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FATA Timeline - 2016

January 4

Security Forces have established new check posts in areas of Bajaur Agency in FATA along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border to boost security and stop militants from entering through the porous boundary. While briefing the media, Bajaur Scouts Commandant Colonel Nair Zaman said these check posts have been set up in Mamond, Salarzai and other areas along the border. The step has been taken to boost security as militants in Afghanistan would enter Bajaur and attack locals, pro-Government elders and security forces. "We have also succeeded in finding militants' weapons dump with the help of locals."

January 7

Four tribesmen, including a tribal elder Malik Wali Khan Mehsud, were shot dead by unidentified militants in Shaktoi area of Ladha tehsil in SWA of FATA. Two other tribesmen were identified as Malik Akbar Khan Mehsud and Jawad Mehsud. The third remained unidentified. No outfit claimed responsibility for the attack, but residents claimed that commander Said Khan alias Sajna, who is affiliated TTP, had warned the IDPs a few days ago not to return to their homes, otherwise they themselves would be responsible for consequences.

Two soldiers were injured in a roadside blast at Shaheedano Dand in Kurram Agency.

January 8

At least 38 terrorists were killed and five others were injured in fresh air strikes on militant hideouts in Meezar and Sherani areas along the Afghanistan border in NWA of FATA. A large number of local and foreign militants were killed in air strikes, said ISPR. Those killed include 15 militants of Uzbek origin associated with Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the officials said. Five hideouts and three explosive-laden vehicles were also destroyed in the air strikes, the officials added.

Pro-Government Tribal Chief Wali Jan Mehsud escaped a roadside bomb blast near Moley Khan Sarai in SWA. Security Forces said that Mehsud was on way to Shahur High School when a remote-controlled bomb went off at a roadside near Moley Khan Sarai. The blast slightly damaged the car of Mehsud.

January 9

At least five suspected militants were killed in a US drone strike carried out in Mangroti area in North Waziristan Agency of FATA. This was the second US drone strike of the day in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region.

January 11

As many as ten oil tankers carrying fuel supplies to NATO forces in Afghanistan reached Torkham border in Khyber Agency of FATA amid tight security, resuming the service over a year after its suspension. Officials at Torkham while requesting anonymity said the tankers with no apparent NATO related marking on them reached the border at around midday and were later parked near the crossing point for necessary checking.

January 15

At least 79 militants, including three commanders, given up their armed struggle against the state after a successful operation carried out by Security Forces in Miranshah of NWA in FATA.

Ministry of States and Frontier Regions has facilitated the return of 447,544 registered families of IDP, NADRA report said. NADRA has so far verified 447,544 IDPs, out of which 265,214 have returned, while 182,330 remain. As per agency-wise updates till January 2, in Khyber Agency 91,689 IDPs were verified by NADRA, of which 73,767 returned, and 17,922 remain, in NWA 104,002 IDPs have been verified of which 33,725 returned and 70,277 remain, while in SWA the number of NADRA-verified IDPs is 71,124, of which 13,997 have returned and 57,127 remain.

Similarly, NADRA has verified 35,823 IDPs of Orakzai Agency, of which the number of registered returnees was 16,102 and 19,721 remain. For Kurram Agency the number of NADRA-verified IDPs was 33,024 of which 16,117 registered have returned and 16,907 remain. For Frontier Region Tank 2,228 have been verified by NADRA, with 1,852 registered returnees. The data further revealed that for Bajaur the number of NADRA verified IDPs was 72,895 and all of them were returned while for Mohmand the number of NADRA verified IDPs was 36,759 and all of them were returned to their respective agency. The long-awaited return of TDPs of FATA was initiated in March 2015 and till date around 90,000 NADRA-verified families have been processed with cellular companies for provision of Transport Grant at the rate of Rs 10,000 and Return Cash Grant at the rate of Rs 25,000 per family.

