The Dream of FATA -BY : Asad Khan Betani

The long awaited desire and a dream of FATA is becoming true with the fabrication of FATA into KPK but impediments by two national leaders may crack their dream. The development in FATA politics dates back to 1997 When President Farooq Laghari approved the right of adult franchise on the condition of non-party bases in FATA which earlier was never applied since inception of Pakistan in 1947, instead the famous black law FCR was operational since 19th century. The next phase of political development appeared in 2002 when General Pervaiz Musharraf Amended Political Parties Order (PPO) but did not pay much attention to heal the wounds of FATA, Pervaiz Musharraf constituted a FATA secretariat in 2004 for a sole purpose to closely monitor funding and use the secretariat in a bid to influence emerging political parties there but FCR was yet effective and most of the people in FATA were unaware of their due and basic rights, the funds were supposed to be spent on FATA’s infrastructure and development, had no audit, Check & Balance so resultantly, the people of FATA suffered in the hopeless sigh and no signs of development were seen, even the funds were spent with no change in appearance.
Another political development was executed by late Benazir Bhutto to redress the grievances of the people of FATA in 2004, when a petition filled in country’s apex court for political reforms in the tribal belt. In November 2004, the senate adopted the PPP draft regarding reforms in FCR, and finally the committee delivered its report in August 2005 demanding the amendments in the FCR. PPP, ANP and Muslim League N was supporting these amendments, PML-N and PPP even signed a charter of democracy in 2006 to firm democracy in Pakistan. The premier Yousaf Raza Gilani went a step forward and even wanted to eliminate FCR from FATA region but establishment was not willing to comply in positive because of cacophonous militancy in the region.

In 2011, President Asif Ali Zardari once again initiated political and administrative reforms, coordination of ANP’s Chief Asfandyar Wali Khan continued to eliminate FCR but again steps proved unsuccessful however, reforms were amended.
On August 2011, The President Asif Ali Zardari made a far reaching administrative and political reforms and further empowered Political Parties Order (PPO) endorsed with necessary amendments in the FCR at the ceremony announced in the president house, which brought setbacks in felony.

FATA has been the epicenter of insurgency, hit by terrorism. Over thousands of people were victimized, died in terrorist attacks and temporary displaced, are now once again seeking attention for their due rights to abolish FCR and amend Article 247. During the tenure of PPP government, establishment made obstacles to eliminate FCR on the ground that militancy was to be wiped out through military operation, recently, operation Zarb e Azb has accomplished general objectives to the extent, amid resistance is so and far reported while rehabilitation is in progress, TDP’s are being placed now and establishment is monitoring the development with partner organizations like USAID and World Bank, while the people of FATA are now demanding the merger of FATA with KPK as it was a sole redressal of their grievances.
All the parties have been acceded to the demands of the people of FATA through FATA reforms committee except Two national leaders The Chairman PkMAP Mehmood Khan Achakzai and JUI’s Chief Maulana Fazal ur Rehman,
while on the other hand, Mehmood Khan Achakzai and Maulana have strongly opposed the idea of merging FATA with the KPK instead proposed provincial status for the people of FATA.
The envisaged plan by Mehmood Khan achakzai was rejected by many segments in FATA adding that the proposal plan was to play with the sentiments of the people of FATA so decline was a primary option, while the secondary was force. Additionally, the proposed plan by two leaders were never even been discussed in FATA reforms in June 2016’s report by FATA reforms committee.
The fate of FATA is once again in peril as the tug of war between the unfortunate people of FATA and powerful leaders of JUI and PkMAP is being written in the history of Pakistan.

Posted on Feb 06, 17 | 4:25 am