Introduction to Federal Administrated Tribal Area:
The Federally, Administered Tribal Area (FATA) runs along the Pak Afghan Frontier for about 500 Kilometers and Provincially Administered Tribal Area (PATA) is attached to adjoining districts of Peshawar, Kohat, Bannu and DeraIsmail Khan. FATA is federal Area. It has been divided
administratively into the following seven agencies.
- Khyber Agency
- Mohmand Agency
- Bajour Agency
- Kurram Agency
- Aurakzai Agency
- North Waziristan Agency
- South Waziristan Agency
The Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) is situated in a narrow belt along the Pak-Afghan border, known as Durand Line named after Sir Mortimer Durand who surveyed and established this borderline between 1890-94.Administratively, FATA is divided into seven political agencies viz Bajaur. Mohmand, Khyber. Orakzai, Kurram. North and South Waziristan and six Frontier Regions: Peshawar FR, Kohat FR, Bannu FR, D. l.
Khan FR. Tank FR and Lakki Marwat FR. The set up of the administrative agencies of Khyber, Kurram and North and South Waziristan all date back to the I880s and 90’s. The other three agencies were created after the inception of Pakistan.
Although the British never succeeded in completely calming unrest in the region,it served as a buffer from unrest in Afghanistan. The British Colonial Government attempted to control the population of the annexed tribal regions with the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR), which granted large amounts of power to local leaders along the North-West Frontier as part of the process of indirect rule. Due to “the extremely harsh, inhuman and discriminatory provisions” contained within the FCR, the legislation came to be known as the “black law.”
The annexed areas continued to be governed through the Frontier Crimes Regulations after the creation of Pakistan in 1947, by the Dominion of Pakistan in 1947, and into the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in 1956.
According to the United States Institute of Peace, the character of the region underwent a shift beginning in the 1980s. Mujahideen entered to fight against the jirgas as allies of the CIA Operation Cyclone; both were opposed to forces of the Soviet Union prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall and collapse of Soviet Union.
In 2001, the Tehrik-e-Taliban militants began entering into the region.In 2003, Taliban forces sheltered in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas began crossing the border into Afghanistan, attacking military and police after the United States invasion. Shkin, Afghanistan was a key location for these frequent battles. This heavily fortified military base housed mostly American special operations forces since 2002 and is located six kilometers from the Pakistani border. It is considered the most dangerous location in Afghanistan.
Since the September 11 attacks in the United States of 2001, the tribal areas were a major theatre of militancy and terrorism. The Pakistan Army launched 10 operations against the Pakistani Taliban since 2001, notably the Operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan. The operations displaced about two million people from the tribal areas, as schools, hospitals, and homes have been destroyed in the war.
With the encouragement of the United States, 80,000 Pakistani troops entered the Federally Administered Tribal Areas in March 2004 to search for al-Qaeda operatives, meeting with fierce resistance from Pakistani Taliban. It was not the elders, but the Pakistani Taliban who negotiated a truce with the army, an indication of the extent to which the Pakistani Taliban had taken control.Troops entered the region, into South Waziristan and North Waziristan, eight more times between 2004 and 2006, and faced further Pakistani Taliban resistance. Peace accords entered into in 2004 and 2006 set terms whereby the tribesmen in the area would stop attacking Afghanistan, and the Pakistanis would halt major military actions against the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, release all prisoners, and permit tribesmen to carry small guns. On 4 June 2007, the National Security Council of Pakistan met to decide the fate of Waziristan and take up a number of political and administrative decisions to control “Talibanization” of the area. The meeting was chaired by President Pervez Musharraf and it was attended by the Chief Ministers and Governors of all four provinces. They discussed the deteriorating law and order situation and the threat posed to state security. To crush the armed militancy in the Tribal regions and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the government decided to intensify and reinforce law enforcement and military activity, take action against certain madrasas, and jam illegal FM radio stations.
History of Region:
The areas constituting Federally Administered Tribal Area have held a unique position in the history of the Sub-Continent. The harsh mountain land interspersed with many passes, the most famous of these being the Khyber Pass, has over the centuries provided passage for invaders from the north. The Aryans entered India through these passes as did Alexander the Great. The British realizing the importance of this area, during the period of the Forward Policy of Lord Curzon, demarcated this area through the Durand Line as a buffer zone for their Indian Empire against the threat of the Tsarist Russia’s expansion. The demarcation of the area however, did not totally subsume the political autonomy of the region. Except where strategic considerations dictated, the area was allowed to exercise its peculiar administration based on tribal laws and institutions.One of the earliest references to this area and its people dates back to the invasion of Alexander the Great circa 323 B.C. in which a tribe called the Apurtae were said to inhabit the hills of the present Khyber Agency. The change of name to the present Apredai in the local dialect is not difficult to discern.
