The hundred years old law of Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) is still in place in FATA under which Khassadars, Levies and Frontier Corps are responsible for ensuring law and order. Police are not allowed to operate in FATA under the existing law of FCR. A letter was sent by the FATA Secretariat to the political administration of Khyber Agency few days ago to propose sites for establishment of police stations.
Politicians and elders of FATA have different views about establishment of police stations in the tribal areas. Some members of the FATA Political Alliance are happy with this proposal considering it as a step towards merger of FATA with KP, while the FATA Grand Alliance and FATA Political Jirga are strongly opposing this proposal because they consider it against the tribal traditions.
FATA Political Alliance former president Nisar Mohmand, who belongs to the ANP, says the proposal of police stations has been made as part of building infrastructure in the tribal areas.
“The letter from the FATA Secretariat to the political administration has sought proposals for sites to establish police stations. It is obvious that the procedure of KP Police will also be adopted in FATA,” he told TNN.
Jamaat-e-Islami’s FATA naib ameer Zar Noor Afridi, who is also a leader of FATA Political Alliance, don’t see any truth behind the proposal of establishing police stations in FATA and believes that the anti-merger tribal maliks are misguiding people in this regard. He believes that the local Levies and Khassadar officials will take charge of these police stations in the tribal areas after receiving training.
“These rumours have been spread to impede the reforms process. Sartaj Aziz’s report has also recommended to train the local Levies and Khassadar force and give them powers of police,” he told TNN.
FATA Grand Jirga president Malik Bahadur Shah Utmankhel, who hails from Bajaur Agency, opposes police stations in FATA, but says separate police system would be set up in FATA if it gets the status of province.
“Nothing will be allowed here against the wishes of people. We won’t approve police culture in FATA as the tribal people know well how to resolve their disputes. However, we will follow the Constituent if we get a separate province,” he said.
Malik Zar Muhammad Kokikhel from Khyber Agency says changes must be brought in the FCR in best interest of FATA people instead of making such experiments. “The FATA people want reforms within the FCR and end to sections 11, 21 and 22. They will not accept police culture,” he told TNN.
However, another tribal elder Alamzada Orakzai, who hails from Khyber Agency, welcomes police system in FATA on the pattern of KP to ensure rule of law. “People in FATA used to escape after committing crimes. Some people were punished under the tribal traditions, while others got away. Now we want improvement in this system and establishment of a session court along with police stations. Every culprit must be punished and the law of jungle must come to an end,” he said.
Youth representative from North Waziristan Sherullah Wazir, like other tribal youth, believes that the tribal population will never find it difficult to embrace police system. He says tribal youth should also be appointed in FATA police alongside Levies and Khssadars.
“We welcome police culture in FATA. The services of Levies and Khassadars should be utilised for this purpose, but poor tribal youth should also be included in it. Tribal people are familiar with the rural and urban areas of FATA and they understand the process well,” he said.
Noor Rehman from Makeen tehsil of South Waziristan says: “It is a positive development that genuine complaints of people will be addressed at police stations. People may get their rights through the police.”
Aminullah from Khajori, Mir Ali, says: “FCR is in place in FATA since 1901. The new system will perturb us. We are used to the tribal Jirga and Levies system. Police culture may create difficulties for us.”
Wazir Gul from Orakzai Agency says: “We welcome the police system. We may alter the future strategy if police failed to perform here.”
Muhammad Sadiq from Bara, Khyber Agency, says: “What we have gained from the police stations of Peshawar? How can we expect these police stations to deliver in FATA? There is no use of bringing police stations to FATA as this will be a futile exercise.”
Ghulam Nabi from Mohmand Agency says: “Women would also approach police stations in FATA which will not be a good impression. People live under Shariah in FATA. The arrival of police stations may create a situation of might is right.”
This article has been taken from TNN programme Badloon which highlights political activities and reforms process in FATA. TNN producers Shan Muhammad and Salman Ahmed produced this programme which was broadcast from five radio stations of FATA and KP.
TNN correspondents Shah Khalid, Gul Muhammad Mohmand, Shah Nawaz Khan Afridi, Anwar Shah, Malik Azmat, Hikmat Shah, Nabi Jan Orakzai and Rizwan Mehsud contributed to this article.