January 19

Twelve persons, including a journalist, were killed while 39 others sustained injuries when a suicide bomber targeted the tribal Khassadar force in the Karkhano Market of Khyber Agency in FATA. The incident occurred hardly 30 metres from the Karkhano checkpost, the entry-point to Peshawar from Khyber Agency. The security sources said the bomber parked his motorbike and walked towards the Line Officer Nawab Shah of the Khassadar Force and his Khassadar Force and his guards. "The bomber detonated his explosives vest. The car of the Line Officer and another vehicle caught fire while the roof of a nearby shop caved in after the blast," said an official. Those killed in the blast included Line Officer Nawab Shah and Mehboob Shah Afridi, president of the Tribal Union of Journalists, Khyber Agency chapter, who was talking to him at the time of explosion. Others who lost their lives were Gul Sahib, Raziq Khan and Waris Khan, all members of the Khassadar force, and civilians Taimur Khan, Mubarak Shah, Malik Khan, Mohammadullah, Ashfaq Khan and the wife of one Shoaib. A child was also among the dead. Meanwhile, the TTP claimed responsibility for the attack.

January 20

SFs killed nine terrorists in air raids in Khyber Agency of FATA.

January 21

Four civilians died and two others received injuries when one of six rockets fired from the Afghan side of the border hit a shop in Angoor Adda in South Waziristan Agency of FATA. According to officials, four of the rockets fired at about 2pm landed in open fields while two hit the market. The political authorities in Bajaur Agency claimed to have completed the long-awaited documentation of the religious seminaries operating in the region in order to ensure better education and facilities there. Sources in the political administration said that important data of all the religious seminaries operating in the agency had been collected during the process, which continued for over a year. The sources said a joint committee of local administration and various religious organisations carried out the task, adding heads of seminaries showed full cooperation with the administration in the documentation process.

January 24

At least 17 terrorists were killed in aerial raids conducted by the SFs in Shawal and Dattakhel areas of North Waziristan Agency in North Waziristan Agency of FATA.

January 26

The body of a khasadar official was found in Safi tehsil of Mohmand Agency in FATA, after he was abducted in the night of January 23. An official of the political administration confirmed Rehmatullah, a resident of Alingar in Safi, had been murdered and his body dumped. His body was found in a search operation. The slain khasadar officer was the son of a former peace committee leader, Saifur Rehman.

January 29

The dead body of a polio worker, identified as Shah Faisal, who had gone missing from Jamrud tehsil of Khyber Agency in FATA on January 27, 2016, was found in Regi area of provincial capital Peshawar. Political Tehsildar at Jamrud, Asmatullah Wazir, said that Shah was a contractual employee with the Health Department.

January 30

The local administration along with tribal elders demolished 12 houses of suspected militants during a search operation in the Haleemzai tehsil of Mohmand Agency in FATA. Political Naib Tehsildar Mehmood Shah said that the local administration conducted the operation in Ghalanai Mian Gan, Adin Khel and other villages of the tehsil. The militants, whose houses were demolished, were identified as Sheraz, Mohammad Shah, Haroon, Aziz, Adnan, Ziarat Shah, Sazono, Ibrahim, Yasir, Akhtar Ali, Khatir and Subhan. Earlier, the local administration had handed over a list of 22 wanted militants to the Haleemzai elders to demolish their houses. An official statement said the administration conducted the operation with the help of Haleemzai elders.

February 15

At least nine militants, belonging TTP and LI, were killed and five others were injured in air strikes in Rajgal and Kukikhel areas of Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency of FATA.

At least one soldier was killed and four others were injured by an IED near Talai village in Wana town of South Waziristan Agency.

February 17

At least five Khasadar force officials were killed when unidentified militants attacked a Khasadar check post at Mohmand-Peshawar Highway in Pandyali area of Mohmand Agency in FATA.

Unidentified militants killed two Khasadars near sub-divisional headquarter Ekka Ghund in Darwazgai area near Mohmand-Charsadda border in lower Mohmand Agency. Following the attacks, the solar tube-well in Darwazgai was also set on fire, soon after which the attackers fled from the scene.

February 18

Two personnel of the Khasadar force were killed in Machni area of Mohmand Agency in FATA. The incident occurred late in the night when the deceased personnel Taj Ali and Bilal were on duty at a solar tubewell in the area.

