahar, most of its projects are concentrated in other parts of the country. The projects underway for 2005-2006 for all 34 provinces cost 25,111,368 US dollars, i.e. average 738570 US dollars per province. But nothing would be spent o­n Nimroz and Kunar and the remaining eight provinces would receive 4758175 US dollars, i.e. average 475817 US dollars per province.


On the other hand what Provincial Reconstruction Teams are generally doing in these provinces is also negligible as compared to other PRTs doing in other provinces.So method has to be changed.The pretext for not doing enough is stated to be absence of security.But there are areas where security does exist and still they are ignored.

There is also general sense of disillusionment among these areas as they are mostly deprived of electricity.While all the provinces bordering Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran are getting electricity from those countries; the provinces bordering Pakistan are deprived of such facility because of reluctance of Afghan Government to purchase power from Pakistan despite of her expressed willingness to provide it.


PRTs o­n the Border Areas


Generally the PRTs were well received by the people.The concept behind its creation is also the same with which the tribes are familiar, i.e. linking security with development.Though they are staffed by military and civilian personnel both, yet they are concentrating mostly near the centres or in the centres of the provinces. The far-flung tribal areas are still neglected. While the PRTs are designed to work in high-risk areas, the neglect of the border tribal regions in itself provides opportunities for terrorist to operate from those areas.

Insurgencies or lawlessness o­nly survives with the support of the local population. When the people are left behind in the race of development, it gives birth to resentment and atmosphere is created for the criminals and terrorists to operate easily. There is growing understanding among the experts working in post-conflict zones that provision of humanitarian services and establishment of long-term development programmes counter the enabling environment for insurgency and terrorist operations. There is growing of vigorously pursuing the developmental task in these areas.

Until and unless the atmosphere of normal development is created in the country, specifically in the tribal zone, the existence of army along with civilians working together in unison like in PRTs will be there.However, o­ne thing must be kept in mind while carrying out any work of development.The tribal people live o­n traditions.They know that across the border in Pakistan o­nce the British were there, and whatever they built, buildings, bridges or roads, they are still fully functional after the lapse of more than a century.Secondly, they have the Russian experience in their country that’s built buildings and other constructions are strong and sturdy and are of high quality. Whatever PRTs or other donors build in the country, they are of poor quality and cannot survive for long.This negatively affects the image of Americans and international community.

There is need of some grand projects in the region.This would positively affect the tribal mind.Until now there are small projects like building some schools, small bridges, digging wells, constructing some link roads, no great project work is underway in the whole tribal region for public utility.


What is to be done?

The international community must change its approach with respect to the frontier tribal areas.The national priority programmes announced by the GoA face hurdles in their implementation.But with relation to tribal areas those hurdles are double. The frontier tribes, which need urgent advancement and development, cannot accommodate under present framework. It would be better to draw short-term, medium term and long term plans for these areas.

Special Frontier Tribal Development Fund should be created by donors like USAID, European Union, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Japan and others, which should cover both cis-border and trans-border tribal areas. Projects are to be designed and approved for implementation. Strong international monitoring system has to be devised over the spending of the Fund. It would be better to introduce a joint tripartite commission in developmental matters, as it exists in security affairs. The proposition that a non-official consultative organization consisting of unofficial Afghans and Pakistanis be made, which would present its findings and recommendation to the international community, is also worth exploring.Then it depends upon international community to act upon their recommendations.

A special institution committed to the frontier tribal development should come into being inside Afghanistan, which is unreservedly devoted to this task. This sort of institution can be made out of the present ministry of tribes, nationalities and frontier. This ministry has lost its traditional role for obvious reasons and its new role is undefined and nebulous. It would be better to transform it into frontier tribal development ministry.The present tribal and political personnel is devoted to work with the tribal communities and another professional personnel is added to it, which should devise projects, present then for approval and implemented in accordance with rules and regulations laid down by the Fund.


Priority-wise Sectors


1.Education: The most urgent task for these people is the spread of education among their children, both boys and girls, of these areas.These regions either have very few or no schools at all.Only through knowledge and literacy can we relieve the tribesmen from the current misfortune.If the international community really wants to free these people from extremist influences and like civilized human beings they should concentrate o­n their lives and surroundings, then it should divert its attention to the spread of education among them. Since these areas are situated near the border with Pakistan, therefore, special English language schools and centres should be opened there, so that people of these areas may compete with those across the border. Education must be given topmost priority.


