• Friday, February 28, 2020

FATA - Political Reforms and Development

Discussion in 'Pakistani Siasat' started by Khalids, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. YES

    7 vote(s)
    38.9%
  2. NO

    1 vote(s)
    5.6%
  3. Not Sure

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Merge FATA with NWFP as 1 single Province

    10 vote(s)
    55.6%
  1. Khalids

    Khalids FULL MEMBER

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    MOD EDIT:

    History of FATA


    The areas that today make up FATA were once part of the battleground on which the ‘Great Game’ of imperial domination was played out in the 19th century. For the British colonial administrators of India, effective control of the region was imperative for the defence of their Indian possessions, serving as a bulwark against Russian expansionism in Central Asia. It proved difficult, however, for the colonial government to establish its writ in the tribal areas.

    Colonial administrators oversaw but never fully controlled the region through a combination of British-appointed agents and local tribal elders. The people were free to govern internal affairs according to tribal codes, while the colonial administration held authority in what were known as ‘protected’ and ‘administered’ areas over all matters related to the security of British India.

    Although various tribes cooperated with the British off and on in return for financial incentives (Abbas, 2006), this quid pro quo arrangement was never completely successful. Throughout the latter half of the 19th century, British troops were embroiled in repeated battles with various tribes in the area (Hunter et al., 1840–1900). Between 1871 and 1876, the colonial administration imposed a series of laws, the Frontier Crimes Regulations, prescribing special procedures for the tribal areas, distinct from the criminal and civil laws that were in force elsewhere in British India. These regulations, which were based on the idea of collective territorial responsibility and provided for dispute resolution to take place through a jirga (council of elders), also proved to be inadequate.

    Frustrated in their efforts to subdue the region, the British in 1901 issued a new Frontier Crimes Regulation that expanded the scope of earlier regulations and awarded wide powers, including judicial authority, to administrative officials. In the same year, a new administrative unit, the North-West Frontier Province, was created by carving out parts of the then Punjab province and adding certain tribal principalities. The province, as it was constituted at the time, included five ‘settled’ districts (Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan, Hazara, Kohat and Peshawar) and five tribal agencies (Dir-Swat-Chitral, Khyber, Kurram, North Waziristan and South Waziristan), and was placed under the administrative authority of a chief commissioner reporting to the Governor-General of India (Hunter et al., 1840–1900).

    The institution of the ‘political agent’ was created at this time. Each agency was administered by a political agent who was vested with wide powers and provided funds to secure the loyalties of influential elements in the area. It was also during this period that the maliki system was developed to allow the colonial administration to exercise control over the tribes. Under this system, local chiefs (maliks) were designated as intermediaries between the members of individual tribes and the colonial authorities, and assisted in the implementation of government policies (GoP, undated [a]).

    Despite these efforts, bolstered by repeated military campaigns, the colonial administration retained what was at best a tenuous hold on the area until the British quit India in 1947. Soon after Independence, the various tribes in the region entered into an agreement with the government of Pakistan, pledging allegiance to the newly created state. Some 30 instruments of accession were subsequently signed, cementing this arrangement. To the tribal agencies of Khyber, Kurram, North Waziristan and South Waziristan were later added Mohmand Agency (in 1951), and Bajaur and Orakzai (in 1973).

    Accession did not subsume the political autonomy of the tribes. The instruments of accession, signed in 1948, granted the tribal areas a special administrative status. Except where strategic considerations dictated, the tribal areas were allowed to retain their semi-autonomous status, exercising administrative authority based on tribal codes and traditional institutions. This unique system, given varying degrees of legal cover in each of the country’s earlier constitutions, was crystallised in Pakistan’s Constitution of 1973.

    History of FATA

    ===============
    Far-reaching Fata reforms unveiled

    By Syed Irfan Raza
    Friday, 14 Aug, 2009 | 06:07 AM PST |

    ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari announced on Thursday political, judicial and administrative reforms for the tribal areas, allowing political activities in Fata, setting up an appellate tribunal, curtailing arbitrary powers of political agents, giving people right to appeal and bail, excluding women and children from the territorial responsibility clause and envisaging audit of accounts by the auditor general.

    Addressing a ceremony held in the Presidency to mark the 63rd Independence Day, the president announced the reforms package that had been worked out in consultation with all stakeholders and approved a day earlier in a meeting. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani attended the meeting.