The JuA, a faction of TTP, claimed responsibility for the February 17 attack on Khasadar force at a security checkpost in Karapa area of Pandyali tehsil in Mohmand Agency in which seven personnel were killed.

February 19

At least five militants were killed during search operation, conducted by SFs in Karapa area of Pandyali tehsil in Mohmand Agency of FATA. The security personnel also seized explosive material from their possession.

Afghan religious scholar Abdul Haleem was shot dead by unidentified assailants in Sultan Khel area of Khyber Agency. According to SFs, unidentified attackers opened fire on Afghan religious scholar leaving him seriously injured and was rushed to hospital where he could not succumb to his injuries.

Militants blew up part of a newly constructed Government school in the Tiarza tehsil area of South Waziristan Agency. A splinter group of the TTP, Sajna group, claimed responsibility for the attack. "We have blown up the school because it was a government installation," said Azam Tariq, a spokesman of the group, warning the group would continue to attack government targets.

February 21

Three civilians were killed and one injured when an IED blew up their car in Navi Mandi area of Data Khel tehsil in South Waziristan Agency of FATA. The four were returned IDPs traveling to Bannu to retrieve their belongings.

February 22

A drone strike, targeting suspected militant hideouts in the Shahidano Dhand area of Lower Kurram Agency, wounded one unidentified suspected militant. The drone fired four missiles at militant hideouts, as a result of which, one militant was injured and three hideouts were destroyed.

SFs arrested several suspects and seized a huge cache of arms when they enforced curfew and carried out a search operation in Mohmand Agency. The curfew was clamped and the search operation was started early in the day. During the search operation, several persons who couldn't prove their identification were detained. Their identity wasn't revealed by the authorities. The troops also recovered arms from their possession. The detained men were shifted to another, undisclosed place for interrogation.

An indefinite dusk-to-dawn curfew was imposed across Mohmand Agency as SFs stepped up operations in the region.

February 23

Twenty-four militants were reportedly killed in airstrikes by the PAF jet fighters in the Dattakhel subdivision of NWA in FATA. Security officials said the aircraft started bombing the suspected militant positions early in the day, destroying eight sanctuaries in the remote and mountainous Shawal Valley of the Dattakhel subdivision near the Afghan border. The sources said that some of the sanctuaries established by the militants in Alwara, Khar Tangi and Maizar areas of Dattakhel were targeted by the airstrikes.

15 militants were killed and eight of their hideouts destroyed near the Pak-Afghan border area after cross-border mortar shelling targeted a security checkpost in the Alwara Mandi, Khar-Tangi and Maizer areas of Kurram Agency.

An IED explosion injured seven FC personnel in Tayarza tehsil of SWA. The FC vehicle was on routine patrolling of the area when it came under attack.

February 24

At least five FC personnel were wounded in an IED blast near a security check post in Wana town of SWA. FC vehicle was on routine patrol when the IED, planted along the roadside, exploded.

The CoAS, General Raheel Sharif directed the military commanders to begin the last phase of Operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan Agency.

February 27

At least 19 suspected militants were killed and four security forces personnel, including a captain, lost their lives during a gunbattle near the Pak-Afghan border in Mangroti area in Shawal valley of NWA in FATA. The ground forces surrounded a group of fleeing militants in Mangroti area killed 19 of them during an intense exchange of fire, the army's media wing, ISPR, said in a statement. The ISPR said that the deceased security personnel have been identified as Capt Umair, Havaldar Hakim, Sepoy Hameed and Sepoy Rashid. On February 24, Pakistan Army launched its final phase of Operation Zarb-e-Azb to go after the terrorists still holed up in the strategic valley.

Air Force jets pounded militants' hideouts in the in the Maizer area of the Dattakhel tehsil in NWA and killed at least 15 TTP militants. "As many as four hideouts were destroyed in the strikes this morning. Among the 15 killed militants six were Uzbeks," a security official in the area said.

February 29

SFs killed 12 militants, including a TTP-Shehryar faction 'commander' Hezbollah, in Shawal Valley of North Waziristan Agency in FATA. Officials said that ground troops were advancing into the militants' strongholds and had captured Kund Ghar and Jung Top.

