ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Justice (retd) Nasir-ul-Mulk on Monday ordered to form a committee to formulate a strategy for removing bottlenecks for Fata mainstreaming and making the merger process faultless.

“The process of transition should be completed swiftly and it must provide a sense of security to the people of the erstwhile tribal areas,” the prime minister emphasized while chairing a meeting to review progress on implementation of Fata reforms at the Prime Minister’s Office.

The meeting was also attended by Minister for Law Barrister Syed Ali Zafar, Secretary to the Prime Minister, Secretaries of SAFRON, Finance and Planning Divisions, Chief Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), ACS FATA and other senior officials. The prime minister observed that the merger of Fata into KP was a landmark development promising a positive impact on addressing the development lag and bringing a marked improvement in the lives of the people.

He also stressed the need for addressing the important administrative, legal and financial issues in this regard. The committee was directed to complete its work at the earliest possible.

KP Chief Secretary Muhammad Azam Khan gave a detailed presentation on the implementation progress and pointed out various administrative, legal and financial issues that needed immediate attention to ensure a smooth transition of the merger process after the passage of 25th Constitutional Amendment.

He further said that the agencies and frontier regions have been re-designated as districts and sub-divisions of KP province and the posts of political agents and assistant political agents have been re-designated as deputy commissioners and assistant commissioners. It was informed that with the abolition of Agency Development Fund, the collection of all taxes/ levy have been stopped.

The meeting was informed that draft plans for the extension of the judiciary, policing, prosecution and prisons service in the tribal districts have also been prepared.

A member Federal Board of Revenue briefed the meeting about the tax exemptions and other financial incentives that have been provided to the people of erstwhile Fata and PATA for the next five years.

The secretary finance also briefed the meeting about the financial allocations for the development of the region and for ensuring smooth implementation of the merger process.