Effects of Mehsud’s Historical Division and Resistance

Waqas Mehsud
Graduate from GC University Lahore, Hailing from South Waziristan.

History is not oblivious to the fact that Mehsud fought a grave fight with the imperial forces. From the day of implementing the forward policy and till the last moments, Mehsud, in one or another way, posed a resistance to the foreign forces. Though Mehsuds were not well equipped, but still to great extent they overcome the intensity of imperial polices. In a result of this, Meshud’s resistance proved to them very serious, therefore, very cleverly, they (Britisher) pursued the strategy of division to overcome future tragedies.

The Meshuds’, traditionally, divided into three branches: Alizais, Bahlolzai, and Shaman Khels. This division naturally meant nothing to Mehsuds only than identity, but Britisher’s attitude caused ‘pursuance of competition’ among them; prior to the indulgence of Britishers, they stood by each other but, after the indulgence of Britishers, they lost enthusiasm in voicing for each other. Moreover, it’s true that with very less equipment they engender the fear in the forces; and if they wouldn’t be divided into different factions, they would remained the source of engendering the fear in them. The resistance to ‘Align forces’ only meant to get rid of the strangers sway; so, they can be called the freedom fighter.

Mehsuds’ are people with capabilities, as they to great extends overcome the capabilities of the foreign forces.

The above-mentioned perspective can be well understood in this paragraph: Captain Macaulay, who in 1870s takes over charge of the region, distinctly record that “the three branches of the Mehsuds have always been dealt differently. Alizais, Bahlolzai and Shaman Khels, all were dealt separately, respectively.  The Alizai’s was having privilege to directly consult the incumbents; on the other hand, the Bahlozai’s was having quasi-privilege of directly impugn into the matters with incumbents but, however, the Shaman Khels were dealt the other way around. So, apparently it manifests the good-will of the Britishers, but this was the method which put everything up-side-down. One another example of such division is as follow:

Following the death of Mulla Powinda, a dispute had arisen between the Shaman Khel on the one side and the Abdur Rahman Khel on the other regarding lands in Spli Toi. The Shaman Khels were backed by the Alizai and the Abdur Rahman Khel by their brother Bahlolzai. This division weakens the opposition to the British forces.

In a similar tune, a more gruesome circumstance appeared when Mehsuds’ divided into two groups. This division triggered more by the Afghans side, because: the Afghan official, Sirdar Gul Muhammad Khan, appeared in Wana with a force of 100 cavalry and etc, and started perusing the Mehsuds to sever all connection with the British Government and accept allegiance to the Amir. Thereupon, the Mehsuds tribe was at once divided into factions—pro-Afghan and pro-British.  This faction at once weakens the capabilities of Mehsuds.

United we stand, divided we fall.

And, very important to mentioned, Mullah Powinda or the king of Waziristan had a tremendous achievements. His life was aimed to liberate Waziristan from the yoke of Britishers; and to a great extend he achieved this aim. Besides, the reasons which caused ill-repute to his reputation are as follow: his strategies were not well-nigh perfect while countering the forces, the attacks, which took place under his influence, on the Political Agents, always, turn the situation to worse and, above all, he failed to bring all Mehsuds’ under one platform.

The above mentioned description is manifested in the following factual examples:

  • The killing of Political Agents of time always deteriorated the already worsen circumstances. For instance, Captain’s Bowring and Colonel Harman murders, in 1904 and 1905, respectably.
  • When Mullah proclaimed denunciation of British advancement to Wana and other regions around, that resulted in the creation of two factions: pro-Powinda and pro-British.
  • When the government granted land to him, on this, his own people (Mehsud) called him treacherous; they thought it is him who uses us for own purpose.

Likewise, the rift between Mullahs and Maliks, though it is more mentally than physical, disintegrated people into two varieties. Formally, the society was filled with the influences of Maliks; but as the days goes on people started distrusting the Maliks, and then the Mullahs were the option to opt. Of late, the society became full with the Mullahs passion. Therefore, regrettably, the social fabric once again appeared into two factions:

  • Maliks supporting people,
  • And Mullahs supporting people.

And very recently, in the reign of Taliban, there emerged different and many factions all around the region. That situation not only harden the lives of own incumbents, but also bottlenecked the life of common people. It was hard to accept allegiance to one group and ignore the other; if someone had ever done it, it would be prove fatal.

In the final paragraph, it is important to shed light on the current situation of Waziristan and circumstances of Mehsuds’. In broad sense, if it is the problem of amalgamation of FATA with KPK or it is the problem of FCR, not only Mehsuds’, but every tribe of FATA must stand by each other and try to culminate the threats which are surfaced. Moreover, from the above historical facts it is clear that Mehsuds’ are people with capabilities, as they to great extends overcome the capabilities of the foreign forces. In a nutshell: United we stand, divided we fall.