Future of FATA - A New Province Of Pakistan?

By Sikander Hayat

Taliban are defeated in Swat and must now be defeated in Waziristan as well. Death of Baitullah Mehsud has started a rot that will eventually finish the Pakistani Taliban as we know it.
Pakistan government must plan now to be vigilant against the regrouping of the Taliban in Waziristan and increase efforts to bring FATA in the national fold and eventually give it a provincial status.

Here are few of the articles which discuss the future scenarios for FATA:

1. Fata priorities By I.A. Rehman

2. Review Descent Into Chaos Ahmed Rashid

3.Pakistan & The Provinces – The Question of Provincial Autonomy & Its Impact On Pakistan’s Future Prosperity

4.Provincial status for Fata demanded


  1. I don't think this is a good idea. Better to form a Pashtu province and make the tribal areas part of them with some extra autonomy. And build roads to integrate them.

    It is naive to suppose that the Pakistan Taliban is finished. As long as there is an Afghan Taliban fed from Pakistan it is very easy to build a new Pakistan Taliban.

  2. I would like to see FATA merged in phases into the Khyber Pukhtunkwa province, they will benefit from the civil and beauracratic experience of KPK.

    On a side note, perhaps Balochistan could be divided into two or three more manageable provinces as well as the southern part of Panjab.

  3. Dear Wim Roffel,

    You have got a very good point about the integration of FATA in the present Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but there are already voices about creation of Hazara province within Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. There is also talk of creating provinces in all other provinces to devolve government at a more local level. I was suggesting creation of FATA as province in that context but any debate to take things further is definitely a welcome one.

    Sikander Hayat

  4. A day after President Asif Ali Zardari recommended the formation of a commission on new provinces, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) said new provinces should be made “wherever needed to strengthen Pakistan”.
    The ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is pushing for two new provinces – Multan and Bahawalpur. But Nawaz said there was a need to make Hazara and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) separate provinces.
    He was speaking to the media after inaugurating a sports ground in Lahore on Friday.
    On Thursday, President Zardari sent a reference to the National Assembly speaker asking her to set up a commission which will look into the possibility of making Multan and Bahawalpur provinces.
    “Zardari’s philosophy on new provinces is based on petty interests as he believes that his party may win the upcoming elections (by using) such issues,” Nawaz said.
    Asked about President Zardari’s allegation that the PML-N was behind the demand for a Mohajir province, he said, “It is not befitting the president to play tricks like this. He has set off the debate of new provinces, so he has to face its consequences.”
    Nawaz added, “I have great love for my country, I could have called for the division of Sindh (to play politics) but I chose not to.”
    Earlier, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif rejected outright the proposal for a commission, saying that Bahawalpur province did not need the establishment of any panel as it merely has to be reinstated to its original status.
    Shahbaz also said he never demanded that Karachi be made a province and that there was ‘mischief’ behind this proposal. He added that there was no room for the creation of a new province in Sindh and that certain elements were exposing their hypocritical attitude in this regard.
    The question of who was behind the wall-chalking in Sindh demanding a Mohajir province ‘is no secret’, according to the chief minister.
    Published in The Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2012.

  5. The parliamentary commission on new provinces (PCNP) is facing hurdles after receiving criticism from major political parties for not representing the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).
    In the area, political leaders, amongst others, have held strong reservations about the decision to create another province. The Fata parliamentarians are divided into four groups. These include the Hameedullah Jan Afridi group, who lead the joint parliamentary group, Munir Orakzai (PPP-led coalition group), Akhunzada Chattan (PPP group), while Abdul Malik and Senator Salih Shah belongs to the JUI-F group.
    While the PPP and ANP want to merge the tribal areas into Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), JUI-F leaders want the Fata council to decide the fate of the area. Currently, all political leaders except for JUI-F and Orakzai groups seek representation in the commission on the formation of new provinces.
    There are also three major views about the formation of a separate province for Fata. Most tribal leaders support the idea of a fifth province. Another opinion, supported by the ANP, says it should be merged into Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P). The third view supported by Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) has called for an elected Fata council that should decide the future of Fata.
    Jan Afridi’s group, considered friendly opposition for the government, held reservations about not being represented in the committee. Talking to The Express Tribune, Afridi said that many members of the PCNP were ‘irrelevant’ and wrongly appointed to their positions. He said that the 27,000 square kilometre area of Fata deserved to be a new province but if they were not taken into confidence about the issue then they would vote against it.
    Ex-senator and member of JUI, Hafiz Rasheed also demanded a separate province for Fata and representation in the PCNP. Rasheed said that the tribal community had its own separate culture and that it was within their rights to acquire one. He criticised the government for leaving residents of Fata unrepresented in the committee.
    Zahir Sahah Safi, a lawyer and general secretary of Fata Reforms Movement said Fata is the ‘fifth unit of the federation’ and it was in their constitutional rights to be taken on board in the committee. “Unfortunately when there is any amendment or other constitutional matter in parliament, Fata’s representation is always ignored and all its important issue are always handled without the voice of its people.”
    Published in The Express Tribune, September 2nd, 2012

  6. A representative body of Uthmankhel tribe on Monday termed the demand for the province of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) “fraught with serious security implications.”
    “The demand for the new province for FATA is premature and is fraught with serious security implications as this will be a decision forced on the tribal people,” said Haji Shah Wali Khan, president of Uthmankhel Qaumi Movement (UQM) at gatherings at Qaroon Dheri and Mesri Banda on Sunday. A veteran writer, Gauher Rehman Gauhar, said that the city population must out to the neglected tribal masses who could face serious issues if they remained entangled in the inaccessible terrain of FATA for a long, a press release of the UQM said.
    Muhammad Iqbal and Umer Sadiq said that the Uthmankhel tribe faces “political disappearance” if not united and organised under the banner of UQM. Tribal elder Gulistan lamented the “step-motherly treatment” of Uthmankhel and Mohmand population at the hands of big landlords of Charsadda district. “We must rise for our political emancipation,” he told the gathering.

  7. Fata Grand Alliance has demanded of the government to give identity to the tribal people by naming all the tribal agencies as separate province with the name of Qabailistan which will enable the people to make the laws for themselves.

    Malik Khan Marjan Wazir, chief patron of the alliance while addressing a press conference here on Wednesday at Peshawar press club, said t since independence of Pakistan no Political ruler had performed his due role for development of Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) rather everyone was found involved looting their resources.

    FGA, he said had struggled for amendment in FCR and it was due to the struggle that President Asif Ali Zardari announced reforms in Frontier Crime Regulation (FCR).

    He added it seemed that coalition partners of the present government had determined to merge Fata into settled areas of the province without consulting the tribal people; therefore he said that some political parties trying to create hindrances in the reformation announcement of President for the tribal people and end their identity.

    we will not accept any other option except formation of Qabilistan as new province. We also eulogize MQM s support for Qabailistan province, he said.

    He said that FGA with the supports of members of parliament in the supervision of Hameed Ullah Jan Afridi had submitted a resolution in National assembly in which the demand was made for separates province of Fata. They appealed to government to review its policies and keep stopping the Nato supply.


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