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Perception Survey on Reconciliation in Malakand Division
By: SDPI

Year: 2012

Locale: Six districts of Malakand division ; Buner, Malakand, Shangla, Swat, Lower Dir and Upper Dir.

Team Member: Mome Saleem, Sadaf Liaquat.

Introduction:   

Malakand remained the most distressed area due to Taliban influence in Swat. They have established their own system of governance causing law and order situation there. After Swat operation, a large population of Malakand had to displace. The survey was carried out in six districts of Malakand division like Buner, Malakand, Shangla, Swat, Lower Dir and Upper Dir.

Objectives:

  • To establish a credible data that will help carry out the programme according to the  prevailing situation of the region
  • The data will serve as the first measure of the current status against which different achievement benchmarks will be drawn
  • To draw information that will assist the stakeholders, including UN and government, in developing possible peace & conflict scenarios for appropriate and timely response.

The survey was aimed at providing data analysis, impact and perception about reconciliation among the indigenous population of Malakand division. The survey will help the development agencies, government and other stakeholders to develop and implement informed programme in the areas focusing around reconstruction, conflict prevention and building sustainable peace.

 The survey explores the local understanding and perception of the people about conflict, impact that conflict has generated and the perception about reconciliation and sustainable peace within the society. It further gives an understanding regarding the local dynamics of conflict gauged through the field assessment and tools that help build peace in a social setting.

Finding:

The findings from the field illustrate that the external forces were able to exploit the already unstable socio-economic state of the people of Malakand division. Female and the poor were denied the right to quality education. Moreover, the low level of education and understanding of religious dynamics led to flourishing of several fundamentalist ideologies.

Quality of health suffered due to lack of staff in public hospitals such as doctors and lady doctors for women. Justice was expensive, prolonged and unreliable due to corruption where rich and powerful influenced the decision.

Justice system such as Jirga was prevalent in the area where women did not get enough representation. Reconciliation is perceived to be arbitration among the two groups, however in case of Malakand the counter party for reconciliation is missing as the insurgents were not native and the land of Malakand was used to fulfil their interests and the interests of those who backed them.

However, to reduce the vulnerability of people and to sustain peace in the region, respondents indicated the dire need to address the socio- economic problems of people who were suffering before the conflict and bore the aftermath of the conflict. Poverty alleviation and access to speedy justice were some of the main issues highlighted by the respondents in all the districts.  Now, when the conflict has transformed, there is a need to address the issues that can lead to future conflict. These included ethnic and class differences, improving quality of education and health, provision of livelihood patterns especially for youth and women, giving rights to the marginalized such as women, social, economic and political justice, individual and social security for all, awareness raising about religion and ethical values, and giving opportunities to the youth for constructive use of their strengths.