Kainat Ali

PESHAWAR: Terror incidents reduced significantly in erstwhile Fata after merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The credit for improvement goes to the security forces and other institutions.

However, increasing land disputes are now troubling the peaceful environment of merged districts and dozens of people have lost their lives in clashes over such disputes. Peaceful resolution of these disputes by bringing all parties to disputes to negotiating table is a huge challenge for the administration.

Currently, land disputes are surfacing in Kurram, Mohmand, Bajaur and North and South Waziristan tribal districts.

Ahmed Khan Wazir, a social activist, said while talking to TNN that the main reason behind the unending land disputes in merged districts is unavailability of land record. He said the government must introduce a transparent system to end these disputes. He said a large number of people in merged districts were displaced from their native areas due to the wave of terrorism, and when the situation improved and people returned to their homes, now land disputes have brought them face to face.

Irfan Mehsud, another social activist, told TNN that the recent clashes between Dotani and Zalikhel tribes over land dispute exposed the weak grip of the government. He said many innocent people lost their lives in clashes between the rival tribes. He said the Pakistan Army and security forces have completed their duty of defeating terrorism, and now it’s the responsibility of the civil administration to bring reforms and ensure durable peace.

Abrar Khan, a lawyer, said while talking to TNN that the KP government was supposed to bring land reforms after integration of erstwhile Fata, but it totally failed on this issue. He said land disputes used to be resolved in the area through Jirga system before the merger.

“Now land disputes are referred to courts which seek proof and evidence from parties to dispute,” he said, adding that people can’t bring proof and hence don’t approach the courts.

Abrar Khan said the main reason behind so many land disputes is that the people in the past trusted each other and sold and purchased land without any documentary proof. He said the government will have to find a mechanism for resolution of land disputes without further delay.

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