Tribal order

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

Plethora of work has been done on explaining orders at World, State, and the societal levels. Of the many prolific writers on global politics, Henry Kissinger is one who has earned great name while explaining the world order. Similarly, it is pertinent to highlight and make people aware of the tribal order having huge worth and demands profound consideration. From centuries, their order is essentially assembled. Though, if one sees its history, the tribal people are tainted many times, but still, surprisingly, they maintain their tribal order. The order consists of the following elements: their independent nature; their acceptance of one elder during war-like situation, their culture; and above all, their democratic life.

The independent nature of tribal people is the essential thing that they have. It was, during the age of British Colonial Supremacy that the independent nature of tribal people kept away all kind of aggressions till they faded away. The outsiders, in spite of introducing different schemes like Sandemaniaztion (indirect rule) failed to subdue the local people. The reason was only their independent nature.

Moreover, the second important element of tribal order is the acceptance of one elder in war-like situation. In the same colonial era, once again, it was the elders, through which they halted the raising influence of the forces. This order of elder’s acceptance in the ‘War-Like’ situation was an end to their clashes among themselves; secondly, was their emergence as defensive strength to all possible threats. For instance, as British forces intervened in the local affairs of Waziristan, the tribal’s at once stood astride to follow the great Mullah Powindah. What happened next is of great importance and interest.

Mullah Powindah, a man who got acceptance by all tribesmen, was now clear in his stance against the intervening forces. If, suppose, a huge mass of men would have been led by many elders across the region, would the victory bow itself to the tribal people? Surely that wouldn’t be the reality. However, this hallmark of accepting elder in war-like situation is considered purposefully.

The third element of the order is tribal culture. The beauty of tribal people can be found in the culture they have. It is their ultimate culture that brought to them huge significance throughout the world. The turban they wear, the attan (cultural dance) they perform, and so on and forth, all are of greater attraction and significance. Furthermore, hospitality, for which the tribal’s are known since centuries, still highly recognized. Even, the worst enemy of tribal’s people, the British were inspired of the Hospitality entrenched in the tribal’s culture. If one goes back in to the history of tribal people, one can find that the British‒the enemy of tribal’s people‒ whenever visited to tribal domain, they would have dealt with great respect and honor.

The last one is their democratic life. This element of the tribal order is truly of great significance. It, in the colonel time, proved as a shelter against forces. Similarly, if one throws his glance right on the tribal history, enormous examples of their love for democratic life will come under eyes. One such example is: it was a long time now after the intervention of imperial forces that the forces wanted to subjugate the tribes. For this purpose, they introduced especial kind of plans, such as: granting of allowances, selection of locals in Militia, and selection of Maliks as an instrument to control the democratic tribes, but all in vein. Therefore, subjugation of tribes was an impossible task to accomplish till the last days of the imperial forces.

In the contemporary scenario since the people of FATA have experienced bitter realities during the last decade, it is high time to revisit the past years and bring the tribal order to its state of normalcy that had existed since time immemorial. The order should be clearly revisited so that the coming generation posses a better understanding and respect for it.