North Waziristan

North Waziristan

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North Waziristan

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North Waziristan () is the northern part of Waziristan, a mountainous region of northwest Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan and covering . Waziristan comprises the area west and south-west of Peshawar between the Tochi river to the north and the Gomal river to the south, forming part of Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Miranshah is capital of North Waziristan. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa lies immediately to the east. The region was an independent tribal territory from 1893, remaining outside of the British empire and Afghanistan. Tribal raiding into British territory was a constant problem for the British, requiring frequent punitive expeditions between 1860 and 1945. The region became part of Pakistan on independence in 1947.

Waziristan is divided into two "agencies", North Waziristan and South Waziristan, with estimated populations (as of 1998) of 361,246 and 429,841 respectively. The two parts have quite distinct characteristics, though both tribes are subgroups of the Waziris and speak a common Waziri language. They have a formidable reputation as warriors and are known for their frequent blood feuds. Traditionally, feuding local Waziri religious leaders have enlisted outsiders in the Pakistani government, and U.S. forces hunting al-Qaeda fugitives, in attempts at score-settling. The tribes are divided into sub-tribes governed by male village elders who meet in a tribal jirga. Socially and religiously Waziristan is an extremely conservative area....
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