A Deconstruction of Some Myths About the Pakhtun

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Farhat Taj*

Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), on the border with Afghanistan is important in the context of the war on terror, because Al Qaeda and the Taliban have safe havens in the area. Almost all of FATA and parts of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) have been occupied by the Taliban. As the Pakhtuns suffer the worst kind of atrocities at the hands of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, many political analysts, both in Pakistan as well as in the West, who have little knowledge of the Pakhtun culture, continue to churn out myths which downplay, if not justify, the devastating impact of the Taliban assaults on the very core of the Pakhtun culture. There is a great lack of ground information about the people and culture of FATA in Pakistan and abroad. Analysts both in Pakistan and the West, most of who have never been to FATA, spread and perpetuate views that have almost nothing to do with the reality of the people and culture of FATA. Therefore, it is my intention to expose some of these distortions, deliberate or otherwise, in the media.1 There are many myths constructed by ‘others’ about Pakhtuns and, in this essay, I will focus on a few of these.

Osama bin Laden, Taliban and the Code of Pakhtunwali

At the time of the 9/11 Al Qaeda attacks on the US, Osama bin Laden was hiding in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. The refusal of the Taliban to hand him over to the US prompted the latter to attack Al Qaeda hideouts in Afghanistan which resulted in the collapse of the Taliban regime.

The question that arises here is why the Taliban refused to hand Bin Laden over to the Americans, and this is particularly relevant because no Afghan citizen had any role in the 9/11 attacks. A considerably large segment of the media, research and defence communities in many Western countries attribute the refusal to the code of Pakhtunwali.2

The argument in the West is this: The grant of refuge is integral to Pakhtunwali.   Such asylum, once accorded, can never be withdrawn as that would be considered extremely dishonourable and at complete variance with the Pakhtun code. The Taliban ruling Afghanistan, being Pakhtuns, abided strictly to the norms of Pakhtunwali. Thus the refuge they had given to Bin laden could never be rescinded, even if that meant the total destruction of Afghanistan as a consequence of US bombing.

As a Pakhtun, I consider this linkage of Pakhtunwali to the refuge given by the Taliban to Osama bin Laden as unwarranted and extremely upsetting, because it is based on a completely wrong understanding of the Pakhtun code.

The lives of Pakhtuns are said be tailored strictly in accordance with the dictates of   Pakhtunwali. What then is this code? Among the Pakhtuns it has been an oral code handed down from one generation to the other. The only written references to the code are mainly to be found in Pakhto folk poetry, known as tappa. Many of the most famous tappa are, however, also oral. In actual fact it was the non-Pakhtuns, i.e., ‘the others’ who reduced the code into writing in accordance with their own fanciful understanding of Paktunwali. The ‘others’ were the mighty of their age who confronted Pakhtun resistance to their power and these included  the Iranians, the Mughals, the British and people linked with the establishment of Pakistan. Each one among these ‘others’ had a vested interest to write and interpret the code in line with their own objectives. Based on these self-serving interpretations of Pakhtunwali by the ‘others,’ some authors in the West have also contributed to the stereotypes about the Pakhtun, for example, Stanley Kurtz.3  I and a researcher at AIRRA,4  Khadim Hissain, are jointly writing a series of papers to elaborate this background about the code of Pakhtunwali.

Among the Pakhtuns there is nothing in their code that is permanent except the institution of the jirga, i.e., decision making at the tribal council. Depending upon the circumstances, if the council decides to annul the refuge or hospitality granted to anyone, it has to be terminated. There are many precedents in Pakhtun society where refuge granted or hospitality offered to someone was withdrawn in accordance with the decision of the jirga.

I have heard people in Western countries arguing that the Taliban convened a jirga after the US demanded that Osama Bin Laden be handed over to them so that he could be brought to justice. The jirga, it is said, rejected the US demand and decided to continue giving asylum to Bin Laden no matter what the consequences.

This again is based on an erroneous understanding of the institution of the jirga. A Pakhtun jirga, especially one convened to deal with a matter of public or national importance and interest is held in a wide- open and spacious place. The purpose is that anyone who wishes to can participate in the proceedings and have the opportunity to be heard. This ensures that people do not have to rely on rumours and secondary sources of information. Thus everyone not only has the right to know but also to express views, make comments and even raise objections which are then discussed in the jirga. Even sworn enemies set aside their hostilities, albeit temporarily, in order to participate in such jirgas so that collective decisions can be taken for the furtherance of public interest. According to the dictates of Pakhtunwali, enemies cannot be attacked en route to the jirga, during its proceedings and on their way back from the inter-tribal council.