The autonomous status of FATA was accepted by Pakistan on its independence through the famous Instrument of Accession signed by the Father of the Nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, at the Bannu Tribal Jirga in January 1948. The same has been enshrined in all constitutions of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, including the Constitution of 1973 in its Article 247.Under Article 247 of the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) fall under the executive authority of the Federation. In terms of Article 247 and the linked SRO 109 of 25/6/1970, administrative powers with respect to FATA vest in the President of Pakistan who has appointed the Governor North West Frontier Province to act as his Agent for FATA for exercise of executive authority in these areas, in such manner and to such extent as the President may from time to time direct. The Agent to the President is to he assisted in this function by the various heads of the line departments in their specific areas of administration. The exception outside the purview of the line departments of NWFP is the FATA Development Corporation supervised by a Board of Directors established to lookafter the development of industry, minerals and water resources in FATA.
Races And Tribes:
The Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) as its name suggests is characterized by a strong tribal structure. There are 11 major tribes with several small tribes and sub tribes. The overwhelming majority of the population is Muslim with a sprinkling of minorities such as Sikhs, Hindus etc. Pushto is the main language with the softer dialect of ‘Pushto’ being spoken in the south and the more guttural dialect of Pakhtu spoken in north. A less spoken language is Urmari in the south.
Dress And Ornaments:
The tribesmen generally wear loose shirt and trousers. A large turban is placed on the head with Achadar and rifle on shoulder. The women folk generally use printed cloth. Their working and festival dressesare all the same with the exception that they wear new dress on festivals. In winter season achadaror woolen blanket is used by the males. While in the case of females their dress remains the same.The following ornaments are generally used by women:
Karah (a type of bangles made of silver or gold)
Nath (nose ring)
Golden rings and ear rings
Wheat, maize, barley and rice with meat and vegetables, are the staple foods. The bread is large in size either baked on iron pans or in ovens. Chillies and other spices are not very much liked. On festivals roasted meat isserved. It is very delicious in taste and the most favorite diet of tribesmen.Since wheat is the mostly cultivated crop in the area, the people are very fond of eating seikh tikka with it, which is the most delicious item of food in tribal areas.
Dwelling houses of all the tribesmen are alike and are in the shape of fortress with towers. These houses are mostly situated at commanding sites on the hills. Some of these little forts comprise 10 to I5 houses within the enclosures. In tribal areas each family has its own separate dwelling, proportionate in size to the members of the households and their cattle and flocks.In some areas people have two dwellings places, one for summer and other for winter season and move along with their families and flocks to these dwellings.
As regards construction material, the walls of hamlets are always built of stone and mud. Wood is used for doors, windows and ceilings. Entrance to the fortress is through main gate, while for the use of women flock there is a small side door. As one enters the main gate, he finds a vast courtyard with one or two rooms, depending on the social status of the family, for use of guests and male members of the family. There is also a mosque in the same compound. In most of the villages, only the mosques will be found with cemented floor, the interior of house is very simple with no decoration and furniture. Mostly they keep cattle inside their houses.Every cluster of houses has Hujra where the male members of the community daily discuss their local issues and spend time. It is also a common place used as a guest room as well. It is an important part of the Pakhtoon culture which is now gradually changing with the passage of time.
Generally, the people are not literate; some people have gone to the Middle East for earning which has brought some prosperity to the area. Most of the people are involved in business as shopkeepers, merchants and transporters etc. A significant number of people are also found in large cities of the country in different occupations.
At the birth of a male child, parents receive congratulations but the birth of a female child generally passes unnoticed. The village Maulvi intonesazaninto the ears of the child. There is great rejoicing on the birth of a male child, guns are fired in the air and musicians beat their drums. The first ceremony after a child’s birth issarkalai(shaving the head). The circumcision follows. All relatives are invited, refreshments are served and gifts are received.
The tribal people follow a classical Pakhtoonmarriage custom. Generally, marriages are held within the tribe but there is no restriction on marrying out of the tribe. The parents of the boy and girl arrange marriages. During negotiations in some areas some parents of the girls demand money and amount is fixed according to the position of parties. That amount is calledwalwar(bride money) It includes a sum of marriage expenses and jewelry. A certain quantity of rice, sugar, edible oil etc are also included in the demand. After engagement, a culturaltaboo forbids the girl to appear before her fiancé. On the day of the wedding, a large procession called janjfrom the boy’s family moves to the girl’s house on the fixed date. The bride is brought in a big procession of fanfare and the young fire gunshots in the air in jubilation. In the night, the wedding knot is affirmed by reading of some holy verses from the Quran.