    ‘President Asif Ali Zardari tonight announced major legal and political reforms in the tribal areas to extricate them from a century of bondage and subservience and usher them into the mainstream of national life, describing it as a gift to the nation and the tribal people on the nation’s 63rd Independence Day,’ said presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar.

    He said the reforms envisaged extension of the Political Parties Order of 2002 to the tribal areas and changes in the century-old anachronistic Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) to make it responsive to human rights.

    After amendments to the law approved on Wednesday, the powers of arbitrary arrest and detention without the right to bail had been curtailed, he said.

    ‘The FCR was a draconian law under which there was no provision of appeal, wakeel or daleel (lawyer or reasoning) against the orders of the executive,’ the spokesman said.

    The tribesmen were subject to the whims of administration officials as people were arrested and kept in jail for years without trial under the FCR, he said. A person could be sent to jail for three years without trial. The jail term could be extended indefinitely.

    Under the territorial responsibility clause, women and children were being jailed.

    The administration will have no arbitrary powers of arrest as checks have been placed on them. The accused shall be brought before the authority concerned within 24 hours of arrest. They will have the right to bail.

    Women and children below 16 years of age shall not be arrested under the Collective Responsibility Clause of the FCR.

    The changes lay down a time limit for disposal of cases.

    The spokesman said a major initiative was in the field of judicial reform.

    The package envisages setting up the Fata Tribunal with powers similar to those of the high courts. The tribunal shall have powers of revision of orders and judgments of the appellate authority.

    The spokesman said the funds received and disbursed by political agents would be audited by the Auditor General of Pakistan.

    In his address, President Zardari said Pakistan was created through a democratic struggle and it would be made strong and prosperous through democracy.

    ‘As we celebrate we should also pause and reflect whether and where we are going. Unfortunately, over the years as democracy was trampled, an extremist mindset was allowed to grow. I don’t want to go into who nurtured the militants and how they were aided. It is all too well known.’

    The militants, he said, posed the greatest threat to the country as they were out to destroy the very fabric of society. ‘They want to impose their political and ideological agenda on the people of Pakistan through force and coercion. They reject the state, the Constitution, democracy and, indeed, our very way of life,’ he said.

    He said the government had tried negotiations but the move was rejected. ‘Now they are on the run. The nation stands united and all parties and parliament have rejected militants and militancy. Our valiant defence forces stood up against this new and great threat to the country,’ he said and thanked parties, parliament, the people and the forces.

    The president congratulated the nation and said that millions who had fled their homes in Swat and Malakand had started returning home. ‘But a bigger challenge awaits us. In the long run we must defeat the militant mindset to defend our country, our democracy, our institutions and our way of life.’

    Praising the people of tribal areas, the president said they were being governed by a hundred-year-old obsolete system of administration that did not allow their creative potential to come into full play.

    He said the law had been changed in accordance with the aspirations of the people and democratic principles.

    DAWN.COM | Pakistan | Far-reaching Fata reforms unveiled
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 21, 2011
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  2. EjazR

    EjazR SENIOR MEMBER

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    -self delete-

    Double post
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
  3. EjazR

    EjazR SENIOR MEMBER

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    Good job done by GoP, the next step should be to bring about similar reforms in other regions like FANA as well and give them a political voice.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/15/world/asia/15pstan.html
    Pakistan Lifts Longtime Ban on Political Activities in Restive Tribal Areas

    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — President Asif Ali Zardari announced Friday that he was lifting a longtime ban on political activities in the restive tribal regions in the northwest, hoping to reduce the influence of the Taliban and Islamic militancy in the areas.

    The seven semiautonomous tribal regions have never been fully incorporated into the country’s legal and political system. They are instead still governed by a set of 100-year-old rules, known as Frontier Crimes Regulations, dating from the British empire.

    Rights groups have long denounced the rules as draconian and Pakistan’s political parties have urged the government to do away with them, calling them a dark legacy of British colonial rule.

    “Today, I am announcing the permission of political activities in the F.A.T.A. to bring them into the main political stream,” Mr. Zardari said in a live broadcast, referring to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, as the region is formally known.

    Mr. Zardari chose a symbolic moment to make the announcement: the eve of the national holiday marking Pakistan’s 62nd year of independence from the British Empire.