Seen in this context, the jirga convened by the Taliban to decide whether or not to hand over Osama bin Laden to the Americans, was not a jirga at all in terms of the code of Pakhtunwali. It was at best only a Wahabi and Jihadi gathering having nothing to do with the code. For instance, how many traditional tribal leaders were invited by the Taliban to the ‘jirga’?  Not one, according to my information. How many non- Taliban Pakhtun were invited?  Not one, as far as I know. Afghanistan is not a country of the Pakhtuns only. There are other ethnicities as well. How many of these ethnicities consisting of the Tajiks, the Uzbeks, the Hazaras etc., were invited? After all this was a ‘jirga’ dealing with the fate of the whole of Afghanistan as the country was facing the threat of an attack by a superpower. A point that is both important as well as relevant is the widely held opinion of the Pashtuns to the east of the Durand Line which was enunciated publicly by the late Khan Abdul Wali Khan, a veteran accepted by all the divergent groups of the Pakhtuns in Pakistan, to the effect that refuge or asylum accorded to a person or a group that had attacked another country was ipso facto null and void and had to be immediately withdrawn.

Most societies in the West are based on knowledge: they believe in what they know. I have great respect for that. I hope that the researchers and the media of the West will also try to improve their knowledge, sifting the truth from make-belief, about the code of Pakhtunwali before associating it to the acts of commission and omission by the Taliban or Al Qaeda. Pakhtun are ‘Conservative’ People

There are many in the mainstream Pakistani media, both Urdu and English, who contend that the Pakhtun culture is conservative. Those who adhere to this view often write in the context of the ongoing Taliban militancy in the Pakhtun belt. They never explain how this perceived ‘conservatism’ in the Pakhtun culture is compatible with, or at least tolerant of, the acts of terrorism and violence against the Pakhtuns perpetrated by the Taliban. If the people, the culture and the land where I belong had not been passing through such turbulent and cataclysmic times, I would have ignored these analysts as biased and opinionated people who were exercising their inalienable right to freedom of expression.  But under these precarious circumstances, I believe, that silence and failure to set the records straight is fraught with dangerous and far-reaching consequences.

alien Wahabi way of life on the Pakhtuns that is starkly and completely removed from their culture and traditions. The Taliban have banned the civil liberties that the Pakhtuns have always taken for granted.  For example, shaving off or growing a beard has always been recognized and respected by the Pakhtuns, or for that matter any other civilized society, as an entirely personal choice. It is ridiculous to even consider the imposition of rules requiring men to grow beards in order to demonstrate their religiosity. In their fervour to stifle, violate and trample over the long established civil liberties of the Pakhtuns, the Taliban seek to vindicate their absurd diktat on the question of beards by claiming that it is in accordance with the traditions of Prophet Mohammad. They construe shaving as an outrage and an insult to the Prophet and therefore those who do so are liable to be killed. Furthermore, after violating the sunnah, or the way of life of the Prophet, clean-shaven men become hypocrites when they go to pray in mosques. Hence, the bomb attacks on the mosques that kill such people are justified. I have almost always lived in the NWFP and FATA and never have I encountered such absurdities which not only violate the freedoms inherent in Pakhtun culture but also the cardinal tenet of Islam that there must not be any coercion in matters of faith.

To veil or not to veil, to send or not to send girls to school or university and to permit or not to permit women to work are issues that have always been the exclusive right and responsibility of the Pakhtun family. No unrelated person can intrude in such matters according to the dictates of Pakhtun culture. Any interference would be construed as a violation of the family honour. I personally know scores of women in FATA and NWFP who have taken up jobs in male-dominated professions such as law, engineering, architecture etc. I have never heard that the families of those women were ever excommunicated or even criticised by Pakhtun society even in villages. On the contrary such families and women have been a source of inspiration for other parents, both rich and poor, who also want their daughters to get education and play responsible roles in public life. The Taliban are enforcing Wahabi gender values on the Pakhtuns by bombing girls’ educational institutions and forcing women to stay in their homes.

Opinionated outsiders do not even bother to go to the Taliban- occupied Pakhtun areas and see what is happening there, but yet they seem to believe they have a right to question any information about the sufferings of the Pakhtun living under the savage rule of the Taliban. They should travel to Waziristan, Orakzai and Swat with their families and live there for some time. Nothing short of the trip to the Taliban made hell in the Pakhtun areas would diminish the insensitivity with which they portray the Pakhtuns in the media and mislead public opinion.

