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Waziristan’s Conundrum

By: Amjid Aziz Wazir

Waziristan has always been plagued with terrorism, violence, and instability. Their impact has wrought enormous damage to the indigenous people of the region. Despite having ample natural resources and untapped or partly tapped reserves of coal, oil, gas, chromite, and copper, this hapless region is marred with operations and unending terrorism encounters.

This has plagued the potential and dynamic process and prosperity of the Waziristan region. The majority of people live a substandard and impoverished lifestyle. The reason why the very abundance of precious land resources could not bear a genuine fruit for the well-being of this region is because an exploitative extraction of these resources go unchecked and unaccountable due to a fright security situation there.

Waziristan has such an abundance of resources that if tapped fairly and efficiently, not only can it make this impoverished region prosperous but it can also help mitigate the curse of extremism and terrorism; there is no denying the fact that terrorism and extremism have roots in economic inequality and abject poverty.

Our state institutions and the concerned authorities should mull over other way-outs beyond kinetic operations to ensure peace and prosperity. Had merely short-sighted approaches and strategies been effective in steering this region out of the quagmire of conflict and violence toward real peace, they would have done this so far. Waziristan issues and woes need insightful and comprehensive steps that go beyond what state authorities keep telling us viz. security. But people-to-people connections from grassroots levels of the socio-economic fabric of society to engage masses of the region to help improve things is also equally mandated.

Waziristan is entitled to have its resources harvested from its own people rather than an unfair mechanism of exploitation and extraction.

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