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Under the “war on terror “ of the last few decades & the recent hybrid martial law in Pakistan, military has replaced civilian executive in dealing with population along the 2000 km Durand Line,which is redefining the relations of Pashtuns with the state. They know the state 1/7
only by its coercive part. Three Ds, Death, Destruction & Displacement seems to be the main features of state policy. Handing over the area to terrorists for more than a decade ( for facilitating Taliban’s war in Afg) and then using F-16s, tanks & long range guns on a large 2/7
scale has played havoc with the lives & livelihood of the locals. A full new generation grew up in IDP camps totally marginalized & disempowered. Even after the merger of the area in Pakhtunkhwa, it remains a black hole & no go area as Taliban sanctuaries are still intact.3/7
Local & regional trade has been the main source of livelihood for millions alongside the DL for a very long time. Even under the colonial era Durand Treaty, the right of Pashtun tribes living on the Line to move in their area without formal documents is recognized. It’s 4/7
called the ‘ easement right.’ But the army has arbitrarily snatched this right by fencing the DL with barbed wire by force on the pretext of “blocking terrorism “. It’s hardly convincing in the naked presence of Taliban sanctuaries on Pak side of DL. This is the main factor 5/7
behind the new wave of unrest & alienation among Pashtuns. There is no alternative for livelihood through trade in this mountainous region and the state doesn’t seem to be interested in providing any alternative. The arrival of tanks & armored cars at Chaman against peaceful 6/7
sitin reflects the only state policy towards Pashtun unrest. It’s creating questions in minds of young Pashtuns about the one sided adherence of their elders to a “non existing social contract.” Be that as it may,50 million Pashtuns won’t accept the status quo indefinitely.7/7
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