It is time for those non-Pakhtun Pakistanis who have had the opportunity to live among the Pakhtuns in their towns and villages to expose the myths that have been fabricated about the Pakhtuns by some of their less-informed fellow Pakistanis. This would be in the interest of the integrity of the country.

Pakhtun are either Religious or Sold out to the Highest Bidder

Another myth frequently associated with the Pakhtuns is that they are religious, i.e., they are essentially religious extremists who adhere to an inflexible interpretation of the code. The other stereotype is about the supposed unethical lust for money among the Pakhtuns. The first stereotype implies that the Pakhtuns are prone to religious extremism and the most likely political leadership among the Pakhtun can only be the religious leaders or mullahs. It also implies that the code of Pakhtunwali demands a fierce independence from the Pakhtun, which in turn makes them hostile to integration in a modernising state structure, including the democratic structure and processes of the state. Alongside this another implication is that the code of Pakhtunwali directs the Pakhtuns to forge alliances with non-state actors, such as Al Qaeda, who also do not accept democracy. The other stereotype is that Pakhtuns who are not Taliban or supporters of the Taliban are sold out to the highest bidder. An understanding of the Pakhtun culture based on these stereotypes leads to the conclusion that the Pakhtun mentality and culture are not compatible with democracy.

This essay questions these views. It argues that such opinions are wrong in terms of: one, the history of the Pakhtuns in FATA; two, the notions of social science. FATA is a key battleground in the war on terror. It is therefore important to understand the people, their culture and history as they are rather than to look at them through the prism of stereotypical objectification based on distortions, both intentional and unintentional. The distortions may contribute to the hardships of millions of people of the area besieged by Islamist militants5 from all over the world. Such distortions also make it difficult to understand the dynamics of the war on terror. If we fail to understand the dynamics of the war on terror, the strength of the militants will grow, which will threaten democratic dispensations all over South Asia, Central Asia and the rest of the world. The recent terror attacks in Mumbai, widely believed to be linked with Islamist militants in Pakistan, and the attack on the Sri Lankan Cricket team in Lahore highlight the threats to democracy in South Asia.

In his article in The News on 25 November 2008 Khalid Aziz6 says: “The problem that the Pakhtun is prone to religious extremism and readily accepts membership into millenarian movements to resist reform of a centralising state which externalises Pakhtun governance and politics; he cannot live with the transfer of his management to a larger entity like a modernising state. This is because he fears that his social conduct, ‘Pakhtunwali,’ will be endangered and he will lose his identity. For a Pakhtun, whether he is supporting Mullah Omar in Afghanistan, Fazalullah in Swat, Maulvi Faqir in Bajaur or Baitullah in Waziristan

–he is fighting a war to preserve his identity.”

This statement is not true in the context of history and the also current realities of the Pakhtuns and is problematic in terms of some of the established notions of social science. The Pakhtuns who have had exposure to education and modernity have been integrating themselves in the structure of the modernising state. For example, the Pakhtuns are the second-largest ethnic group in the Pakistan army. The Pakhtun soldiers’ and officers’ adherence to the professional discipline of the armed forces is at par with their Punjabi colleagues. I never heard of Pakhtuns in the army abandoning its standard for the sake of Pakhtunwali. In this regard the case of FC7 soldiers, who are drawn from the Pakhtun tribes, is especially remarkable and commendable. Today they have been ordered by their commanders to fight within their own areas with their fellow tribesmen. Except for isolated cases of desertions, which may occur even in a professional army, the FC soldiers are upholding the standard of the army. Several hundred of them have scarified their lives fighting the Taliban. Many have been brutally beheaded by the Taliban.

The most famous resistance movement among the Pakhtun is the non-violent and secular nationalist movement of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan against British colonialism. Ghaffar Khan was not a religious leader. Take the clock back to any day before the so-called Afghan jihad and you will see that Ghaffar Khan was the only resistance leader known to all Pakhtuns, whether in the NWFP, FATA, Balochistan or Afghanistan.