March 1

Two USAID officials were killed and two others, including a tehsildar, sustained injuries when an IED exploded in Ambar tehsil of Mohmand Agency in FATA. According to the political administration officials, tehsildar Faramosh Khan was on an anti-poppy drive in Ambar tehsil area along with Anti-Narcotics Force officials and USAID campaigners when an IED device planted on the roadside exploded. TTP-JuA, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Activists of various religious organisations and religio-political parties staged protest rallies across FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa against the execution of Malik Mumtaz Qadri for killing Punjab Governor Salman Taseer. The cadres of ASWJ and Pasban Pakistan Town-I gathered near the Peshawar Press Club to record protest over the hanging. The speakers alleged that the Government executed Mumtaz Qadri to appease the United States and other imperialistic powers.

March 9

At least 21 militants were killed in fresh airstrikes and ground operations in the Shawal Valley of NWA in FATA where the military is conducting the last phase of Operation Zarb-e-Azb. The military claims to have gained control of strategic positions along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in the snow-covered mountainous regions of NWA. Administration officials said the air raids targeted hideouts of militants while ground troops were going ahead with a cleansing operation in the area. Chief military spokesman Lieutenant General Asim Saleem Bajwa wrote on Twitter that helicopter gunships carried out the strikes, which began Monday night and continued into Tuesday. "Operations continue as important heights and passes along the Pak-Afghan border are secured. The valley's sanitisation [is] in progress," he wrote on the micro-blogging website. "Ground forces continue their hunt for fleeing terrorists through chase, cordon and search operations."

March 10

Unidentified militants kidnapped eight FDA employees while they were heading to inspect an under construction dam in Toi Khula area of SWA. "Gunmen kidnapped these eight men when they were heading to the dam site," said Islam. No outfit claimed responsibility for the abduction.

March 11

Authorities arrested 22 tribesmen in SWA of FATA in a "collective responsibility" punishment a day after eight government officials were kidnapped. Eight officials of the FDA, were kidnapped in South Waziristan on March 10, 2016. "We have arrested 22 tribesmen to put pressure for the release of the eight FDA officials as the kidnapping took place in their area and it is their collective responsibility to help authorities in the recovery," Masood Khan, a political officer, said.

The political administration of SWA has given 24 hours to the Suleman Khel and Dottani tribes to rescue nine workers. An unnamed official said that action would be taken under the FCR if the tribes failed to recover the abducted individuals. "If the deadline expires [without the rescue of kidnapped men], the political administration will launch a crackdown against both tribes," the official said, adding, "They will not be issued CNICs (Computerized National Identity Card's) and their domiciles will be suspended. Their business centres will also be shut down."

March 17

At least five terrorists were killed in an exchange of fire when militants besieged a security check post in Dara Darmodrab area of Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency of FATA. The ISPR confirmed the incident.

March 21

A soldier of the Bajaur Scouts was killed when unidentified militants across the border attacked a check post with automatic weapons in Ghakhi Pass in Mamond tehsil of Bajaur Agency in FATA.

President Mamnoon Hussain during his visit in Wana, the headquarters of South Waziristan Agency said that Pakistan's armed forces were fighting a decisive war against terrorism in the tribal areas as. "Anti-state elements are out to weaken the country through subversive activities but their evil designs are being foiled by the armed forces," he said.

March 22

Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif said tribal elders in North Waziristan Agency in FATA were "happy" with improved security and peace and had requested the army to stay in the area till the process of reconstruction and resettlement was completed. On a visit to the tribal agency where the Army has been conducting an air and ground offensive against outlawed militants since June 2014, General Raheel claimed "good progress had been made in the Shawal operation." The Army chief also attended the earth breaking ceremony of a sports complex in the agency. He said tribal people in the area were "keen to resume a productive life," said Lieutenant General Asim Bajwa, head of the ISPR. Bajwa quoted the army chief as saying the "farthest edges of the agency [North Waziristan] were now being cleared" and that around "650 square kilometres had already been cleared in the final phase so far." The ISPR chief said General Raheel had also directed to ensure complete return of all TDPs by the end of 2016.

