AWP rejects Social Agreement North Waziristan 2015 as colonial imposition

The Awami Workers Party condemns the imposition of the ‘Social Agreement North Waziristan 2015’ on the suffering people of North Waziristan by state and military authorities. The agreement, a precondition for the IDPs to be able to return to their homes, reinforces the colonial logic of the state in the tribal areas and presupposes the disloyalty of the people of North Waziristan (by making them retake an oath of loyalty) who have suffered enough for the mistakes and excesses of the military and civilian elite of this country.

The agreement puts the onus of securing North Waziristan on the tribal people, absolving the state of responsibility even as it forces the people to give up the arms they will need for defending themselves against the Taliban and other militants. It calls for the residents to swear loyalty to the Frontier Crimes Regulation, thus barring them from ever being able to object to an unjust colonial law that denies them full citizenship. Further, the agreement stipulates harsh collective punishments for entire tribes in case of infringement of the agreement by individuals members.

The Social Agreement North Waziristan 2015 is a vivid illustration of the oppressive colonial relationship that still exists between the state/military and the people of FATA, which is at the heart of the conflict in the region. It calls into question the much-trumpeted ‘success’ of the military in operation ‘Zarb-e-Azb’, as the state still cannot take responsibility for the security of its citizens even after displacing hundreds of thousands of them for almost a year.

The Awami Workers Party rejects the Agreement and calls for an end to the miseries heaped upon the people of FATA in the name of military operations and mass displacement. In particular, the AWP calls for:

1) Allowing the unconditional and safe return of displaced citizens to their homes in North Waziristan.

2) The abolition of the colonial FCR (and the logic of collective punishment) and the extension of the Pakistani constitution to the entirety of FATA, guaranteeing fundamental rights to all its residents, including the right of political association.

3) A comprehensive programme for the economic and social uplift of the people of FATA, that guarantees the provision of constitutionally-mandated state services, including education, health and security.

Aasim Sajjad Akhtar,
AWP Punjab