Corpses of the dead are buried according to Islamic rites. The villagers jointly prepare grave and the men and women assemble in the house of the deceased for condoling the death. Men in large number.
Merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa:
On 2 March 2017, the federal government considered a proposal to merge the tribal areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and to repeal the Frontier Crimes Regulations.However, some political parties opposed the merger, and called for the tribal areas to instead become a separate province of Pakistan.
The proposed merger was near finalized at a meeting presided over by President Mamnoon Hussain at the Presidency in January 2017. The Prime Minister gave approval after discussing the issue with all the stakeholders.By March 2017, the federal cabinet approved the merger of FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other reforms.
National Implementation Committee on FATA Reforms:
On 18 December 2017, the National Implementation Committee (NIC) on FATA Reforms, chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, endorsed the FATA-Khyber Pakhtunkhwa merger and agreed to let FATA elect 23 members to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly in the July 2018 general elections. The NIC also decided to remove controversial sections of the Frontier Crimes Regulations and to allow colonial-era regulation to continue with a sunset clause to be replaced entirely once a proper judicial system is in place in the tribal region.
On 24 May 2018, the National Assembly of Pakistan passed a bill to enact the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan which called for the merger of FATA with the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The vote was 229–1 in favor of the amendment. Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party lawmakers walked out from the assembly ahead of the vote. The sole dissenter was Dawar Kundi of the PTI.
On 25 May 2018, Twenty-fifth Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan was passed with a majority in the Senate of Pakistan. A total of 69 votes was needed for the bill to be approved; the vote was 71–5 in favor of the amendment for FATA, K-P merger.
On 27 May 2018, Thirty-first Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan was passed with a majority in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly. A total of 83 votes was needed for the bill to be approved, the vote was an 87–7 in favor of the amendment for FATA, K-P merger.
Parliamentarians from tribal areas took strong exception to a resolution adopted by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly asking for merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas with their province. The Awami National Party also made similar demands that the FATA be merged with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. These proposals were opposed by tribal parliamentarians in Islamabad.The name Qabailistan was proposed for FATA as a new province separate from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Qabailistan proposal never got any traction and was dropped in favor of merging FATA into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
The total population of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas was estimated in 2000 to be about 3,341,080 people, or roughly 2% of Pakistan’s population. Only 3.1% of the population resides in established townshipsAccording to 2011 estimates FATA gained 62.1% population over its 1998 figures, totaling up to 4,452,913. This was the fourth-highest increase in population of any province, after that of Balochistan, Sindh and Gilgit-Baltistan.
|Languages of Federally Administered Tribal Areas
(2017 Census of Pakistan)
According to the 2017 census of Pakistan, 98.4% of the population of FATA had Pashto as mother tongue, followed by 0.49% Urdu, 0.28% Punjabi, 0.10% Sindhi and 0.08% spoke Balochi.
|Religions in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas|
|Distribution of religions
†Includes Sikhs, Parsis, Hindus, Christian .
Over 99.6% of the population was Muslim belonging to the Sunni Hanafi Fiqh.According to a report by the government of Pakistan there were around 50,000 religious minority members living in former FATA region.These included 20,000 Sikh, 20,000 Christians and 10,000 Hindus.
Relations with the Pakistani Military:
In 2001, the Pakistani military entered the Federally Administered Tribal Areas for the first time which was previously governed by Frontier Corps. In 2010, The New America Foundation and Terror Free Tomorrow conducted the first comprehensive public opinion survey in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. The results showed that, on the issue of fighting militancy in the region, the people of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas overwhelmingly support the Pakistani military. Nearly 70 percent back the Pakistani military pursuing Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters in the Tribal Areas. According to a survey, when asked how the Federally Administered Tribal Areas should be governed, 79 percent said it should be governed by the Pakistani military.
In 2014, about 929,859 people were reported to be internally displaced from North Waziristan as a result of Operation Zarb-e-Azb, a military offensive conducted by the Pakistan Armed Forces along the Durand Line.
Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) consisted of two types of areas, the Tribal Agencies, and Frontier Regions. There were seven Tribal Agencies and six Frontier Regions.
