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After independence, Pakistan has faced many serious economic and security problems which not

only destructed the economy of Pakistan but also disturbed the internal peace of the country.

Now the problems have converted into internal threats like religious radicalization, militancy,

political instability, terrorism and inflation . Terrorism is a serious threat to both internal and

external security which ultimately affects the socio political structure as well as the cultural and

economic conditions most prominently in FATA region. Presently in Pakistan, these crucial and

serious issues are growing military extremism and rapidly damaging the social structure in all

over the country .The US War on Terror has further worsened the conditions and has escalated

the problem by influencing the structural conditions. This rising militancy has not only increased

internal security concern but also created a bad image globally. Along with economic and social

life, political and cultural life of FATA people have been changed to a greater extent leading to

negativity being developed towards Government and War on Terror among the local inhabitants

of FATA. The impact which this so called War on Terror have laid on FATA region have forced

people to develop negative sentiments and resentment towards War on terror. The radicalization

factor that already existed in FATA area started to get intensified under such conditions and

locals of FATA started taking weapons in their hands. The tribesmen in the beginning were so

much cooperative with the Army but when the conditions got worsened due to operations being
launched , their perceptions changed and they disagree to support War on Terror. To them , this

War on Terror was only to suppress the Muslims and was totally non logical.

Since 9/11 Pakistan’s decision to play a front role in the War on Terror has turned the country

into critical and central state. Ultimately, Pakistan has to change its policies from supporting

Jihadist organizations to the fight against such organizations and their activities by absolving the

rising threats from United States. In relation to the Afghan War, all militant groups established

their base in tribal areas of Pakistan with the mutual consent of residents of this region. When the

Government of Pakistan announced military operation against terrorism, the first target areas for

operation were selected from FATA and other adjoining areas. The objective of these military

operations was to remove insurgency, destroy power and militancy infrastructure to avoid future

attacks, and restore and maintain the writ of the government.

Initially, the militant groups started their activities slowly, enhancing militancy in the boarding

areas of FATA. Soon after the War on Terror was declared,they opened an opportunity for other

radical groups. Mostly youngsters were the victims of radicalization and FATA became a hub of



War on Terror has extremely distressed the people’s lives in different manners. The social

scenario in FATA has relatively changed due to rising religious radicalization and military

operations. A new concept of Islam was given by religious groups through misogynist and in

opposition to the basic rights of the people. The social life in militant controlled areas was

completely disturbed. Likewise, drone strikes have deteriorated the social life of FATA. Due to

the fear of being killed in a drone strike, people of FATA refrain from participating in activities
like wedding, funerals and other recreational activities. People refrain themselves from gathering

in groups or receive guest in their homes because they believe that sitting in groups or receiving

guest make the house more vulnerable to the drone strikes. This delineates that US drone

campaign has made life miserable on the western border of Pakistan and has certainly inflamed

militancy not only in FATA but all over Pakistan. The region can be regarded a hell on earth.

While the extremist groups imposed the radicalization all over the FATA region, women

especially suffered in a distinctive manner due to radical religious ideology of terrorist groups.

54 percent male and 44 percent female stated that their access to basic health facilities was

missing and their physical health condition had seriously been affected. They also pointed

toward shortage of medical staff, medical equipments, medicines, and strict restrictions imposed

by religious groups to seek medical treatment from male doctors. As far as the family structure

is concerned, traditional family size in FATA was 9.3 persons per family . But militancy has

forced people to squeeze their family size due to the fact that they send their children to other

places of the country for the purpose of education and protection. Also the Pakhtunwali has

given males a dominant status and he is normally the head of family. The women of FATA

mostly remain confined into the walls of the houses and are dependent on their men. But since

the war on terror began, many of the men have either joined the militant groups of have been

killed in militancy. This posed problems for the women when they had to take charge of heading

the households. The situation got worse when these women had to be displaced during internal

displacements as a result of military operations.

