Friday, 6 November 2015

What Should Pakistan Do About FATA?

FATA is a very strategically located area of Pakistan but has been a virtual war zone for last 30 years. First against the Russians & Then against the American, locals have sought to fight for their freedom. Later on, in last ten, years, areas has been taken over by terror groups like al Qaeda & Taliban. Pakistan military is currently conducting a huge military operation in FATA to eliminate Afghan & Indian funded terrorists. 


The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)  is a semi-autonomous tribal region in northwestern Pakistan, bordering Pakistan's provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan to the east and south, and Afghanistan's provinces of Kunar, Nangarhar, Paktia, Khost and Paktika to the west and north. The Federally Administered Tribal Areas comprise seven tribal agencies (districts) and six frontier regions, and are directly governed by Pakistan's federal government through a special set of laws called the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR).
Women education is a very big issue in FATA. Locals generally do not like their girls to get educated as they thinks that this is against their culture and values. Pakistan government is trying to reverse this trend but it will need a great effort to change a whole culture. Although Malala was shot in Swat, but the same terror groups are active in FATA to stop girls from getting educated. They destroy schools and any try to force local population by murder to stop educating girls. 

The territory is almost exclusively inhabited by the Pashtuns, who also live in neighboring province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and are largely Muslims. The main towns of the territory are Parachinar, Miranshah, Razmak, Kaniguram, Wana, Kalaya, Landi Kotal,Ghalanai and Khaar.
The Federally Administered Tribal Areas are bordered by: Afghanistan to the north and west, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the east, and Balochistan to the south.
The seven Tribal Areas lie in a north-to-south strip that is adjacent to the west side of the six Frontier Regions, which also lie in a north-to-south strip. The areas within each of those two regions are geographically arranged in a sequence from north to south.
Pakistan Army has been conducting a military operation in FATA since last couple of years to root out the terror outfits from FATA but with mixed success. A lot of these Pakistani Taliban have taken refuge in Afghanistan under the umbrella of Afghan Intelelgence Agency & Indian Intellegence Agency (RAW) which provide arms and funding to these terrorist. 

The geographical arrangement of the seven Tribal Areas in order from north to south is: Bajaur, Mohmand, Khyber, Orakzai, Kurram, North Waziristan, South Waziristan. The geographical arrangement of the six Frontier Regions in order from north to south is: Peshawar, Kohat, Bannu, Lakki Marwat, Tank, Dera Ismail Khan.
The total population of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas was estimated in 2000 to be about 3,341,070 people, or roughly 2% of Pakistan's population. Only 3.1% of the population resides in established townships. It is thus the most rural administrative unit in Pakistan.
The main language spoken in FATA is Pashto.
Poverty is a big issue in FATA as there are no economic avenues that local people can pursue to better their lives. They either have to move to more developed areas or stay in FATA. This lack of opportunity is one big reason that local youth can find criminal activity a very enticing prospect. Pakistan governement need to take immideate steps to better the economic condition by creating inductrial zones and other employment opportunities. 
In the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, there are seven Tribal Agencies and six FRs. These are (from North to South):
·         Bajaur Agency
·         Mohmand Agency
·         Khyber Agency
·         Frontier Region Peshawar
·         Frontier Region Kohat
·         Orakzai Agency
·         Kurram Agency
·         Frontier Region Bannu
·         North Waziristan Agency
·         Frontier Region Lakki Marwat
·         Frontier Region Tank
·         South Waziristan Agency
Bringing democracy to FATA is the only way to progress and that will give voice to the people of FATA. Unless a way is found to bring FATA into the mainstream of Pakistan there will be no progress. Currently parliament members from FATA can vote on national issues but because there is no provincial assembly, they cannot vote on the matters which are important to this region. 

According to Khyber Pakhtunkwa Times   “However, the requirements to bring the people of tribal areas at par with the rest of the nation are much greater; Nothing less than FATA becoming a province with its own elected assembly, political administration and other trappings will bring peace and prosperity to the area and enforce a will among the tribes to fight terrorism.The absence of a province of their own, and the presence of the cruel FCR law has held in abeyance the progress of the tribes. The shameful law contains sections which allow the political administration to demolish
Taliban have been killing polio vaccination workers to stop the government of Pakistan from eradicating this disease from FATA in particular and Pakistan in general. You can only guess what is the logic behind this but apparently outsiders are trying to make the men and women of FATA infertile. 
the house of a tribesman in his absence without informing him of his crime or giving him a chance to defend himself, legally. To give another example: A political agent (PA), who also has the powers of a session judge and deputy commissioner, can send a tribesman to the gallows on the basis of a report prepared by his staff and signed by the tribal elders whose positions and means of living depend on the goodwill of that very PA. Again, the condemned individual has no right to defend himself as he would in any court anywhere in the civilized world: The accused tribesman does not have the right to appeal; to be represented by a lawyer, or to submit evidence in the PA's court. As such, for all practical purposes, the PA is the chief executive, the head investigator, leading prosecutor and the top judge in the political agency of his posting: there is no escape for a tribesman from PA's clutches.”  
Women Rights are a big concern for the population of FATA. 
The paper goes on to say “Right now, whatever resistance there is in Fata against the introduction of modern laws and institutions is because of the sense that these are imposed from the outside. With their elected representative making the very laws, promoting similar uplift projects and setting new institutions, such biases will vanish. There will be a healthy competition for projects among the elected representatives from different districts which will further help the tribes snap out of desperation.
Nawaz Sharif had raised voice for making Fata province before elections; now he is in power and is in a position to fulfil his vows. The question is will he?”


With Thanks to Wikipedia & Khyber Pakhtunkwa Times  

Related Posts: 


1. FATA - Fifth Province of Pakistan


1 comment:

  1. FATA must be given a full province like status.

    ReplyDelete

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