Academic journal article The Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences

The Tribal Areas under the Administration of the West Pakistan Province

Academic journal article The Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences

The Tribal Areas under the Administration of the West Pakistan Province

Article excerpt

Introduction and Background

A Tribal Area in Pakistan means a region inhabited by the tribesmen and excluded from the control of police, revenue, and justice departments of the general administration. Spread over an area of 27,220 sq. km with total population of approximately 3,176,331 persons according to the 1998 census, the Tribal Area is administered through the 1901 Frontier Crimes Regulations.

From time immemorial the Western Hindu Kush Mountain Range permitted invaders to pass through it to Indian Plains but never encouraged to settle, due to geographical hardships. The Mughals only maintained their hold to keep their routes open to Kabul and Qandhar. Sikhs had stopped their conquests at the foots of the Western hills. British Imperial designs compelled by Russo-phobia succeeded in drawing a Frontier with Afghanistan, Durand Line (1893) and developed an indirect system of administration through Agencies and Frontier Regions by Political Agents and Deputy Commissioners in charge respectively.

After the establishment of Pakistan, the Frontier States and Tribal Areas acceded to Pakistan by negotiation with Quaid-e-Azam and became part of the Federation of Pakistan and a Ministry of States and Frontier Region (SAFRON) was established to look after its affairs (Khan, 66).

Another important Political and Constitutional development in Pakistan was the formation of One Unit Scheme in the western half of Pakistan. The then Governor General, Malik Ghulam Mohammad, wanted to inaugurate it by an executive order in March 1955 but was compelled by the Federal Court to appoint a Constituent Assembly for that purpose; Frontier States and Tribal Areas were allocated eight seats (Gazette, 1955) in the Constituent Assembly. The Province of West Pakistan was established by integrating provinces and states through a Parliamentary Act called the Establishment of West Pakistan Act, 1955 (Aziz 30), and was inaugurated on October 14, 1955 (Dawn, 1955).

The Tribal Areas of Baluchistan, the Punjab, the North-West Frontier, and the states of Amb, Chitral, Dir, and Swat, which were referred to as 'Specified Territories,' were incorporated into the Province of West Pakistan in accordance with the section 2 (1) (b) 4 of the Establishment of West Pakistan Act 1955; no change in the internal administration of the 'Special Area' (Tribal Area) was authorized. Furthermore, the Act provided for the mechanism through which a Law or Act could be extended, or Regulation made for the 'Specified Territories,' and directives given by the Governor General to the Governor regarding Tribal Areas (Gazette, 1955). For the administrative purpose, the West Pakistan was divided into 10 Divisions, which were sub-divided into 50 districts under the executive authority of the Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners respectively. The former NWFP and Tribal Areas comprised the following Divisions:

1. Peshawar Division: The districts of Peshawar, Mardan, Hazara and Cambellpur; the States of Dir, Swat and Chitral; the Tribal Areas attached to the districts of Peshawar, Mardan and Hazara; and the Agencies of Malakand, Mohmand and Khyber.

2. Dera Ismail Khan Division: The districts of Dera Ismail Khan, Bannu and Mianwali; the Tribal Areas attached to the districts of Dera Ismail Khan, Bannu and Kohat; and the Agencies of Kurram, North Waziristan and South Waziristan (PLD., 1955).

In this divisional arrangement Kohat and Kurram Agency were part of the Dera Ismail Khan Division. However, they were incorporated into the Peshawar Division on November 25, 1960 through the President's proclamation mainly owing to the great hardships people faced in maintaining their links with the distant divisional headquarter of Dera Ismail Khan (PLD, 1960). In the establishment of West Pakistan Act, 1955 the arrangement of seats to the Legislative Assembly of the Province and the number of member of each of the Council of elders (Jirga) of Tribal Area and Frontier states were mentioned as follows:

Tribal Areas of Former NWFP

a) Khyber Agency - Three

b) Kurram Agency - Two

c) Malakand Protected Areas - One

d) Other parts of Malakand Agency - Two

e) South Waziristan Agency and Dera Ismail Khan Tribal Areas - Two

f) North Waziristan Agency and Bannu Tribal Area - Two

g) Mohmand Agency - Two

h) Tribal Areas adjoining Hazara and Mardan districts - Six

i) Tribal Areas adjoining Kohat Districts -Two

Frontier States

i. …

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