Four ideas floated for mainstreaming Fata

Published August 26, 2016
ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz addressing a press conference regarding the committee report on Fata reforms.—APP
ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz addressing a press conference regarding the committee report on Fata reforms.—APP

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz unveiled on Thursday recommendations aimed at mainstreaming the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) to end poverty and years of neglect.

Mr Aziz, in his capacity as chairperson of the Fata Reforms Committee, said at a press conference that Fata reforms figured prominently under the National Action Plan to counter terrorism, as the region was infested with local and international militant groups whICH challenged writ of the state.

According to the report, an eight-month consultation process has brought forward four options for transformation of Fata: maintaining the status quo with minor changes, granting special status to Fata like Gilgit-Baltistan, creating a separate province for Fata or integrating the region into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.


Reforms committee favours Fata’s integration into KP


Integrating Fata into KP makes more sense in view of close horizontal linkages of tribal agencies and frontier regions with the adjacent districts of the province, the report says. Trade and economic links are also reinforced by KP people’s social and cultural consanguinity with tribes living in Fata.

Mr Aziz said coming sessions of the Senate and National Assembly would hold a debate on the reforms and suggestions from all stakeholders would be incorporated in the reforms package to make it more effective.

He said 20,000 personnel would be inducted in the Levies Force for policing and better border management would be enforced with the addition of extra Frontier Corps troops and improved surveillance.

A statement issued after the press conference said the Fata reforms would be meaningful only if temporarily displaced persons (TDPs) would return home and be assisted to reconstruct their property damaged during anti-terrorist operations, besides other infrastructure.

The report notes that violence in Fata has created 338,000 TDP families who were living away from their homes and phenomenon has denuded Fata of its social structure. It warns that if appropriate reforms are not introduced as soon as possible, the advantages obtained through the Zarb-i-Azb operation would be lost.

Published in Dawn, August 26th, 2016

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