DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Local authorities on Friday dynamited a market in Rustam Bazaar of South Waziristan’s headquarters Wana under local laws as a punishment for an explosion which killed an army officer and injured many others earlier this week, officials and local residents confirmed.
Political Agent in South Waziristan Agency Zafarul Islam Khattak told Dawn that the action was taken under the collective and territorial responsibility clauses of the Frontier Crime Regulation (FCR).
The British colonialists had devised FCR as an instrument of subjugating and discipline the Pakhtoon population to establish the writ of the colonial authority in these areas.
While drafting the regulation, the British had relied upon some customs and traditions prevailing in the tribal belt, but these traditions were distorted to suit the governments plan of securing convictions at will.
Officials identified the bazaar as Al-Muhib Market, where an army officer, Maj Imran, was killed and 10 others injured in an explosion during a search operation.
Following the incident, the local authorities imposed a curfew on the Wana Bazaar, forcing more than 6,000 shops to close down.
The market owner, Ali Wazir, said that they had suffered huge losses due to the demolition of the two-storey market. He argued that while explosions took place all over the country, nowhere were markets dynamited as a punishment.
Local sources said the Wana Bazaar was currently under the control of security forces and efforts by local elders to resolve the issue through Jirga had failed to produce any result.
Published in Dawn, November 5th, 2016