It is quite appreciable as well as commendable that the federal government is continuing to take adequate measures at the appropriate level to bring the people of the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in the mainstream in furtherance of its commitment to bring the FATA people at par with the other areas of Pakistan at the earliest.
Accordingly, National Implementation Committee on FATA, which met in Islamabad under chairmanship of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi the other day, carried out an in-depth review of issues raised and concluded there is widespread support for the merger of FATA with Khyber Pukhtoonkhwah (KP)
According to the reports in the media, the committee directed the Law Ministry to initiate legal and administrative measures to extend the normal judicial system to the tribal areas. As regards legal reforms, the committee noted with satisfaction that a bill to extend the jurisdiction of the Peshawar High Court and Supreme Court of Pakistan to FATA has already been tabled in the National Assembly and the process will be expedited for its passage at the earliest. Furthermore, it is also good that the finance ministry will be seeking the endorsement of the National Finance Commission for allocating reasonably substantial share out of the divisible pool of resources for FATA for next ten years.
The prime minister underlined the dire need for extending normal judicial system of the country to the tribal areas at the earliest so that the FATA people are brought in the mainstream of the country’s judicial system instead of the redundant system now in operation there.
The process of introducing reforms and bringing FATA people in the mainstream had started in January 2017 after the federal cabinet had considered and okayed the recommendations of the high-level FATA Reforms Committee headed by Sartaj Aziz. The goings in this respect may appear bit slow but administrative, legal and other changes do take time to be put in place.
Rawalpindi, October 19.