Since the beginning of the US-led war against terrorism in Pakistan in 2005, there have been

attacks on several health facilities in the Federally Administered Tribal Area. Arguing that the

health infrastructure in the Federally Administered Tribal Area of Pakistan has been one of the

biggest casualties of the “war on terror,” the nation's medical association is asking the

international medical community to join them in decrying the targetting of health facilities by the

United States and Pakistani forces. It is an inhuman act on the part of the US and Pakistani forces

to target hospitals and deprive the patients of the healthcare facilities. An immediate halt to the

dropping of bombs on hospitals must be brought to facilitate the local inhabitants. In September

2006, surgeon Mir Wali Shah and 3 vaccinators were killed by US missile fire over a Tribal Area

hospital. Qadir says many doctors are reluctant to be in the Tribal Area's health facilities and as a

consequence, many have taken long leaves of absence or sought transfers to safer facilities.

The Pakistan Army has established medical camps for providing better health facilities but if the

women seek medical help from male doctors the former can even get killed. Therefore, women

have to suffer due to non availability of gender balanced medical services. The social services

cannot be delivered due to dispute between local terrorist, religious, and extremist groups and the

local government. These terrorist believe that the current knowledge is a severe threat for both

women’s lives and the religious ideology of Islam. Aerial attacks have crippled FATA’s once

well-organised health delivery network. Government-run hospitals are exposed to U.S. air

attacks from across the border in Afghanistan, and the retaliatory fire by Taliban and pro-Taliban

groups. The seriously ill are taken by road to overcrowded hospitals in the neighbouring North

West Frontier Province (NWFP). According to guesstimates, 20 percent of hospital beds in the

NWFP’s capital city, Peshawar, are occupied by patients from FATA. Full fledged hospital in
Bajaur Agency is present but due to non availability of doctors FATA residents flew to Peshawar

for treatments.

Since 2002, the number of admissions in hospital and out patient departments (OPDs) in FATA

has decreased. The tribal areas comprise seven agencies. “We saw only 50,000 patients in 2006.

There were 200,000 or more patients before the ‘war on terror’,” said Dr Ajmad Ali, who works

as a government medical officer in FATA. The number of surgeries have also dropped from

32,000 in 2001 to only 13,000 in 2006, he added. Medical staff are not willing to work in FATA.

“Several doctors and health professionals have got themselves transferred from FATA because

of the looming danger there,” said a health official in Peshawar, who did not want to be named.

Dr Bakth Sarwar, 48, was critically injured when his hospital in Miramshah was hit by a missile.

The doctor has refused to go back to work, and is on indefinite leave in Peshawar. Bajaur agency

surgeon, Dr Abdul Ghani Khan, was killed and three health department officials were injured in

a bomb attack by pro-Taliban militants on a meeting to promote the anti-polio campaign. nine

health workers, including three females, who were part of a survey were kidnapped in North

Waziristan Agency. They were released after a week on May 25.

Governed directly by the federal government, FATA has well-equipped facilities. But an acute

shortage of medical professionals has paralysed the roughly 26 hospitals and eight rural health

centres, and over 400 community health centres. FATA had 66 government-appointed

specialists, 435 medical officers, 48 female doctors and 182 nurses apart from non-technical

staff, according to official records. “Most of them prefer to stay away from their duty places for

fear of lack of security there,” said a doctor, who insisted his identity should be protected. “Lady

health workers, nurses and doctors in North and South Waziristan, Bajaur and Khyber Agencies

have been approaching us to get themselves transferred to the NWFP. Some of them have either
taken long leave of absence or were staying home. Health authorities admitted that basic health

indicators like infant and maternal mortality rates have worsened in FATA and questioned the

Pakistan government’s commitment to meet Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

FATA people blamed the heightened threat of militancy for the poor health services. “Health

workers face problems in North and South Waziristan and Khyber agencies. They are told not to

wear pants and shirts, not to carry cellphones or shave their beards,” he said. Health workers had

appealed to the authorities to provide security to the staff.


The second most important impact highlighted by the respondents is lack of access to education.

The number of educational institutes is very low for males while many women’s schools have

been destroyed by terrorists in FATA. The terrorist groups and other extremist organizations

have imposed strict restrictions on the mobility of women in the conflicted areas. The women are

not allowed to communicate socially and to approach public places such as shopping malls and

restaurants. They cannot work for government or private institutions either. Also, most areas are

out of bounds for public due to military operations. With all these limitations, the residents of

FATA have been restrained to the door step and they feel under house arrest.

