Waziristan’s conundrum

Waziristan has always been plagued with terrorism, vio­lence, and instability, which have caused enormous damage to its in­digenous people. Despite having ample natural resources and un­tapped or partly tapped reserves of coal, oil, gas, chromite, and copper, this region is marred by operations and unending encounters with ter­rorism. This has hindered the po­tential for dynamic progress and prosperity in the Waziristan region.

The majority of people live in substandard and impoverished conditions. The reason why the abundance of precious land re­sources has not led to genuine progress for the well-being of the region is due to unchecked and un­accountable exploitation of these resources, exacerbated by the frag­ile security situation.

Waziristan possesses an abun­dance of resources that, if tapped fairly and efficiently, could not only make this impoverished re­gion prosperous but also help mit­igate the curse of extremism and terrorism. There is no denying the fact that terrorism and extremism have roots in economic inequali­ty and abject poverty. Our state in­stitutions and concerned author­ities should consider alternative approaches beyond kinetic opera­tions to ensure peace and prosper­ity. If short-sighted strategies were effective in steering this region out of the quagmire of conflict and vi­olence towards real peace, they would have done so already.

The issues and woes of Wa­ziristan require insightful and comprehensive steps that go be­yond the security measures typi­cally emphasized by state authori­ties. Establishing people-to-people connections from grassroots lev­els of the socio-economic fabric of society to engage the masses in the region is equally essential.

Waziristan deserves to have its resources utilized for the benefit of its own people rather than being subject to an unfair mechanism of exploitation and extraction.

AMJID AZIZ WAZIR,

Waziristan.

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