The Tribal Agencies were further divided into Subdivisions, and Tehsils. According to the Election Commission of Pakistan, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas consisted of the following subdivisions and tehsils:
|Agency / FR||Subdivision||Tehsil|
|Bajaur Agency||Khaar||Khara Bajaur|
|Bar Chamer Kand|
|Mohmand Agency||Lower Mohmand||Yake Ghund|
|Ambar Utman Khel|
|Prang Ghar Utmankhel|
|Landi Kotal||Landi Kotal|
|Orakzai Agency||Lower Orakzai||Lower|
|Upper Orakzai||Ismail Zai|
|Kurram Agency||Lower Kurram||Lower Kurram|
|Central Kurram||Central Kurram F.R.|
|Upper Kurram||Upper Kurram|
|North Waziristan Agency||Mirali||Mir Ali|
|South Waziristan Agency||Ladha||Ladha|
It is bounded on the north by Lower Dir, on the east by Malakand Protected Area, Charsadda, Peshawar, Nowshera, Kohat, Hangu, Karak, Bannu, Lakki Marwat, Tank and D. I. Khan Districts, on the south Dera Ghazi Khan District (Punjab Province) Zhob and Musa Khel Districts (Baluchistan) and on the west is Afghanistan.
Total area of the Federally Administered Tribal Area is 27,220 square kilometers.
Physical Features and Topography:
Geographically, Federally Administered Tribal Area can be divided into three parts the northern, the central and the southern regions.
Northern Region: The northern region lying between the Swat and Kabul rivers comprises the agencies of Bajaur and Mohmand. In Bajaur land is extensively cultivated but is severely affected by indifferent flows in hill torrents and seasonal streams. The land is mostly mountainous with deep ravines which limit irrigated agriculture. The temperate climatic conditions however, make it possible to grow a variety of cash crops including oil seeds, fruits and vegetables.
Central Region: The central region comprises the Khyber, Kurram and Orakzai agencies and the Frontier Regions of Kohat and Peshawar. The Khyber Pass, which serves as a key international trade route, has promoted the development of a major service and retail industry in the area, providing employment for the tribesmen, In the foot hills of the 4,000 meters high snow clad Sufed Koh (White Mountain) lie the fertile Khanki Toe. Mastura River and the Bara River valleys. The Kurram valley has extensively cultivated agricultural land in Federally Administered Tribal Area. Kurram Agency also abounds in high hill coniferous forests.The Khyber hills, however, composed of carboniferous materials, are largely barren. The Kohat hills, which extend from the Kurram valley to the lndus, are equally barren but offer huge rock.
The Former FATA region was amongst the most impoverished parts of the nation. Despite being home to 2.4% of Pakistan’s population, it made up only 1.5% of Pakistan’s economy with a per capita income of only $663 in 2010 only 34% of households managed to rise above the poverty level.
Due to the Former FATA region’s tribal organization, the economy was chiefly pastoral, with some agriculture practiced in the region’s few fertile valleys. Its total irrigated land was roughly 1,000 square kilometres. The region was a major center for opium trafficking, as well the smuggling of other contraband.
Foreign aid to the region was a difficult proposition, according to Craig Cohen, an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. Since security is difficult, local nongovernmental organizations were required to distribute aid, but there was a lack of trust amongst NGOs and other powers that hampered distribution. Pakistani NGOs were often targets of violent attacks by Islamist militants in the Former FATA region. Due to the extensive hostility to any hint of foreign influence, the American branch of Save the Children was distributing funding anonymously in the region as of July 2007.The concept of setting up Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZs) in the former FATA region and Afghanistan was an element in the United States Government’s counter-terrorism and regional economic integration strategies.
There was one hospital bed for every 2,179 people in the former FATA region, compared to one in 1,341 in Pakistan as a whole. There was one doctor for every 7,670 people compared to one doctor per 1,226 people in Pakistan as a whole. 43% of the former FATA region’s citizens had access to clean drinking water. Much of the population is suspicious about modern medicine, and some militant groups are openly hostile to vaccinations.
In June 2007, a Pakistani doctor was blown up in his car “after trying to counter the anti-vaccine propaganda of an imam in Bajaur”, Pakistani officials told The New York Times.
The Former FATA region had a total of 6,050 government education institutions out of which 4,868 were functional. Out of these 4,868 functional institutions, 77 percent (3,729) were primary schools. Total enrolment in government institutions was 612,556 out of which 69 percent were studying at primary stage. Total number of working teachers in FATA was 22,610 out of which 7,540 were female. The survival rate from Grade KG to Grade 5 was 36 percent while the transition rate from primary to middle in public schools in Ex-FATA was 64 percent (73 percent for boys and 45 percent for girls).
