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Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA): Impacts of militarization and war crimes on tribal women and children

Noreen Naseer

Abstract
In the global terrorism discourse the Pakhtun tribal areas of northwest of
Pakistan straddling the Afghanistan border are projected as the ‟natural‟
epicenter of militancy and extremism. Presently, around 21 Jihadi and 39
sectarian groups are operating in Pakistan, they support and endorse nearly
50 Taliban groups stationed and hiding in seven agencies of FATA under
the umbrella of Tehrik-e-Taliban committing war crimes against women
and children. Pakistan has launched more than fourteen major operations
since 2002 and signed thirteen peace agreements with the Taliban, however,
paid no attention to streamlining of FATA and address issues such as
killings, displacing and persecuting non-combatants specifically women
and children. An attempt is made in this paper to explore the skewed
administrative system that led to militancy, challenges any primordial tribal
disposition to violence and locates militarism in FATA. The colonial
governance practices and postcolonial manipulation of the tribes in national
and international issues; which led to radicalization of culture of the
Pakhtun as „warrior and militant” and its impact on women and children.
This paper aims to (i) explore the socio-economic impact of armed conflict
and war crimes committed against women and children living in the semi autonomous Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA); and (ii)
advocate for the rights of FATA‟s women and children in militarized space
and highlight the criminal negligence of state. This study takes the
following two hypotheses: (i) Armed conflicts has adversely affected the
social and economic life of tribal people specifically women and children;
(ii) Mainstream FATA to secure political, economic and social rights of all
tribal people and specifically to protect women and children affected by
conflicts.

Keywords: FATA, Pakhtun, Taliban, conflict, militancy, war crimes,
women and children.