    But analysts here said the announcement also seemed timed to coincide with a visit by Richard C. Holbrooke, the Obama administration’s special envoy for the region, who is scheduled to arrive in Islamabad on Saturday.

    The ban on political activities and parties had created a vacuum that was increasingly exploited by militants and religious extremists, allowing the Taliban and Al Qaeda to tighten their hold on the region as they mounted attacks on tribal elders and the area’s political overseers appointed by the central government, analysts and political workers here have said.

    “Now, political parties can organize themselves in the tribal areas and political process can start,” said Sheik Mansoor Ahmed, an official of the governing Pakistan Peoples Party. “It was a longstanding demand.”

    Farhatullah Khan Babar, the spokesman for Mr. Zardari, said that under the Constitution, the president was empowered to make regulations for the tribal areas, giving him the authority to lift the ban.

    The reform package now envisages broad and fundamental changes in the colonial-era regulations, which had given the officials administering the areas, called political agents, unbridled power and authority.

    Under the reforms, arbitrary arrest of men, women and children would be curtailed; a special judicial commission similar to a high court would be set up; and the finances of the political agents would be audited.

    Still, the announcement was not welcomed uniformly.

    Mr. Zardari’s coalition partners sharply distanced themselves from it.

    “We were not consulted,” said Muhammad Zahid Khan, a senator belonging to the Awami National Party, A.N.P., a nationalist party that leads the government in the North-West Frontier Province.

    “Whatever good or bad comes out of this decision, we do not own it,” he said.

    Rights groups and analysts expressed concern over the lack of accord between the Pakistan Peoples Party and its coalition partners.

    “The lack of agreement between the coalition partners would mean that the changes would become controversial and the whole process would not remain smooth,” said Ibn-e-Abdu Rahman, a director of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, a private group.

    “So far, as permission for political activities is concerned, it is a very healthy development,” he said. “It is an advance and would enable the people to gradually come out of the stagnant tribal relations.”

    But he warned that there were still some vested interest groups in the tribal regions “that do not want complete democratization of the areas.”

    Ahmed Rashid, a journalist based in Lahore and the best-selling author of the book “Taliban,” said he felt that the changes were introduced now under pressure by the United States and Britain.

    “It is a good move,” Mr. Rashid said, “but I wish it had been done a year ago.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
  4. Omar1984

    Omar1984 ELITE MEMBER

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    PESHAWAR: The FATA Reforms Movement (FRM) has demanded provincial status for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) after approval of a self-governance reforms package for the Northern Areas.
    “Like Gilgit-Baltistan, the federal government should make such an arrangement under which FATA could have its own governor, chief minister and 75-member independent assembly,” FFM President Asad Afridi told a press conference at Peshawar Press Club. He demanded that the government give a province’s status to FATA and appoint SAFRON minister as its governor. He claimed that independent province’s status for FATA would not only bring the tribal areas into the country’s mainstream politics but also FATA people would get their identity.
    Flanked by FRM Secretary General Mohammad Tahir Shah Safi and Spokesman Zar Ali Musazai, Asad Afridi said that the federal government should also focus on FATA women’s representation in the country’s politics and allocate seats for them in Senate. Besides, he also demanded of the government to increase the number of National Assembly seats for each FATA agency from one to two. The FRM also demanded allocation of a seat for each Frontier Region (FR) in the National Assembly. Terming the federal government’s reforms package for FATA as insufficient, he said the president’s announced reforms package was unclear.
    He said that though the president announced extension of Political Parties Act to FATA, but problems of FATA people were neglected in the recently announced package. Criticising the black law Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR), he said the law empowered only one man (political agent) who at the same time was a ruler as well as a judge.
    He said executive should be separated from judiciary in tribal areas; otherwise, people would have no other option but to go to Taliban courts for justice rather than to file their cases in political agents and assistant political agents’ courts. He said that if the government wanted to end the influence of Taliban, it must concentrate on winning hearts and minds of the people by redressing their grievances, providing them cheap and speedy justice and creating employment opportunities for them.
     
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  5. muse

    muse PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    Super idea -- FATA is an anachronism - create at least 4 new provinces from FATA
     
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  6. Patriot

    Patriot ELITE MEMBER

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    About Damn time.People of FATA should be asked clearly whether they're with us or not.It cant always stay as a lawless nearly independent state.
     
