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Good intentions: Fata development plan


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THE priorities are right. According to a Fata secretariat handout, the financial year 2013-14 annual development plan for Fata places emphasis on the completion of ongoing schemes as well as those with immediate and visible socio-economic benefits, and discourages projects which would have little impact. Unlike many other parts of the country that are also backward, Fata — despite the extension of the political parties act to the area — is still not part of the national mainstream, and international crises on its periphery have added to its misfortunes. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the US-led attack on the Taliban-ruled country, and the wave of militancy that spilled over into Fata in the wake of these events destroyed such industry as it had and threw the tribal people decades back into time. While the degree of militancy varies from one agency to another, the cumulative effect on the entire region is hostile to all development activity.

However, the Fata population in its entirety must not be tarred with the same brush. As last month’s elections have shown, the majority of Fata people and tribal elders are keen to shake off retrogressive attitudes and become part of the mainstream. This arms the federal government and Fata authorities with a moral authority to work for the welfare of the majority and disregard the minority standing between the tribesmen and a better life. Yet, going by the fate of annual development plans over the last few years, it is unlikely that the Fata administration will be able to utilise even half of the nearly Rs19bn allocated for 2013-14, particularly if steps to bring the law and order situation under control are not simultaneously undertaken. Much more concerted efforts are required to bring the area at par with the rest of the country.

Comments (2) Closed

Iftikhar Husain Jun 06, 2013 11:07am
Very rightly pointed out in the editorial the law and order is urgent need of the area and the money allocated has to honestly used for the benefit of the area.
Azad Jun 06, 2013 10:55am
For god sake! this is only paper work and waste of time by bureaucracy who ignored the stark realities exists in FATA. the territorial control and writ of Govt. in FATA is theoretical. School, public health units and infrastructure has been completely blown up by the terrorists (our establishment's strategic assets) this means no students and many recruits for the suicide bombing and terrorist activities (keep in mind that every family raised average 8-12 children). FATA is still governed by 120 years old draconian law devised by the British to subdue the people which show contempt of our establishment to the FATA people. FATA secretariat a bureaucratic setup about which the editorial is written is situated outside FATA territory who are unaware about the ground situation and show little interest in people aspirations. Further, non-accession of FATA with KPK despite its cultural, linguistic, social similarities and ethnic, geographical relationship is worth pondering and depicts malicious acts and intentions of our establishment. Geographically FATA Agencies are not connected well through roads with each other and are separated by high/hard terrain but are in close proximity and linked through roads with different regions of KPK which negates the view point of people who demand separate provincial status for FATA. what is needed to bring FATA in the mainstream is extension of constitution of Pakistan to these areas which guarantee rights to the peoples, access of print and electronic media to the region, construction of blown schools and Basic health units, a viable and sustainable security arrangement, revival of its economy i.e. extraction of its mineral resources which will provide people livelihood and its ultimate annexing with KPK.