One of the most crucial decisions which was not only being delayed in the current tenure but was also on hold due to the political developments in the country were the FATA reforms. It is a huge achievement that the government has been able to unanimously pass a bill which now considers the area under the jurisdiction of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) and the apex court. Despite the constant opposition of JUI-F in the matter and accusation of breach of trust by the government, it was important to realise the larger picture in this case.

For the longest time, FATA has been governed on the basis of the draconian Frontier Crime Regulation (FCR). Modern day politics requires us to be more inclusive in terms of the territories we govern, which is why this is the right move forward. A large chunk of the population has been feeling alienated from the system because of the these laws. This may have worked for the country initially, but now it is just a cause of the us and them ideology and inculcates in people a sense of marginalisation. This is why the move has been greatly appreciated by all segments of the tribal society, who now want to be a part of the collective whole. Granting basic human rights to all citizens of the country is the first step towards strengthening the democratic setup.

At the same time, merger of FATA with KP is an undeniable and inevitable fate of the area because of several reasons. These tribal belts have witnessed an influx of the terrorist ideology and the non-application of regular laws makes it difficult to govern the area in such circumstances. The people are also not living in the best of conditions, granted that it is one of the most impoverished areas of Pakistan. A merger with KP not only means coming under the ambit of appellate court but also being granted a quota in the NFC award. These developments will help increase the writ of the state and help reduce grievances as well.

However, while the move is highly appreciated, the government still has a long way to go about the merger. All eyes are on the government right now and many waiting to point out the swift legislation but lack of implementation. The only restraint here is the lack of time due to the upcoming elections. This move needs to be completed before the elections, so that the next government can work towards other significant developments rather than dealing with the leftovers of a sluggish predecessor.