Since September 11, the entire FATA is locked in a painful paradox. According to Khan (2008),

the volatile situation in the region has adversely affected the education sector, consequently,

jeopardizing the future of thousands of students. Education especially of girls is under serious

threat in the troubled zone of FATA, as schools and colleges are being bombed and set ablaze on
a regular basis. Scores of incidents for torching of female educational institutions were reported

recently from different parts of the area. As a natural consequence, the attendance has dropped in

both schools and colleges across the tribal belt. Colleges in almost all parts of FATA invariably

came under attack as this vicious trend is not confined only to Darra Adamkhel, Bannu and Swat,

but also exists in Bajaur, Khyber, Mohmand and Kurram agencies, as well as Buner, Dir Upper

and Dir Lower. The government is helpless to restore peace in the region and ensure a congenial

environment, in which the girls could go to colleges without any fear or threat.

The data revealed that the worst is the female higher education and the pressing problem is

insecurity. Almost all the respondents agreed on the same point but they identified more or less

different reasons for the poor state of affairs of higher education. For example, a principal of a

postgraduate college reckoned that there is not even a single aspect of daily life in FATA, which

has not been affected as a result of the recent unrest. However, the hard hit is the education

sector, particularly female education.

According to Kakar (2008), a Jirga of local Taliban and tribal elders of Orkazi agency has

banned female education in the area. A student informed that the students of the colleges in

North and South Waziristan, Kurram and the troubled Bajaur agencies have either stopped going

to colleges altogether for security reasons or reduced their study hours substantially due to recent

social unrest in the area. According to Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) annual

report (2007), girl students and female teachers of the areas are being harassed to observe

purdah. The ensuing bomb scares and blasts at girls’ educational institutes badly affected the

attendance and enrolment of girls in the educational institutes. During the visiting of the areas, it

was observed that the buildings of government colleges are being occupied Higher education in

Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan after 9/11: Problems and prospects 61 by the
security personal, to base their camps. Government Degree College Dara Adem Khail located

about 30 kilometers from Peshawar, right on the road that leads south from Peshawar to Kohat,

presents a look more of an army barrack. The authors did not notice even a single student in the

surrounding of the college during his frequent visits to the area. A passerby could observe that

from some distance security personnel with artillery were positioned on the rooftop of the

college. Government Degree College for boys Miranshah has been badly affected as a result of

military operation started by the armed forces in the area. The college has been occupied by the

personal of Frontier Constabulary and remained closed for several months. Major parts of the

building were hit by missiles and mortar guns and it was not suitable for education purposes

anymore. Similarly, classes of about 200 students of the Girls’ Degree College Miranshah have

been affected for the last one and a half years as the army Jawans and personnel of Frontier

Constabulary are housed in the college building. The trend is prevailing in all other troubled

agencies. According to Asian Human Rights Commission report:“ Of a total of 580 public sector

educational institutions in the South Waziristan, 350 schools have been closed because the

buildings of these facilities have been so badly damaged due to the ongoing conflict. The

building of the Government Degree College Laddah was bombed which damaged the

infrastructure, while equipment and furniture from many schools have been stolen. The damaged

building of the college is now under the use of the security forces.” In the aftermath of the recent

spate of infighting, no one is willing to perform duty in FATA. One principal of Government

Degree College told that the non-local staff both teaching and supporting, stopped coming to the

area for fear of being caught as government spies. It was also observed that the most derelict area

in the government developmental schemes is the continuous monitoring and evaluation system.

It was revealed by an official of the FATA Education Directorate that the monitoring efforts of
the government received serious set-back when two officials of the FATA Education Directorate

were kidnapped back some time in the tribal areas. They are yet to be recovered after the lapse of

some one and a half years. Such untoward incidents have completely paralyzed the entire

monitoring machinery of the government education department in the tribal areas. The rising

militancy played havoc to the academic life in the educational institutes. According to professor