Fazalullah8  in Swat, Maulvi Faqir9  in Bajaur or Baitullah10  in Waziristan may justify their militancy in whatever terms they like, be it Islam or Pakhtun identity, the fact remains that they do not represent Pakhtuns even in their own areas, which they rule11  like mafia groups. They are leaders of murderous gangs, which are composed of not just Pakhtuns but like-minded Punjabis, Arabs, Uzbeks, Tajik and others. They are the product of the jihad12 and of the wilful underdevelopment13 that have been imposed on FATA for decades. As for Mullah Omar, all the Pakhtun Afghans I know personally see him as no more than an ISI14 puppet.

Neither religious militancy nor the code of Pakhtunwali is genetic construction. They exist in the socio-cultural realm. Social scientists all over the world have established that socio-cultural realms are flexible and adoptable and change with the march of time. Thus the Pakhtuns who have integrated themselves in the state structure of Pakistan do not claim to have given up their culture or Pakhtunwali. They just interpret it in such a way that it becomes compatible with their integration. Unlike the British Empire15  most tribal people had never been hostile towards Pakistan. They happily availed whatever little opportunities were offered to them in the state structure, like the armed forces and civil services.

Why, then, does the socio-cultural milieu of the tribal areas seem so static? The key reason is that Pakistan never sincerely tried to integrate the tribal people into full citizenship, and during the Afghan jihad the area, its culture and people were ‘gifted16’on a silver platter to the jihadis from all over the world, who stifled most of the process of a natural socio-cultural change in the tribal area.

Minus the vested tribal interests, who feed on the system of the political agent and the FCR17, most tribal people, especially the poor, will be happy if integrated in full citizenship with Pakistan. I know this because of my many ethnographic discussions with the tribal people, especially the poor and illiterate, and women. Each one of them asked for the structures of a modern economy and modern educational institutions for girls and boys. I asked each of them if they wanted modern education for both girls and boys so that a social change could come. Everyone explained in detail how they would welcome the change. I can put their arguments in one sentence: that they are open to any social changes that may be needed for a dignified living in the globalised world of today.

The tribesmen and  women of Waziristan told me how happy they were when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto,18 as prime minister of Pakistan, reached out to them and promised development of Waziristan. They said that even to this date they thankfully remember him in their prayers for establishing the cadet college at Miranshah in North Waziristan.

I believe that the Pakhtuns are no more prone to religious extremism than people in any other Muslim society. I have the pleasure of looking at the Muslim majority of Bosnia in Europe. Bosnian society is secular by practice, and Muslim only by tradition. There are extremist Muslims in Bosnia as well, although they seem to be a tiny minority in this beautiful country. They are called “Wahabis” in Bosnia. The origin of the “Wahabis” lies with the arrival of alien jihadis in Bosnia in the 1990s when there was a war in the country. Thus even a thoroughly secular Muslim society like Bosnia can produce religious extremists if conditions conducive for the growth of extremism are put in place. The same is the story of our tribal belt. Remove the jihadi milieu and infrastructure from the tribal areas, and the society will become a normal Pakhtun society, open to gradual social changes in accordance with established notions of social science.

What we see in the tribal areas is a dynamic product of many variables, like the international jihadi infrastructure,19  underdevelopment,20 unemployment,21 criminal gangs22 joining the Taliban, sectarian groups23 from across Pakistan merging with the Taliban and the intervention of the foreign secret agencies. In such a dynamic situation if we “essentialise” anything, including the Pakhtunwali code essentially tied up to the religious extremists, I am afraid we will misunderstand the anatomy of the dynamics. This will stop us from reaching the right solutions to the problem of the tribal area.

Another person who constantly distorts the realities of the tribal people is defence analyst Shireen Mazari. In her article on 28 January

2009 Mazari argues that the people of FATA support the militants because they see the Pakistani army as fighting America’s war. This is the most absurd thing I keep hearing from people who clearly have little idea about the culture and people of FATA. My question to them is a simple one: if the Taliban militants are so popular, how does one explain the formation of so many anti-Taliban tribal armies all over FATA?

The Taliban have target-killed the leaders of those armies which, according to the popular Pakhtun perception, was with the tacit consent of the intelligence agencies. How could the people of FATA support those who have assassinated their entire tribal leadership and have massacred so many young men of the tribal armies? How come the people of FATA support the Taliban who have replaced their Pakhtunwali with a Taliban order? The residents of FATA are not ready to surrender their Pakhtun way of life and therefore are bearing the brunt of Taliban savagery.

In another column, “Our rulers: erratic, fearful and full of deceit,” dated 18 February 2009, Mazari writes: ‘for those who think that tribal lashkars (armies) rising against the Taliban are a sign of the rejection of the latter, let us not fool ourselves. The tribals are being armed and paid to act as proxies for the US through our military.’