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  7. batmannow

    batmannow ELITE MEMBER

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    i had voted yes!:tup:
    its the need of hour, to have more , provinces in pakistan!:smokin::tup:
     
  8. Imran Khan

    Imran Khan PDF VETERAN

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    why not we have to grow there politcs and stop tell them from {ilaka ghaer}
     
  9. TaimiKhan

    TaimiKhan SENIOR MODERATOR

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    NA is different then FATA, both can not be treated the same way. Creating FATA a province will make no difference, but merging it into the NWFP will be helpful as resources would be available to FATA, otherwise more problems will be created for the division of resources.
    How can the people having same traditions, same language, customs, culture be divided into two different provinces ?? Also the population of FATA is not huge rather in just few million people live.

    Best would be to merge it into NWFP, give NWFP the royalties of the electricity generation & certain portion of the budget be kept aside for development work as if the royalties are given to NWFP, it will give them billions of extra rupees which it can be used for development work in FATA.

    Education & Job creation should be the first priority, when people get educated their way of thinking changes else they will stick to the same old tribal traditions which does not give much opportunity to development.
     
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  10. EjazR

    EjazR SENIOR MEMBER

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    Political parties act to be extended to FATA: Gilani

    * PM urges politicians to live amicably with each other
    * PPP leaders demand ANP implement power sharing formula

    PESHAWAR: The political parties act will be extended to FATA after peace is restored and military operations conclude in the restive parts of the Tribal Areas, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said on Thursday.

    Addressing members of the Pakistan People’s Party’s parliamentary party at the Governor’s House, Gilani said tribal people would be brought into mainstream politics and development, adding the vision of the Bhutto family for the Tribal Areas would be carried forward in the form of the socio-economic emancipation of the people of the region.

    Gilani said unlike in the past, his government believed in moving forward by taking along the opposition in all areas for the greater good of the country and the people.

    Living amicably: He also stressed on politicians belonging to different parties to get used to living with each other amicably.

    He said his government was taking forward Benazir Bhutto’s vision of following the politics of harmony and strengthening democracy.

    Gilani said the Charter of Democracy is being implemented with support from all political parties, adding amendments in the 1973 constitution and its restoration in light of the CoD would be a great success for the PPP.

    He said the government believed in taking up development projects that had an impact on the people of their particular constituencies and hoped improved law and order would invite higher investment with the generation of increased economic activity.

    Regarding the upcoming local government elections, Gilani said it had been decided on the recommendations of all the chief ministers that a similar system would be adopted in all provinces.

    He told the PPP workers that he had started organising party conventions across the country to reorganise the party at the grassroots, as envisioned by its founding leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and mentioned similar conventions held in Sindh and Punjab.

    “I am a party worker and not the leader. It is our duty to listen to the point of view of the party workers as it’s because of you we are in the government today,” he added.

    Formula: However, the Pakistan People’s Party leaders demanded the Awami National Party – its coalition partner – implement the power sharing formula in its true sense, otherwise the party ministers would quit their posts and sit in the opposition.

    The PPP leadership said if their demands were not met by March 30, the party would sit in the opposition but continue supporting the ANP.

    They said the ANP was violating the power sharing formula and ignoring its coalition partner in appointments, postings and transfers.

    “One of our demands was the removal of Governor Owais Ahmed Ghani. We want a governor from our party,” Syed Ayub Shah, PPP(P) Peshawar president, told Daily Times. app/zakir hassnain
     
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  11. SSGPA1

    SSGPA1 SENIOR MEMBER

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    PESHAWAR: The political parties act will be extended to FATA after peace is restored and military operations conclude in the restive parts of the Tribal Areas, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said on Thursday.

    In my books, PM Gilani is far above PM NS and PM BB and this just further enhances his position. :tup:
     
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  12. BelligerentPacifist

    BelligerentPacifist SENIOR MEMBER

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    The incumbent President announced the imposition of the poltical parties act for FATA almost a ear ago. Why don't they get it done and move on to other issues?
     
  13. ajpirzada

    ajpirzada PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    ^^how do you expect the gov to impose it when it has no writ in those areas. this will be the most likely step after the military operations finish
     
  14. EjazR

    EjazR SENIOR MEMBER

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  15. VrSoLdIeRs

    VrSoLdIeRs FULL MEMBER

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    and your point is?????