The Former FATA region has one university, FATA University in Akhurwal, Darra Adam Khel, FR Kohat, which was approved by Mir Hazar Khan Khoso in May 2013. Classes commenced on 24 October 2016, under the direction of Dr. Mohammad Tahir Shah, former professor of geology at University of Peshawar.The university plans to open sub-campuses at Khar, Miran Shah, and Parachinar.
The Former FATA region’s literacy rate is 22%, which is well below the nationwide rate of 56%. 35.8% of men, and only 7.5% of women received education, compared to a nationwide 44% of women.
|Agency||Literacy rate 2007|
|North Waziristan (1998)||26.77%||1.47%||15.88%|
These are for commercial extraction.Southern Region: The southern region consists of the North and South Waziristan and the Frontier Regions of D. l. Khan, Tank, Bannu and Lakki. Towards the south of this region is the Gomal River while the Kurram River flows towards the north. The region is bound on its western side by the Afghan districts of Birmal and Khost and by the Bannu basin and Derajat on its east. Igneous rock formations in the Waziristan hills suggest a specifically active area, particularly in the Tochi valley around Datta Khel, and the Makin Kaniguram area, where also a number of important minerals are available in commercial quantities.
The Federally Administered Tribal Area consists of four (4) major landform/ physiographic units such as piedmont plains/valleys, gravely fans/aprons, rough broken land/ gullied land and mountains. The plain areas of valleys are mainly of alluvial and partly loessic origin. The nearby level areas are loamy whereas the slightly low-lying lands are of clayey textured. They are homogenized with weak to moderate profile development and are slightly to strongly calcareous. The content of organic matter and available phosphorus is very low.
The gravely fans and aprons are encountered near the foot-hills as the higher graded intermittent torrents/streams shed their load due to sudden decrease in velocity. The alluvium is composed of heterogeneous material with little soil. The natural vegetation is also scanty consisting of artemisia, kaloxylon and ziziphus special which are grazed by local animals.The rough broken and gullied lands are characterized by steep slope, active geological erosion and high run-off. The natural vegetation is spared.The mountains comprise sandstone, limestone, shale, quartzite, schist, Phyllis, diorite and conglomerates. High relief, steep slopes and severe erosion are the identifying feature of these units. There is a little soil cover on the mountains. The natural vegetation is of mixed type and its density depends upon the amount of rainfall and geological formation of the hills.
Issues in the Region:
Pakistan: FATA people facing trouble after merger with KP
Interim Governance Regulation:
The abolition of FCR and promulgation of the Interim Governance Regulation for the interim period to provide legal cover to the transition period.
Extension of the Independent Monitoring Unit (IMU) to the merged areas to demonstrate immediate provision of staff and removal of deficiencies from 7 District Head Quarters (DHQs). Immediate recruitment will offer livelihood to 2,200 families.
Law and Order:
To fill the 2,200 vacant posts of levies, training of levies to be conducted according to police standards and the police to move inside in a sequential manner. Establishment of courts for a uniform judicial system with the provision of Dispute Resolution Councils (DRCs), a method of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), which has been beneficial to the people despite the violations of human rights.
Punjab and KP, along with the Federal Government, to provide three percent of their share from the federal development budget. The provincial budget shall include a budget for erstwhile FATA in FY 2019-2020 making it the legal responsibility of the Provincial Assembly and the Cabinet.
To show the immediate presence of the government, checking for absent teachers and identification of missing facilities, extension of the IMU system, fulfilling the needs of all high schools, vacant posts to be filled and sanctioning of new posts needs to be carried out.
Enact the Local Government Act and hold local government elections at the same time as provincial which will ensure grass-root level ownership. District level elders nominated by tribes for peacekeeping and conflict resolution in coordination with elected local bodies members.
Abolition of all posts of Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) (FATA); matters dealt by the ACS to be transferred to secretary home and tribal affairs. Ministers and secretaries will start visiting merged districts to ensure the visibility of the government. The Cabinet is to take an update of the progress through a special cabinet meeting every two months for better coordination and better supervision. Vigilance by the administration so that corrupt and inefficient practices are shunned.
The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) is a semi-autonomous tribal region in northwestern Pakistan, consisting of seven tribal agencies (districts) and six frontier regions, and are directly governed by Pakistan’s federal government through a special set of laws called the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR). It borders Pakistan’s provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan to the east and south, and Afghanistan’s provinces of Kunar, Nangarhar, Paktia, Khost and Paktika to the west and north.