Khadim Hussain referred in Kakar (2008), the militants want to realize three objectives by

destroying buildings of educational institutions. Firstly, they want to paralyze the education

system in order to level grounds for recruiting future fighters. Secondly, by doing this, these

elements want to challenge writ of the state. And last, by means of such sabotage, they will

create terror in the vicinity. In addition, the militants destroy school buildings on the plea that the

security forces use these buildings to house their personnel. Taliban have distributed pamphlets

in the mosques telling that the attacks on the buildings of educational institutes are undertaken to

tackle with the alleged profanity and vulgarity in the area. The local community is helpless to do



The War on Terror not only brought structural changes to the FATA region but also

thematic. The culture have been influenced a lot. Through art and literature the traditions and

values of a region could be well represented. The rising militancy due to war on terror have

influenced the poetry, literature and performing art which goes parallel with the impact on



The changing trends have been reflected in Pashto poetry and other literature in the conflict

laden area of FATA. The majority of the literary figures, specifically poets, addressed the

prevailing situations in the region. Their writings are dominant by themes of violence and terror.

The prevailing conflict in FATA has divided the writers in two parts where some of the writers,

mostly new writers, often praised the actors of the conflict while most of them condemn both the

violence and the actors involved in it. Thus the conflict engendered new themes and genres in art

and literature produced in tribal regions of Pakistan especially in FATA. New themes and terms,

such as suicide attack, missile and helicopter have entered into Pashto literature, especially

poetry (ghazal, nazm and Tappa etc), reflecting the destructive nature of the insurgency and

counter-insurgency operations. "It is not the poets' choice to write about war and violence. They

are compelled to do so - to express their reaction to hatred and bloodshed".

The traditional institutions have been hijacked by the newly emerged influential groups and

individuals in the Pashtun land. Previously, these institutions had been headed by the identified

and publically accepted tribal authority in shape of ‘tribal elders’ but now the militants have

become the prevalent figures in these institutions. Many a times Jarga has to punish only those

which are unlike by militants. Hujra is no more the institution of the people because it is no more

a platform for expressing people’s views and it is no more education institution which would

have been educating people in past. Common people fear of being beheaded by militants ruined

the original sense of these institutions. For now, the usage of mosques in tribal society is to

campaign for the cause of militants but previously it has been used to highlight social evils and

create harmony in the society. The purpose of the codes of Pashtunwali has also been changed
after the advent of militancy in the region. ‘Cooperation’ now stands for the current prevailing

setup, funding5 for the cause of militants.

The terrorist activities and the military operations have destroyed the local culture of FATA. The

sample respondents replied that music is prohibited by the militants and extremist groups and

people are forced to offer prayers while women are forced to observe pardah . This scenario has

destroyed the social fabric of FATA. The respondents stated that are physically abused by the

terrorist groups who have imposed a new distorted concept of Islam. Even men were punished

for shaving or wearing any western style dresses. Ultimately, the terrorism and military.

operations forced a number of residents of FATA to flee from conflicted areas to take refuge in

peaceful areas of the country.


The terrorist and military operations not only affected the local infrastructure and the

social setup but also the local economy. Both male and females have shared their opinions that

they had suffered losses of their houses, jobs, income, livestock, agriculture and business during

this situation. A family’s economic burden is shifted completely toward men. Moreover, 49

percent of male and 34 percent of females said that they also suffered devaluation of their

property after the military operations. 56 percent male and 43% female respondents highlighted

that they experienced a loss of their various businesses by military operations and terrorists.

Drone strikes have also badly affected the economic life in FATA. Although the

federally administered tribal areas of Pakistan have been and are still one of the most

underdeveloped region in the country with 60% of its population living below the poverty line

and an unemployment rate ranging between 60-80% stemming from the poor governance and
unending conflict which kept the region in a perpetual state of poverty, instability and isolation

(Thereboot.org, 2013) however, the unremitting drone strikes in the tribal areas further

aggravated the economic miseries of locals and deteriorated the already annihilated

infrastructure, agriculture, livestock and the increasing unemployment in the region. A

respondent from Waziristan when interviewed revealed that: “We cannot go to markets as they