Her argument, within the contours of the discourse of violence, religious extremism and greed, is constructed around the Pakhtun. The standard depiction of the Pakhtun is that the discourse portrays them as religious extremists who are capable of using utmost violence to demonstrate their concept of religiosity to the world. Thus a heavily armed Talib using extreme violence, like beheading, suicide bombing etc., is a natural Pakhtun character. Any Pakhtun who breaks the Talib- like image and does not fit into the discourse of religious extremism, is readily labelled as ‘sold out’ or ‘rented out’ to the highest bidder.

It is not the brave tribal armies but the Taliban who are the proxy warriors of the Wahabi Arabs and other regional and international intelligence agencies. The tribes have been fighting, under extremely difficult conditions, to protect their lives, tribal culture and history from the Taliban and Al Qaeda onslaught in the complete absence of state protection. Had they been fighting as proxies of the US they would have had better weapons. The inescapable truth is that the Taliban had far more sophisticated weapons and systems of communications than the tribes. The Taliban killed the entire leadership of many tribes and massacred the tribal armies. A key reason for this was that the weapons possessed by the tribesmen were completely obsolete in comparison to those of the Taliban. One would have expected the US to ensure that their ‘proxies’ were not fighting with outdated weapons, if indeed that were the case. Moreover, the US would have seen to it that the tribes would have become more organized than the Taliban who are well-networked, well-coordinated, well-trained and well-equipped. Columnists such as Shireen Mazari, besides denigrating the Pakhtuns, are insensitive to the sacrifices made by the tribesmen who took up arms against the Taliban and embraced martyrdom like the Salazai of Bajaur, the Ali Zai of Orakzai, Tori and Bangash and Upper Kurram, Tapa Momand (Badaber) and Tapa Khlili in Peshawar as well as the tribal leaders of Darra Adam Khel.


These are but a few examples of the manner in which analysts both in Pakistan as well as in the Western countries distort the realities in FATA. In a sweep these ill-informed generalizations stigmatize millions of innocent people in FATA as criminals who espouse the  violent jihadi ideology of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. The distortions deflect public attention from the agonies of the people of FATA under the occupation of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. The slanted write-ups generate the erroneous perception of ‘Pakhtun public support’ for the crimes of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda against humanity, and especially those in the Pakhtun belt in Pakistan. The Pakhtuns are thus portrayed as people not fit for democracy, because religious extremism and violent jihad are incompatible with modernity central to which are democratic norms and ideals.

These distortions need to be rectified because they are endangering the security of millions of Pakhtuns in the area. Furthermore, they foster instability which, in turn, undermines democracy not only in Pakistan but also in the wider South Asian region. It therefore devolves on honest and objective researchers, analysts and journalists to expose these myths and stereotypes that are built upon uninformed assessments about the Pakhtuns not just in FATA but also in the NWFP, Baluchistan and Afghanistan. This is indispensable for the conclusive defeat of obscurantism and extremist violence that imperil regional and global peace and security.


1              I am almost from the tribal area of Pakistan. My native area in NWFP is on the border of the tribal area. I have always lived there until in 2002 when I came to Norway. I keep close contact with the area. I go there twice or at least once every year. I have a network of friends and relatives both in FATA and NWFP who keep me up dated on daily bases about the events in the area.

2              For  example,  Ola  Bøe-Hansen,  the  Lieutnant  Commander,  Defence  Staff  College, Norway, said in a seminar on 2oth May in the Norwegian parliament that the Pakhtun in FATA gave refugee to the fleeing Al Qaeda terrorists from the US bombing in 2001 under the code of Pakhtunwali.

3     Kurtz, Stanley; ‘Tribes of Terror’. His article  is based on a book of Akbar S. Ahmed’s

‘Resistance and Control in Pakistan’. The article is available on: http://www.claremont. org/publications/crb/id.1507/article_detail.asp

4              Aryana Institute for Regional Research and Advocacy is a newly established thank tank by researchers and political activists from NWFP and FATA. A key objective of AIRRA is to deconstruct the discourse of violence, religious extremism and greed about the Pakhtun; challenge the stereotypes about the Pakhtun and documents ground information about the Pakhtun areas. AIRRA website is: www.airra.org

