FATA & KP News – Latest News from Fata & KP at Radio TNN

 Breaking News

Features & Interviews

Commentary: Why is it better to merge FATA with KP

Commentary: Why is it better to merge FATA with KP

File Photo: courtesy FATA Committee (flicker)

January 01, 2016

By Tayyeb Afridi

After the security situation somehow improved, the FATA Parliamentarians tabled the bill in the National Assembly seeking merger of FATA with Khyber Pakhtukhwa (KP). The tabling of this bill actually highlighted once again the issue of FATA – whether it should be brought under the umbrella of parliament or left as it is to the prerogative of president, a ceremonial head of the state, who only controls FATA.

We have seen a lot of uproar in the past three months over social and conventional media about the fate of FATA. Social media users were rigorously using twitter hashtags of MergeFATAWithKP, FATAMerger, FATAMergerWithKP, taking to Facebook to share their views about FATA status. There was all of sudden this groundswell of opinion seen everywhere in FATA and KP as FATA Siyasi Ittehad (FSI) supported by Awami National Party (ANP), Jamat-i-Islami (JI) , Jamhori Watan Party (JWP), Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Peoples party took rallies to D-chowk of parliament to press for the merger of FATA into  Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Conventional media also carried many stories on this subject. But the crescendo of voices died just as suddenly as it had erupted. Why?

The FATA parliamentarians (yes, theoretically they are parliamentarian but practically they cannot even legislate for FATA) for whatever political reasons gave up on the proposed 22nd amendment tabled and pursued by them in the parliament and that happened after the government constituted a “special powered” committee with no members from FATA to decide the fate of the region.

Like always, someone else is deciding the fate of tribal areas in the presence of FATA representatives. That is why the FATA Siyasi Itehad (FSI) rejected the formation of this committee, while the FATA Grand Alliance (FGA)- an alliance of Maliks (tribal elders) welcomed it because they want an elected council or province for FATA and rejects merger of FATA with KP. Jamiat-ullema-e-Islam JUI (F) also rejects merger of FATA with KP.

15583317514_2b373e14a9_n

File Photo: Courtesy FATA Faces FATA Voices

The FGA and JUI (F) think that becoming part of KP will undermine importance of tribal traditions such as Jirga and other customs. What they don’t know or don’t want to know is that those living in KP are also Pakhtuns and has been happily exercising their traditions whether that is Jirga or anything else even under the umbrella of parliament. This sort of parallel system exists everywhere in Pakistan. For instance, take Punjab where you will find Panchayat. In Sindh, the Wadera system continues to exist. Aren’t they tribesmen having traditions? I guess nobody is saying we’re better than them.

And also this notion that tribal people are better – by way of tradition and values – than those living in KP is in fact racism. It hurts one to see even tribal educated folks saying that Pakhtuns in KP have compromised their traditions and they don’t want to be part of it. We don’t have to be rocket scientists to know that Pakhtuns living in KP are better educated with more schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, courts, playgrounds, and far better established infrastructure which is being used by people from tribal areas since ages.

So what is the best possible scenario?

If the government makes the tribal areas a part of KP, the tribal people will get rid of centuries old draconian law known as Frontier Crime Regulation (FCR) that prohibits freedom of expression and speech and this will ultimately contribute to information economy, which is absent in this region since becoming part of the country.

If the government makes it a part of KP, the tribal people will get out of the isolation syndrome that is preventing them from change and thus they will embrace physical and emotional development.By becoming part of KP, the almost 10 million population of tribal areas will add to KP and that will increase the province share in the NFC Award because it goes to the provinces on the basis of population.

The mainstreaming will open up FATA to business, tourism, communication, if not immediately, at least after a few years and people will experience a positive change. KP and FATA share a common ethnicity and therefore they understand each other well because many tribesmen from Bajaur to South Waziristan have been living in KP for many years and for many reasons.

Also geographically, KP and FATA are connected and dependent on each other for education, health, business, and communication. If some one has to go to Orakzai from Bajaur, he has to go through Peshawar and Kohat as there is no direct road between these two. And there is even no direct road that connects all agencies. Making such road is next to impossible because one has to break the mountains that are separating agencies.

File Photo: Courtesy FATA Faces FATA Voices

File Photo: Courtesy FATA Faces FATA Voices

In case of having FATA as a separate province from KP, there will be disputes on which agency will be the capitol of FATA and that could be tough decision to make. The FATA areas even don’t have their own civil servants and they borrow it from KP. And finally, now the military establishment also likes to see the fate of FATA decided because the local administration has badly failed to counter radicalism and militancy.

The best possible scenario available at this time for FATA is to merge with KP. And if the FATA Parliamentarians invoked the 22nd amendment and passed it from the parliament, they will be remembered as saviors of FATA in the days to come.

 

The views expressed by this writer do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the TNN.

 

 

 

 

Comments

Related Articles

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Only registered users can comment.

FEATURES & INTERVIEWS – LATEST

Like Us On Facebook

Fata Reforms

  • Political parties, Pakhtunkhwa Olasi Tehrik press govt for early implementation of FATA reforms

    The issue of administrative reforms in FATA is being discussed on the national level for the last two years. However, the process has faced delays due to political and other differences. The FATA Political Alliance and Pakhtunkhwa Olasi Tehreek have started protests and sit-ins to pressurise the government to accelerate the reforms process and abolish the controversial Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) law.

  • FATA reforms process gets momentum after the election of PM Abbasi

    The FATA reforms process which was initiated in 2015 saw delays due to differences among different political parties over the mode of reforms as well as the confused approach adopted by the government towards the issue.The government had apparently put the issue on the back burner until new prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and his cabinet revived the process and directions were issued on 13 September, 017 to bring a new draft law in place of Riwaj Act.

TDPs

  • Families suffer from lack of internet and mobile services in areas of return

    Following repatriation to natives towns, the returned families especially youth have been facing immense problems due to unavailability of internet and 3G services in tribal agencies. Though tribes seem satisfied with pace of reconstruction and rehabilitation process but what concern them is the non-availability of cellular phones, internet services that concern the tribal people especially […]

  • Post-repatriation opportunities and challenges of Technical education in FATA

    The government has allocated Rs 600 million to promote technical education and enroll maximum students at technical educational institutions in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). The amount is said to be spent on construction of new technical institutes, make the closed institute functional and equip them with modern facilities. This was revealed by Fata Development […]

Follow us on twitter

Archives

October 2017
M T W T F S S
« Sep    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031