(drones) are always hovering over the head. The markets usually remain close and people are

shifting their businesses to cities due to drone phobia” (Khan G. , 2013). This shows that

continuous drone strikes on the western border of Pakistan have seriously hampered the

economic activities, especially the increasing unemployment has exacerbated frustration and

distress especially among the youth. Drone strikes have created severe economic hardships for

the locals by damaging their properties, killing the breadwinner plus the economic cost involved

in caring for the drone survivors. According to a research, it was revealed that drone strikes have

made life miserable in the tribal areas and people have stopped coming to the local markets due

to apprehension and fear of drone attacks. According to a respondent “we are living miserable

lives; we just barely get by with what we make in the shop, we cannot go to our fields we are

scared of drones” (Sher, 2013). This deteriorated and derogated economic situation has coerced

the residents of FATA to rely on the militant for economic support, in the deficiency of

functioning state, customary tribal structure and civil society that have been annihilated by

insurgents. A FATA analyst is of the view that the main reason behind recruitment is not the

ideological basis, rather economic and political marginalization (InternationalCrisisGroup,

2009). The economic depravity due to continuous drones plus the desire for revenge coerce the

locals of FATA, especially the youth to join the militants thus aggravating the insurgency in the

western borderlands of Pakistan.


Terrorism not only destroyed the social and economic structure of FATA but also greatly

affected the political structure. The tribal areas of Pakistan are governed by Frontier Crime

Regulation (FCR). Therefore, the local disputes are resolved through the Jirga system which is

associated with the political agents appointed by the Federal Government. 62 percent male and

32 percent female respondents said that the Jirga System has also faced destruction because

militants have killed number of local leaders. It has affected and changed the political scenario of

FATA, and now the presence of military troops in FATA has undermined the powers of Political


The country’s constitution and laws do not apply in FATA, which is governed by the president

through his agent, the governor of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. As such, FATA remains largely

governed under the Frontiers Crime Regulation (FCR) of 1901, a colonial-era law used by the

British to administer and control outlying areas in their colonies.In this legal vacuum, militant

groups have thrived. “The political agent really is the king in the area, “He controls the whole

governance machinery; he controls all the government jobs. He is the king, and he controls

health, education—everything. There is no audit of his funds, which allows for a lot of

corruption.” With political parties and organizations banned in FATA and no local governance

systems in place, the PA is solely responsible for administering his area. While certain Pakistani

laws can be, and have been, extended to FATA at the discretion of the president’s office, the area

has been kept deliberately outside of Pakistan’s laws. Individuals cannot, for example, form
formal companies or even NGOs in FATA, as Pakistan’s Companies and Registration of

Societies laws do not extend to the territories.

It is also highlighted by the respondents that earlier these militant groups had facilitated speedy

justice for the poor community of FATA. Therefore, the people preferred to present their issues

to these militant groups for resolution. However, very soon these militant groups misused their

outreach and power and ultimately, the local community had no option but to support these

militant extremists. The other political groups failed to attain the support of local people due to

military pressure and other issues. The women were completely excluded from political decision

making in the conflicted areas.

The traditional institution of Jirgah which was once considered as the most important conflict

resolution tool by the Pashtuns and had been part of the Pashtun culture for centuries has become

ineffective due to huge involvement of non-Pashtun elements like the government and the

militants (PIPS, 2010). Similarly the Maliks and Mullahs who were held in high esteem by the

local population have started fleeing the areas due to mass killings and are being replaced by the

militant commanders who term them as the Amirs and by virtue of being non-Pashtuns they have

no regard for the Pakhtunwali. Another change in the traditional culture of conflictaffected areas

of FATA is that the Jirgah has been replaced by Shura that is another step against Pakhtunwali.

The situation on the Pakistani side was also deteriorating: FATA and some parts of the adjacent

North West Frontier Province (NWFP) were gradually slipping out of its control to such an

extent that in recent weeks, militants routinely hit NATO supply lines and storage depots in

Peshawar, the capital of NWFP, thus forcing the United States and NATO to consider other more

expensive logistic routes. On average in 2008, Pakistan experienced one suicide attack every five

In the June 2007 FATA Reform Consultative Dialogue polling indicated that 20% of FATA

residents favoured merging with the NWFP, 35% wanted the FATA to be a separate province,

13% preferred the status quo, while 29% wanted reform but also to keep the present

dispensation. In sum therefore 55% wanted some form of provincial status, while 87% sought

reform of some sort. (towards a containment strategy wali file of chp 2)