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March 7, 2015

Pak-Afghan bitterness of past 13 years has been removed


March 7, 2015

Former Ambassador Ayaz Wazir has said that bitterness of the past 13 years between Afghanistan and Pakistan was removed in two days during the visit of President Ashraf Ghani and now the two countries are walking on the same road to cooperation.
Mr Wazir was responding to questions at a seminar on ‘Peace and reform in Fata’ organised here by Sustainable Development Policy Institute in cooperation with the PPF, he asked the Armed Forces of Pakistan to fight the war against terrorism, with the support of the people local people, by taking them on board.
In his presentation he said, military is fighting militants, but the local people are getting a hit from both the sides. He said the very nomenclature Fata, suggest that the tribal area is being administered from the center and not being governed, which is unacceptable to the local people and is against the spirit of their culture. He said exercising a new arrangement for governing Fata should be left to the local people, so, they can exercises the right of self-governance. He compared FCR with apartheid. But, he said, the regulation should continue till the time new arrangement is made.
Former Chief Secretary, KPK, Khalid Aziz said that Britishers think that NWFP was part of India but not British India. He quoted Quaid-i-Azam saying that two contingent of army will be removed from Waziristan “as we trust the tribesmen” though he wanted to spare forces for Kashmir area. He said that Pakistan broke the promise of the Quaid that “we will not touch Fata” when we sent forces there in 2007.
He said that Article 247 of the constitution gives the concept of “joint sovereignty” which is sharing power with the local people. This, he said, can bring tribal and social cohesion which is a must for transferring responsibility to the locals after the military operation is over. He said that Pakistan military after 9/11 is following a strategy of clearing, holding and building which should

also include transferring responsibility to the locals.
General (r) Raza Muhammad Khan, former Commandant National Defence University, said that Pakistan lost $80 billion and 50,000 lives in this war. He said that unprotected areas of Fata ware misused thereby compounding the problem.
Former Inspector General of Police Fayyaz Toru said that it is the police that should be strengthened to fight terrorism. Malakand was won over from the militants as a result of using police. He said that legal framework should be improved in the area.
Dr Abid Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI, said that improving food situation in the areas was necessary for a durable peace. He said that according to an SDPI study, bulk of the population back in 2003 was food insecure. Once again, 82 per cent of the population was food insecure in 2009. He said that overall security situation cannot improve without first ensuring human security. Chairman, BOG, SDPI, Shafqat Kakakhel thanked the panelists and audience in the end.

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