Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA), has a long and mixed story of bravery, scarcity, deprivation, war, terrorism, military operations, migration, and finally, the last portion of the story of merger of FATA in KPK (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)
Merger of FATA in KPK (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)
The worn-torn region of FATA proved a hard nut to be cracked for the British army in the 19th century before the partition. The brave tribal men fought fiercely with the English army to save the region from colonization. The British government used various tactics to lure the tribals but all went vain. The offer of money, power, name, and fame couldn’t pacify the brave Pathans.
In 1901, the British knelt down and made an agreement with the natives of FATA. The agreement gave a special status and autonomy to it, on the condition of peaceful relations with the British. Afterward, the area remained an autonomous territory till the partition. At the independence, Quaid e Azam convinced the tribal chiefs for joining to Pakistan. The leaders of the region shown a willingness, to connect to Pakistan on the condition of the same status which was given to them by the British. Quaid e Azam agreed to their demand and, FATA became part of the new Muslim State.
The fate of FATA couldn’t shine. The feeling of deprivation and inequality remained in the heart of the people of FATA till 2018. They lived discriminated life in Pakistan. Their special status caused a grave problem for them. They couldn’t reach the high courts or apex course but face the illogical decisions of Jirga. They witnessed the brutal dealing of enabling Levis and Khassan instead of the Police. Their administration-related issues were dealt with by the Political Agents instead of Assistant/Deputy Commissioners. They had governor rule instead of full flagged democracy.
The Indian act of 1935 was active in the area instead of the Constitution of 1973.
Besides the above, terrorism, criminal gangs, illiteracy, water scarcity, inflation, lack of basic amenities, military operations (16 large and small operations), strict rules by the tribal chiefs made the area dormant.
In May 2018, the 25th amendment in the Constitution of 1973, merged FATA into KPK. The merger was welcomed wholeheartedly by the residents of the FATA. They took a sigh of relief at this achievement. The merger, cast out the feeling of inequality and deprivation from the minds and hearts of the people. They felt equal citizenship then.
Now, a couple of rules have been changed for FATA.
FATA became part of Pakistan officially. Its status has been changed from federally Administrated areas to the part of KPK. The number of provincial seats of KPK increased by 145. The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the High Court of KPK extended to FATA.
The PAS officers (ACs and DCs) have taken place of political agents. Police service of Pakistan regulated in the place of Levis and Khassan. Governer rules dissolved to a democratic rule under Chief Minister. An annual 100bn special grant has been allotted for the development of the area for a period of a decade. Tax evasion relief for the people of the area for a time period of five years has approved. Jirga’s system and inhumane treatment have been barred. And the number of other facilities like the web of roads, water availability, educational and health facilities have been approved for FATA. (merger of FATA in KPK)
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