Pakistan’s political stiffness: The ‘social agreement’ for FATA’s North Waziristan

Wolf, Siegfried O.

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Abstract

In witnessing the 2013 general election and the installation of a new government entrusted with a remarkable majority in vote, the people of Pakistan and many international observers thought that the time for major change had finally come. Especially the country’s neglected and repressed areas, like North Waziristan, which is part of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA),were hoping for significant improvement of their socio-political and economic conditions. However, after two years in power, it seems more and more obvious that the current administration of Nawaz Sharif did not intend to change the patterns of Islamabad’s decision-making in any significant policy area. Today, the country’s political arena is still determined by the unchallenged supreme role of the army, the lack of political will and capacities of civilians to implement any noteworthy reform measures, endemic corruption, and the ongoing dominance of the Punjab province and its establishment leading to the consequent sidelining of the smaller territorial entities. This entrenched negative reality is closely linked with a repressive approach of the centre towards the regional periphery, which is deeply entrenched within the mindset of the national elite. The latest example for the continuation of the elite’s offensive policies is the so called ‘social agreement’ for the people of FATA`s North Waziristan, which were forced out by a major counter-terrorist military operation. In order to have the permission to turn back home, the internally displaced persons (IDPs) had to pledge loyalty and allegiance to the national government and ensure the area’s future security. The discriminating character of this agreement shows that Islamabad does not have the political determination to change its pattern of decision-making, which ensures their economic and political prerogatives at the expense of the smaller provinces and their people. Therefore, the establishment avoids any form of a balanced mechanism of sharing power and national wealth in order to protect its partisan interests.

Document type: Working paper
Publisher: South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF)
Place of Publication: Brussels
Date: 2015
Version: Secondary publication
Date Deposited: 31 July 2015
Number of Pages: 12
Faculties / Institutes: Miscellaneous > Individual person
DDC-classification: Political science
Controlled Subjects: Waziristan, Politik
Uncontrolled Keywords: Waziristan, Politische Entwicklung / Waziristan, Political Development
Subject (classification): Politics
Countries/Regions: Pakistan
Series: Themen > SADF Focus
Volume: 6 [n.s.]
Additional Information: ISSN: 2406-5617
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