FATA Reforms: A New Beginning
Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) Reforms Committee recently submitted its report to the Prime Minster, which was later presented before Parliament for debate. The reform bill is the right step in mainstreaming FATA and is expected to change the destiny of this tribal area.
The FATA reform package is a complete set of political, administrative, judicial and security reforms which will take place gradually in the span of five years – merging it with the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Mentioned below are some of the major reforms which will take place in the transitory period of five years:
- Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) to be repealed and the new Tribal Areas Rewaj Act to be enacted.
- The jirga system to be retained for both civil and criminal matters, whereby the judge to appoint a Council of Elders to decide factual issues in accordance with rewaj (traditions). A decree to be passed in accordance with the findings in a civil reference. An order to be passed in accordance with the findings and applicable law in a criminal reference.
- Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the Peshawar High Court to be extended to FATA.
- The Levies force to be reorganized to perform agency police functions and for them to have standard uniform and basic training.
- The carrying out of land settlement and preparing of Geographic Information System (GIS) based computerized land records.
- The establishing of elected local bodies in FATA before the end of 2017 to address alienation of the people belonging to tribes and enhance their faith in the state.
- The 10-year development plan to include major infrastructure and irrigation projects, mineral development program, establishment of industrial zones with special incentives and integrated plans for health. The plan to also promote education and the establishment of universities, medical and engineering colleges and vocational training.
The FATA reforms package is the start of a new beginning for tribal areas. These areas have only seen terrorism and turmoil in the past 15 years. This said, the implementation of these reforms is a challenging task and requires active involvement and vigorous monitoring by the Prime Minister and Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
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