FATA as the wild flower and show of its fierce independence and resilience is still a proud feature of Pakistan. Growing up in the rugged gorgeous land of Waziristan, I was weaned on the values of unflinching loyalty to Pakistan and of tribal courage and never-say-die attitude
FATA as the wild flower and show of its fierce independence and resilience is still a proud feature of Pakistan. Growing up in the rugged gorgeous land of Waziristan, I was weaned on the values of unflinching loyalty to Pakistan and of tribal courage and never-say-die attitude. Moving onwards to the current political flux now, the symbol of Pakistan’s federation, PTI Chairman Imran Khan has laid out his plans for rehabilitation and restoration of rights of the brave tribal people of FATA.
He is the cynosure of the locals of these areas, in as much as he is the darling of others in Pakistan. At a time the federation is being strengthened by the magnificent nationalist narratives propounded and swept across by the visionary Imran Khan, FATA stands braced to play its role in a prosperous Pakistan. As a backdrop, imagine people who decisively defied the divisive Pakhtunistan Movement sparked by other elements in NWFP and adjoining zones, and ensured Pakistan remained intact. Imagine the grace and zeal of a people who, according to secret British government documents, formed large armed groups to defend Punjabis who were being slain in the border areas of Indian Punjab at the time of partition in 1947. Imagine the people who were at the forefront of laying down their lives to protect their nation in the 1948 Kashmir war.
Imagine the beautiful and courageous people who stood with the ideology of Pakistan, despite being subjected to extreme hardships in their own country, as millions were displaced due to engineered strife stemming from 9/11 event with which they had no link whatsoever. The Federal governments of Pakistan have brutalized them, yet the tribal regions remain steadfast and have shunned any anti-Pakistan drive, for the love of the nation is in their hearts. Huge credit is due to PTI here, as it is the beacon of hope and continues to strive for the rights of FATA people through genuine, practical and far-reaching initiatives and plans. The tribals are a warrior race, for defeat is a term unknown to them as nothing is dearer to them than their dignity and nationalist pride. They have given a lot to Pakistan and loved it, but in return successive Pakistan governments have held them economically captive for the political elite’s own ends. But PTI is a different proposition, and the tribals know it. The clouds of gloom are lifting fast, as the warrior leader of Pakistan, Imran Khan who is the heartbeat of tribals, is forging an immensely powerful drive to extricate FATA from economic despondency and to integrate it with the adjoining burgeoning Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
He is on the cusp of federal power, as evidenced by the spate of mega joinings as PMLN ranks suffer an exodus of shaken and awakened political souls who sense Pakistan calls out to be led into the league of progressive nations. PTI has come brilliantly to the fore, and amongst its core election manifesto statements is a commitment to integrate FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – to give voice to the tribals, to re-introduce the local devolved system of governance which was being run so brilliantly before the 9/11 tragedy when government of the time yielded to draconian demands by the United States and sent its own troops into the region, thereby antagonizing and depriving its own people. PTI has put together a viable and highly robust plan for FATA, which has been duly endorsed by the area leaders in various meetings and also in the recent FATA Convention.
Imran Khan knows the area and the people very well as he has travelled to all corners the region, even leading the famous and successful 2012 Waziristan March to draw world’s attention to the horrific American drone attacks that were psychologically hammering the tribal youth and kids, and destroying our national integrity. But as we move on to present times, all eyes of FATA people are set on the great man, for they relate to his wondrous appeal, and have embraced him as their leader. They have unequivocally rejected the hypocrisy and selfish deviousness of the likes of Fazl-ur-Rehman and Achakzai who have been utterly exposed, as far from being benefactors of the tribals.
The opposition of the two self-proclaimed leaders to the KP-FATA merger is a stark manifestation of their corrupt and decadent politics. FATA’s merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is a phenomenon whose time has come. It will play its role in strengthening PTI to federal power. “The Wild Flower”, in all its glory and radiance, will again blossom deservedly.