ISLAMABAD: The first meeting about reforms in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) took place yesterday but the members declined to share details of the meeting regarding mainstreaming the volatile tribal region. The media wing of Foreign Office send a press statement mentioning the names of the ministers that attended the first meeting of FATA Reforms under the chair of Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz . Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on November 8 had formed a committee tasked with undertaking reforms in the tribal parts of the country.

According to a notification issued for the formation of the committee, Advisor for National Security Sartaj Aziz will be its head while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Sardar Mehtab, Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch, Prime Minister's Advisor on National Security Nasir Janjua, and Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid will be its members. Though Minister for SAFRON Lt Gen (Retd) has been authorised to share details of the meeting with media, the minister was not available for comments despite repeated attempts. His personal staff members and senior officials working in his ministry refused to share details of the meeting as they were not authorised to talk to media.

But sources Saturday’s meeting of FATA Reforms Committee took place in a very secret way as the personal assistants of the members were barred from entering the room. “I cannot share a single line about what was discussed in the meeting. Only the minister who is authorised to speak to press can share. But I think it is enough that the meeting took place,” Sartaj Aziz , Advisor to Prime Minister who is heading the committee told The Nation. The brief statement issued here said the committee decided to meet again on Thursday, December 10 to begin the process of consultation with members of Parliament from FATA. “This will be followed by wider consultations with all other stakeholders,” it said.

A lawmaker from FATA told The Nation that representatives of the tribal people in National Assembly will meet the committee members on November 28 and will give their input about what kind of reforms should be introduced in the volatile region. A mammoth rally on November 16 held a demonstration at D Chowk in the federal capital demanding merger of FATA into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Almost all political parties except the MQM participated in the protest demanding abolition of Frontier Crime Regulation (FCR), a law introduced in FATA by colonial powers.