March 26

A polio worker and supervisor in EPI, identified as Akhtar Khan, was shot dead by an unidentified militant in his private clinic in Khuga Khel area of Khyber Agency in FATA. LI claimed responsibility for killing the EPI supervisor over telephone from an Afghan mobile number. The LI spokesman, however, did not specify as to why an EPI worker was targeted.

Later, the Khasadar officials said that they took a local resident into custody after a son of the deceased polio worker told officials that he saw the a man, identified as Hayatullah, entering his father's clinic and later heard gunshots being fired there. The officials took the suspect in custody for interrogation.

March 30

Seven houses of alleged militants and their facilitators were razed to the ground by a lashkar from Ahmedzai Wazir tribe in different areas of Wana town in SWA of FATA. The houses of Ghulam Jan and his relatives were demolished in Shalam Dana and those of Toor Hafiz and Wari Khan in Shin Warsak. The houses of Gul Mir in Tiarza and Sattar Khan and his cousin in Samar Bagh were also razed to the ground. The accused terrorists belonged to the Hakimullah and Maulvi Nazir groups of the banned TTP.

According to sources, the decision to demolish the houses was taken by a 120-member jirga after "proofs" of the suspects' involvement in terrorist activities were obtained through an investigation.

April 3

Since the last phase of Operation Zarb-e-Azb kicked off in February 27, at least 252 militants have been killed and 160 severely injured, while SFs have cleared 640 square kilometres of so far uncontrolled area in Shawal Valley of NWA in FATA, the ISPR said in a statement. Major terrorist hubs in Mana, Gurbaz, Lataka, Inzarkas and Magrotai areas have been cleared of militants, the ISPR said. "The battle to clear the last pocket close to the Pak-Afghan border continues," it said, adding that all heights over 9,000 feet have been cleared. "Terrorists' hideouts were destroyed, a cache of arms and ammunition seized and there was virtually no communication infrastructure remaining in the Shawal area once the operation was launched in February this year," the statement said.

April 7

SFs repulsed an attack on a checkpost in the Mangora Sar area on the Pak-Afghan border in Kurram Agency of FATA, killing around 18 militants in the subsequent clash. Sources said that a group of 50-60 militants stormed a security checkpost in the Mangora Sar area with heavy arms early in the day. The SF personnel manning the checkpost returned the fire and 18 militants were killed in the ensuing gunbattle. Six militants were also injured in the clash which continued for quite some time. The SFs forced the militants to retreat, leaving behind their weapons and ammunition. However, they said the fleeing militants took along their injured accomplices.

The FDMA will begin the third phase of the return of internally displaced persons to five FATA agencies. An official concerned said that around 84,553 displaced families would go back to their homes in the third phase to be completed by the end of August. He said under the plan, the authority was starting the programme of the IDPs' return to Orakzai Agency from April 11 and that 15,553 families would be facilitated to go back to their homes. The official said 22,000 families would be repatriated to North Waziristan, 30,000 families to South Waziristan, 12,000 families to Kurram and 5,000 families to Khyber Agency.

April 11

At least nine terrorists were killed in military air strikes in Barmand area of North Waziristan Agency in FATA.

The process to repatriate displaced families to SWA in FATA started amid protests by journalists against how they were treated during the recent visit of Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra. The repatriation will continue till May 14, 2016. Officials said that at least 100 families were repatriated to Manzakai, Raghzai and Kat Kai villages on the first day. Around 20 hubs (points) have been set up at the camp for the verification of the displaced families. They added in the first phase, at least 7,348 families will be repatriated to 39 villages of SWA.

Each family was provided PKR 25,000 as well as PKR 10,000 for transportation and other costs. They were also provided with six months of ration to help them settle in their native villages. When contacted, a member of a displaced family Haji Muhammad informed, "Though, I don't know the condition of my house, I am happy to go back after seven years." He added, "We faced a difficult time as IDPs and were living in a rented house. Now, I want to [go back]."

April 16

The guard of a pro-government Lashkar leader, Bilal Afridi, was killed when a suicide bomber attacked the hujra of Said Jamal in the Kharko Sarhgi area in the Zakhakhel tehsil of Khyber Agency in FATA in the night.