5     Following  the  9/11  attacks,  the  US  bombed  Islamist  militants-Arabs  from  various countries of the Middle east, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Afghan and Punjabi and the Pakjtun from Pakistan- linked with Al Qaeda and Taliban. They ran towards FATA, especially Waziristan. They killed the tribal leaders in Waziristan and took control of the area. They gradually spread the circle of control to other FATA area and indiscriminately killed tribal leaders and innocent civilians there. Today they control many parts of FATA through terror and violence. Every day they behead people and have replaced the Pakhtun culture of the area with a Wahabi way of life. There is local resistance against the occupation of the Islamist militants in several parts of FATA and several tribes have been making tribal armies to clear their areas of the militants. The tribes who have been making tribal armies are: Salarzai in Bajaur, Tori and Bangash in Upper Kurram, Ali Khel in Orakzai and almost all tribes in Darra Adam Khel. Most of the leaders of the tribal lashkars were target killed by the militants one by one or in bulks through suicide bombing and the many young men of the tribal army massacred. The Pakhtun perception is that massacre of the tribal leaders of the tribal armies was executed by the militants with the deceit consent and cooperation of the intelligence agencies of Pakistan.

6              Khalid Aziz has been a senior ranking officer in the civil service of Pakistan.

7              Frontier Constabulary, FC, and Frontier Corps, FC. Both FC’s are  paramilitary forces. All soldiers of the  FC ‘s are Pakhtun.

8              Fazalullah is commander of the Taliban militant based in Swat valley, in NWFP, Pakistan. People of Swat call him mullah radio, because he preaches his views on an illegal FM radio. Moreover, he pronounces his order on the radio, i.e. announces hit lists- people who have to be killed by the Taliban etc.

9              Militant commander of the Taliban in Bajaur agency in FATA

10   Leader of Tehere-e-Taliban Pakistan based in Waziristan in FATA.

11   The militant commanders have replaced the writ of the government with their own writ. They ruthlessly behead anyone among the local people who object to their writ.

12   The violent Jihad that has used by the military establishment of Pakistan as a tool of promotion of foreign policy with respect to India and Afghanistan

13   FATA has been kept   by successive governments of Pakistan in isolation and under development so as to make it easy to use it for violent jihad in Afghanistan

14           Inter Services Intelligence, an intelligence agency of Pakistan

15                           It was in FATA where the British Colonial Empire met the toughest resistance. At one point the British had more troops in FATA than in the rest of their British Indian Empire. Despite this the British could never fully colonized the area.

16   CIA and ISI brought Islamist extremists from all over the world to FATA. There they were trained and armed and sent over to Afghanistan to fight against the Soviets during 1980’s. FATA was the base camps of the Islamist militants.

17   Frontier Crime Regulations, FCR, had been made by the British. FCR is the law that the British implemented through an officer called Political Agent. The was applicable only on government installations in FATA, like military forts, and on roads.  Rest of the area was governed by the local tribes according to their traditions. Pakistan, as successor authority to the British Empire, took this arrangement of governance in FATA from the British. Pakistan did not make any changes in the system of FCR and Political Agent.

18   After Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder and first Governor General of Pakistan, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was the first leader of Pakistan who visited FATA, interacted with the people and made plans to develop the area and integrate it in the wider Pakistani society. He made plans to establish modern educational institutions in FATA. He established the Cadet College in Razmak, South Waziristan and began project s to make a medical college in Kurram agency and engineering college in Khyber agency. Before he could complete his plans for FATA he was removed from power by the military dictator, Gen. Zia in 1977.

19   For example the Jihad secretariat of Jalaludin Haqani in North Waziristan is spread over an area of more than a 100 kanals just in front of the FC Camp in Miranshah, the headquarters of North Waziristan.

20  See The Case of Waziristan by Khadim Hussain in ‘Terrorism in the Pashtun belt— Analytical Framework for finding mediatory solutions, available on http://www.airra. org/Papers/AbstractTerrorism%20in%20the%20Pashtun%20belt.pdf Full paper may be available on request. Also see Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), FATA, 2007. FATA Secretariate, Peshawar.

21           See Pakhtunkhwa—a development framework. PDCF, Peshwar. 1998

22   Thieves, drug and weapon smugglers and murderers from all over NWFP and FATA have joined Taliban and AlQaida. Local people in NWFP and FATA know by name and family background the criminals who are now with Al Qaeda and Taliban

23   Sunni terrorist organizations, like Lashkar-e-Jangvi and Sipah-e-Sahaba have close links with Taliban.