Caretakers take measures to speed FATA-KP merger

Published: June 24, 2018
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Tribal areas. PHOTO: REUTERS

Tribal areas. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: The interim government has formed two sub-committees to chalk out plan with regard to financial requirements of the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and for drafting rules and regulations to expedite process of its merger with the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).

The decision to form these sub-panels was made on Thursday during a meeting of a committee earlier formed by the premier to facilitate merger of Fata and the Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (Pata) with the K-P in line with the recently passed 25th Constitutional Amendment.

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Minister for Law and Justice Ali Zafar chaired the meeting – held at the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (Safron) – and urged the ministry officials and all stakeholders that merger process should be smooth and successful at all cost.

The meeting was held to review the decisions that were taken in the last meeting. It was attended by officials of Safron ministry, secretary planning and development and representatives from the army and the K-P government.

“All immediate steps including administrative, financial and judicial must be taken for long term guidelines as the merger implementation process must be made smooth and successful at all costs,” Zafar said, according to a press statement.

The ministry officials briefed him particularly about the administrative, legal, financial and legislative issues coming in the way of smooth merger of Fata with the K-P. Ali Zafar laid emphasis on the need for achieving the target.

Zafar also constituted two sub committees comprising officials from ministries of law, interior and finance to sort out financial matters as well as drafting rules and laws to facilitate the merger process.

The sub committees are tasked to present recommendations in regards to the viable solutions of various administrative and legal issues in detail in the upcoming meeting.

The K-P additional chief secretary also briefed the minister regarding the status of rehabilitation of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their respective areas. All the stakeholders and representatives of the committees were directed to submit recommendations and details of the merger in next meeting.

“All the laws applicable to the K-P also applicable to former Fata but since no judicial system exist there the laws implementation will take time and require a system,” Zafar later told The Express Tribune.

He said policing is another major challenge, adding that it includes training of Levies and then incorporating them in the local system to ensure law and order. Zafar was of the view that another major task would be to merge Fata secretariat with the K-P secretariat.

He said setting up judicial system and maintaining law and order along with coordinating with the administration are the key tasks that are not only vital but equally challenging.

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Integration of Fata secretariat into K-P

A brief plan, prioritising Fata Secretariat’s integration with the K-P Civil Secretariat as well as policing of the tribal districts, has been chalked out.

The plan starts with phase-wise merger of former Fata directorates with the K-P departments of administration, infrastructure and coordination, planning and development, finance, law and order, social sector and production besides livelihood. According to the plan, the first phase proposes integration of education and health departments within three months.

[WITH ADDITIONAL REPORTING FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT IN PESHAWAR]

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