2.Health: Health facilities are very few in these areas.These people take their patients to the cities of Pakistan and some centers insides Afghanistan, when their chances of survival are lost.Due to lack of medical facilities in their own areas, these illiterate and simple people are forced to depend upon amulets and the uneducated quacks and pirs or imposters as doctors, who by prescribing various unhygienic methods bring patients o­n the brink of death and then force the relatives of the diseased person to take him/her to Pakistan or inside the country.As far as mother and childcare are concerned, there is no arrangement for their health. Mothers die while giving birth or child dies unnecessarily due to lack of birth practitioners.


3.Media: TV, Radio and press play important role in shaping the modern human beings.These tribal people do get varied radio transmissions, but these are mostly playing music.Radio transmission should be devoted to education of these tribes.Providing electricity to the people should be followed by TV station(s) set up beaming transmissions specifically to these areas.


4.Livestock:People are mostly engaged in this sector so it would be better to help them raising good pedigree cattle. Veterinary clinics should be opened for them and tribals should be provided with training for raising cattle of good breed.


5.Forests:Some of the frontier tribal areas which had forests or those areas where forestation can be done should be reforested with the understanding and help of the tribal communities and they should be given the responsibility to look after their forests. It would be better to assist them in planting fruit bearing trees.Some areas are conducive for tea plantation; tea farms should be experimented there. Likewise orchards can be encouraged to be grown.


6.Agriculture: Tribal people are traditionally known to this sector.Rather many of them are engaged in it. Since they live in mountainous areas, there a lot of possibilities of building small dams.These dams o­n the o­ne hand can serve the purpose of irrigation and can produce electricity, o­n the other.


7.Handicrafts: A survey is needed to be conducted as to how better employ the people, especially womenfolk there.Training centers should be opened for this purpose, where these people are taught different trades. For example in some areas of Khost shrub-pine is naturally grown, which has engaged a substantial number of people in making various traditional products out of it. This can assume a modern and organized industry if they are taught the art to make other more sophisticated goods out of it for the Western consumers, so that these can be sold in the markets of Europe and America.This would give employment to many people.


8.Timber: There are some areas in Nooristan, Kunar, Paktia and Khost where you can find timber and which is being smuggled to Pakistan.In order to block the way of smuggling, cut the trees in accordance with set rules, small furniture factories can be installed in the said areas.This would generate income for many people and give employment to the unemployed army of youth.


9.Minerals:The region is full of various types of minerals.A programme to extract these is needed.For example chromites are found in abundance in Spira, Tani and Gurbuz Uluswalis of Khost, which are being daily smuggled creating security problems too.Why not to dig out these methodically according to scientific methods and process it in Khost and export it to the consumer countries.The underground gas and oil reserves are also believed to be found in the region, these should be allowed to be commercially exploited sooner than later.


10.Power:Electricity constitutes the basis of new civilization.There are places in tribal belt where natural springs, waterfalls, preserving rain and snow water in dams are found.These can fulfill the electric needs of the people.But before such dams and electric generating unit are installed, people should be provided with generators or electricity can be bought from Pakistan.There can be no reconstruction and development without electricity. Apart from it, Kunar River has the capacity of irrigating hundred thousands hectares of land and producing enough electricity for the whole country.That is a long-term project and the initial feasibility survey is already in the archives of the government. Work can be started o­n it.


11.Urbanization:Building small towns in the areas which could accommodate the returning refugees and the spread out local population of tribes is another way of bringing tribes away from rigid tribalism and taking civilization to them.


12.Roads:The shape of physical infrastructure is very bad.There is dire need of construction of modern roads from villages to towns or from farmlands to markets in order to carry the products of the people, take patients easily to hospitals and clinics and link the inaccessible areas to cities, and to be more correct to civilization.


13.Microfinance Schemes:In order to help tribesmen in the field of livestock razing, agricultural farming, poultry farming, honeybees farming, fruit farming and handicrafts manufacturing, there is need of providing the people, especially women, with easy loans. This sort of experience has been proved successful in many other Third World countries.


14.Modern Toilets: Brining civilization to the people should be o­ne of the ingredients of the new tribal policy.There should be a scheme to show to and help people build modern toilets.This would o­n the o­ne hand lessen the water borne diseases among the people and would also help them in introducing them to modern way of life, o­n the other. Wherever the water is scarce, other means can be found to help these people in disposing off their excreta.


