Mainstreaming Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas Challenges and Future Prospects
Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) is amongst the unstable and underdeveloped regions of Pakistan. The people of the region have been the subject of outdated Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) laws. These controversial laws have denied them equal essential human rights, economic and political opportunities as prevailed in the rest of the country. After the partition, FATA did not come directly under the orbit of national and provincial parliaments, which made this region a center of lawlessness and crimes. With the advent of the Afghan war, the region gradually became a sanctuary for militants and resultantly has fallen into the hands of radicals and extremists. FATA merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) is an important step towards administrative development and mainstreaming the region. It is expected that under the proposed merger, the tribal people would get basic human rights. Moreover, a merger with KPK would eliminate the decade’s long sense of deprivation and alienation. However, despite wide-ranging support for the merger, mainstreaming FATA is likely to be challenging, with many barriers and obstructions to be surmounted.