FATA’s Merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: An Historical Analysis
Pakistan Perspectives Vol. 23, No.2, July-December 2018
17 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2020
Date Written: 2018
Nation-building is an evolutionary socio-political process. It not only provides security, dignity and ownership to a community, but also ensures democratic participation of people within the state to claim rights and perform duties. It enables a state to defend its sovereignty, achieve economic goals, and protect national interests at regional and global levels. Since 9/11 incident, terrorism has become a global challenge. To counter this menace Pakistan also aligned and provided land routes to foreign forces to get access to a landlocked Afghanistan. Across the Pak-Afghan border, through the tribal belt known as FATA, terrorism has spilled over Pakistan. The exclusive status of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), in the past seventy years of Pakistan’s history, had deprived fundamental rights to the people of FATA. These tribal areas were governed by a separate law known as Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) made by the British in 1901. This law has proved as the main obstacle in bringing FATA in to the mainstream of Pakistan. After examining the historical and geographical aspects of FATA, the article shows how FATA remained outside the nation-building process in Pakistan. In this connection it seeks to see the position of FATA in the constitutions of Pakistan, including state initiatives to own this western belt and obstacles faced in merging FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK). It narrates the events that led to the merger of FATA with the KPK and high lights future challenges as well. It recommends that FATA’s merger would help establish a strong line of defence against terrorism.
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