Academic journal article Pakistan Journal of Criminology

Crime and Insurgency in FATA: A Public Perception Survey of Khyber Agency

Academic journal article Pakistan Journal of Criminology

Crime and Insurgency in FATA: A Public Perception Survey of Khyber Agency

Article excerpt


At this time Pakistan is the worst hit country by terrorism. No city or area is beyond the reach of the militant extremists in carrying out terrorist activities that include suicide attacks, bomb blasts, target killings and kidnappings. No place is safe from them. Even markets, mosques, shrines, educational institutions, hotels, government offices and offices of security agencies are not spared. Therefore, attempts devoid discriminations among civilians, children, and women with conspicuous focus on security forces. This has led to a fearful society with masses losing faith in government in controlling the menace of terrorism and in providing them adequate security.

Pakistan is in the grip of insurgency for the last several years in its different parts which has been responsible for scratching down the wheel of development, breaking down the sense of security among the masses and overturning the social structure of the affected zones. The writ of the government in Pakistan especially focusing on the tribal belt known as the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) and Provincially Administered Tribal Area (PATA) is not properly being established. The poor writ of the state in FATA is a reflection of the socio-economic underdevelopment and deprivation, invalid political structure, constitutional vacuum and Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) (Ziad, 2009). The unprotected borders which are prone to foreign infiltration has created such an atmosphere which has let the paths open for those who are disturbing the law and order situation and promote insurgency in the country. This insurgency is not only affecting Pakistan but also its neighboring countries and international community as FATA is being considered a safe haven for the insurgents.

The American attack on Afghanistan has further increased the vulnerability of tribal areas of Pakistan to unwanted elements, and even it has disturbed the tribal people. The insurgents demand of the local people to provide them man power to work with them and also to pay cash money. Consequently, military operation was launched by the government against the desperate forces but the insurgency still prevails in the affected zones. However, the local communities reluctantly left their respective areas and became IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) in different parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The cultivated land of IDPs became barren, their businesses were ruined and their assets are put to risk and the whole social system of them was disturbed. This powerlessness of the state raised many questions in the minds of people regarding the ineffective role of security agencies and the logic behind the question of not integrating the tribal people into the fiber of socioeconomic development. Rotberg (2004) observed the emergence of warlords as the result of breaching of the writ of the state which inwardly promoted their sectional and community loyalties. These warlords terrorized the local people and established their power-based position for generating different sources of income, including sale of narcotics and arms besides being involved in different kinds of criminal activities as well.

The resultant outcome was imminent i.e. the emergence of economy based on illegal activities like drug and human trafficking along with rise of militancy which took a shape of trade (Townshend, 2009; Haidar and Arther, 2008; and Aziz, 2009). The unique geographic location with little control of the state has led to the rise of Talibanisation and insurgency. This insurgency works as a breeding ground for the training of the insurgents involved in different sort of attacks not only in the given area but even beyond the region. The fall out of these processes in Pakistan is embarrassing.

Pakistan's geopolitical role is gaining eminence due to the involvement of different international stake holders in the area. However, Pakistan as a state is being a question mark for local and international analysts of the field as well. …

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