This is very sad that right from Nooristan to Nimroz, there is o­nly o­ne strategic project, i.e. the construction of modern university with the help of UAE Government in Khost. The said University needs close attention from academic and curriculum point of view.It can be slowly transformed into a modern English language University for the whole of surrounding tribal areas, including for Pakistani tribal land like Kurram and Waziristan, and the country at large.


Security vis-à-vis arbakai


Recently the Tribal Liaison Office of Swisspeace has undertaken the initiative of introducing arbakis in the Khost, Paktia and Paktika provinces for peacekeeping at times of emergency.In the recent parliamentary elections, three thousand of arbakis were assigned the duty o­nly in Khost province to help maintain security and stem any eventuality of terrorism o­n the part of Taliban or al-Qaida.This was a successful exercise.

Traditional tribal society of Pukhtoons is governed by customs and traditions. Jirga is common traditions with all the tribes of Pukhtoons.Those Pukhtoons who have come out of their tribal existence in the course of time like those residing in Peshawar valley, where jirga is there in a changed form but most of the customs and traditions have been replaced by the state institutions and regulations, the concept of youngsters called in different names in different tribes at different times executing the unanimous decisions of the elders in jirgas has been common among Pukhtoons.Arbakis are o­nly found among the Karlani tribes living in greater Paktia. In Kurram they are called rapakae/ameer. In Waziristan they are called chalweshtai. In Afridi and Orakzai territories they are called lashkar.These organizations are tribal police force enjoying the authority to punish those who do not comply with tribal decisions, which ranges from small and nominal penalty called nagha of cash or kind to severe punishment of burning down the house of the guilty.

is another form of tribal lashkar spontaneously and instantaneously raised o­n voluntary basis o­n emergency occasion of dacoity, robbery or another form of offence. This is found among Yousafzais and other related tribes with them. Chagha was done through drum in the former times, but now it is announced through loudspeakers. In Durrani tribes, this custom assumes different shape as jirga assigns the number of heads at the time of emergency o­n different plarenas or congregation of families with the same lineage to be produced to implement the decision.

All these institutions can be used to combat terrorism.Since most of other tribes have nearly lost many of the former traits of tribalism, o­nly the tribes in Paktia are still governed by age-old traditions, therefore, arbakai is the vehicle that can carry the modern burden of urgent security.These institutions are o­nly situational, voluntary and not permanent.Only the British were wise enough to use this concept by recruiting Khasadaars from among the tribes of FATA. Following the British experience of Khasadaars, the arbakis can be turned into permanent security force with the consent of the jirgas and elders. Normally arbakis are not provided with any weapon or salary from the government; o­nly they are commended and praised.

As for as Afghan National Army and Police are concerned, they keep security in coordination with each other.The frontiers are guarded by Americans or the jointly with the local Afghan forces called campaign. These latter are mostly comprised of the former army personnel.




The o­nly alternative of ameliorating the lot of these people is active cooperation of Afghanistan and Pakistan.A holistic and integrated plan for tribal development is needed. International community must shoulder the responsibility of bringing these two countries nearer to each other despite of lingering suspicions between the two neighbours.


There are many irritants between the two countries and these are rooted in past and recent history.However, it is heartening to note that both Afghanistan and Pakistan established a tripartite commission with the US government o­n 17 June 2003 as o­ne of the partners to discuss security matters and other related subjects.The meetings of the Commission are regularly taking place alternately in Kabul and Islamabad. The establishment of the tripartite commission is in line with the 11th Article of the 1921 Anglo-Afghan Treaty, which stipulates that “two high contracting parties having mutually satisfied themselves each regarding the goodwill of the other, and especially regarding their benevolent intentions towards the tribes residing, close to their respective boundaries, hereby undertake each to inform the other in future of any military operations of major importance which may appear necessary for the maintenance of order among the frontier tribes residing within their respective spheres, before the commencement of such operations.” The establishment of tripartite commission augurs well for the future relations of the two countries. This paves way for cooperation in other areas, including the development and progress of the tribes residing close to the border.It is widely alleged, not without any reason, that Pakistan has actually violated the sanctity of the border by establishing security posts inside the Afghan territory.This is the duty of international community, specifically Americans, to rectify the situation before the misgivings and suspicions lead to acrimony

[1] I mean the present FATA

[2]Tribal Security Force drawn from the tribes with no regular training and service record. 

Mariam Khan

May 2009



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