Waziristan


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Waziristan

(wəzē`rĭstän'), region (1981 est. pop. 545,000), 4,473 sq mi (11,585 sq km), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly North-West Frontier Province), Pakistan, on the Afghanistan border. An extremely arid and mountainous region, it is divided into North Waziristan, inhabited by farming Wazir tribes, and South Waziristan, populated by seminomad Mahsuds and Waziris. The two tribes, both of PathanPathans
, group of seminomadic peoples consisting of more than 60 tribes, numbering more than 26 million in Pakistan and more than 11 million in Afghanistan, where they form the dominate ethnic group (historically known as Afghans and now typically as Pashtuns).
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 descent, have constant blood feuds and supplement their meager incomes by banditry. They live in fortresslike mountain villages. A major source of income derives from the smuggling and processing of illicit drugs. Fertile valleys in parts of North Waziristan support wheat, corn, barley, and millet; livestock are also raised. In South Waziristan the hills are used for grazing, and forests on the higher slopes provide timber.

Protected by the mountain fastness, the Wazirs and Mahsuds historically resisted British authority. When the Durand Line was established as the border between Afghanistan and British India in 1893, Waziristan became an independent territory outside the bounds of effective British rule. Since Waziristan became part of Pakistan in 1947, the government has continued the British practice of pacification through payment of subsidies to tribal chieftains; it has also tried to persuade the tribespeople to move to more settled areas. The tribes, led by the Faqir of Ipi, reportedly received arms from Afghanistan, which agitated for an independent Pushtunistan composed of all border Pathan tribal lands.

Waziristan was one of the many border regions that struggled to absorb hundreds of thousands of refugees during the Soviet invasion and occupation (1979–89) of Afghanistan. The area became a refuge for the TalibanTaliban
or Taleban
, Islamic fundamentalist militia of Afghanistan and later Pakistan, originally consisting mainly of Sunni Pashtun religious students from Afghanistan who were educated and trained in Pakistan.
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 and Al QaedaAl Qaeda
or Al Qaida
[Arab.,=the base], Sunni Islamic terrorist organization with the stated goals of uniting all Muslims and establishing a transnational, strict-fundamentalist Islamic state.
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 after they were overthrown in Afghanistan, and Pakistan established military bases in the area for the first time in 2002. Government attacks on foreign fighters in South Waziristan in 2004 led to fighting with local militants who regarded the operation as a breach of the region's autonomy; operations against the foreigners continued into 2005. In 2005–6 there was fighting between Pakistani troops and suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda forces as well as local militants in North Waziristan. By late 2006, however, the government had agree to restore the autonomy of both regions and end military operations in exchange for an end to cross-border attacks into Afghanistan. In 2007 there were outbreaks of fighting between South Waziristan's tribal fighters (supported by Pakistani troops) and foreign fighters, and both regions have seen renewed fighting between government forces and Islamic militants, also known as Pakistani Taliban, which intensified in 2009 after the government launched an offensive in SwatSwat
, district of the Malakand division, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly North-West Frontier Province), Pakistan. Saidu Sharif is the capital. The largely inaccessible region is reached by air and through mountain passes from the south and east.
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. In Oct., 2009, the military mounted a major offensive against militants in South Waziristan and captured most of the main militant bases in a month, but the successes were due largely to a militant pullback after some two weeks of fighting, and by mid-2010 the militants appeared to have regrouped in North Waziristan. The area continued to be the site of occasional fighting, and Pakistan launched a major offensive in North Waziristan in 2014 that continued into 2016; an estimated 1.5 million inhabitants were displaced by the fighting.

Waziristan

 

a historical region in Pakistan. Area, about 30,000 sq km. The historical center was the city of Kaniguram. Waziristan is inhabited by the Pushtun tribes of the Wazirs, Daurs, and Bhittanis. Waziristan preserved its independence until the second half of the 19th century. In 1893 it was made part of the British colonial empire. It has been a part of Pakistan since August 1947.

Waziristan

a mountainous region of N Pakistan, on the border with Afghanistan
References in periodicals archive ?
The Neeli Kach area is situated along the boundary of South Waziristan Agency with the Balochistan province where work on number of important development projects including the Gomal Zam dam was underway.
Addressing a Grand Jirga of Utmanzai Tribe of North Waziristan Agency at
Sources said the compound was destroyed in the drone attack which took place in Shawal, about 55 kilometres (35 miles) west of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan agency.
23 terrorists were killed and four terrorist hideouts destroyed through effective and precise aerial strikes in Shawal, North Waziristan Agency this evening (Wednesday)," the statement said.
General Kayani appealed to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the war-ravaged South Waziristan Agency to return to their areas and assured them military support.
It said the declaration was made at a gathering attended by about 1,500 tribal chiefs, clerics and members of Taliban Shura at a religious school in the border town of Miranshah, the administrative headquarters of the North Waziristan tribal area administration.
The increased frequency of drone attacks followed a reported discovery by US and European intelligence agencies of an Al Qaida plot being hatched in North Waziristan to carry out terror attacks in European cities.
According to pamphlets circulated by Wazir tribe in South Waziristan, militants of Zainuddin and Baitullah groups have been directed to leave the agency within 12 days.
Police said the bombing in Lakki Marwat city - not far from South Waziristan - was possible retaliation for local residents' efforts to keep militants out of the area.
The operation has finished in South Waziristan, now there is a discussion of taking it to Orakzai agency," Yusuf Raza Gilani said on Saturday.
The army said on Sunday 60 militants and five soldiers had been killed in the first 24 hours of the long-awaited offensive launched on the militants in their South Waziristan bastion, which is a global Islamist hub.
Operation Zar e Azb has entered its final phase and hideouts of terrorists have been destroyed from North Waziristan Agency he added.