April 17

The Levies forces and political administration officials averted a major disaster by defusing improvised explosive devices and rockets that were rigged to blow Usmania Plaza, located in Kurmi Bazaar area of Parachinar in Kurram Agency.

April 18

The Army declared operation in Shawal area of North Waziristan Agency in FATA successful and started clearing improvised explosive devices and other unexploded ordnance in the area. The ISPR said in a statement that Army Chief General Raheel Sharif visited the embattled area near the Afghan border and he was briefed by formation commanders about operational gains achieved so far. More than 800 kilometers area has been secured in Shawal and heavy casualties have been inflicted on terrorists since the start of the last phase of Operation Zarb-i-Azb in February, it said. A security official said the ongoing phase of the operation had been accomplished successfully and troops were holding all important locations near the border.

April 19

Terrorists have been driven out of their last bastion in NWA of FATA, the military said, announcing the completion of the final phase of Zarb-e-Azb operation and launching of "combing operations" in areas other than FATA.

The CoAS General Raheel Sharif emphasised on consolidating the gains and resettling the TDPs in their areas to the best of our abilities, the ISPR said in a statement. He called for breaking the nexus between terrorists and their facilitators sitting outside the tribal areas. General Raheel ordered large-scale "combing operations" immediately to seek out terrorists, their sleeper cells and facilitators in areas other than the FATA, and to enhance the reach of the Law Enforcement Agencies. An unnamed senior security official said that large-scale force would be sent to the areas with the presence of terrorists and their facilitators. "This will be applicable to the whole of Pakistan," he added. "The areas not accessible to the Police would be brought under the control."

April 20

The alliance of the political parties in NWA urged the Government to expedite the return of the displaced tribes and ensure completion of the rehabilitation process before Ramazan. Chairman of the alliance, Malik Akbar Khan representing the represents the Qaumi Watan Party said that the Security Forces had been making tall claims about clearing North Waziristan. However, he said the Government was showing lethargy in the rehabilitation process. He demanded the Government to ensure provision of basic facilities to the affected tribal people before their return to native towns.

The educational institutions and hospitals should be reopened and staff and facilities made available there, he added. The tribesman asked the government to conduct proper survey of the damages caused during the prolonged military operation and substantial compensation should be given to the affected people.

April 23

At least 12 militants were killed and two SF personnel injured in a clash along Pak-Afghan border when unidentified militants attacked a security check post in Baizai area of Mohmand Agency in FATA in the night. The check post came under attack once again April 24-morning, this time with heavy weapons, the officials said. "Both attacks were successfully repulsed. The militants faced heavy casualties," one security official added.

April 24

One FC official was killed and another one was injured an IED blast near a FC bomb-disposal unit which was patrolling the Soran area of Baizai in Mohmand Agency. The IED was possibly planted by the militants while they were retreating following the attack on the Baizai security check post.

The JuA, a splinter group of the TTP, claimed responsibility for the attacks on SFs in Baizai area of Mohmand Agency.

Afghanistan officials accused Pakistani forces of shelling a border post in Goshta District of Nangarhar Province and claimed an Afghan soldier was killed in the alleged attack.

April 29

President Mamnoon Hussain while talking to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra said that the Zarb-e-Azb operation was progressing successfully and would continue till complete elimination of the last terrorist. The President said that the government was committed to bring FATA at par with other areas of the country by completing ongoing development projects and providing socio-economic amenities to improve the standard of life of the people.

May 3

The Federal Government decided to give the status of town and municipal committee to all the tehsils and agency headquarters of the FATA in order to ensure provision of better civic facilities to the people there. The meeting was informed that 23 tehsils and Agency headquarters had been identified to be elevated to town level.

The return process of the displaced families continued on the fourth day as 300 more displaced families returned to their native villages in upper parts of Orakzai Agency. Talking to reporters, Assistant Political Agent Iqbal Wazir said that 300 more families were sent back to their homes in Ismailzai tehsil on fourth day of the return process, which started on April 30.

Source:Compiled from news reports and are provisional.





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