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October 12, 2016

Academician names factors for Fata’s merger with KP


October 12, 2016

PESHAWAR: An academician and Director of the Pakistan Study Centre at the University of Peshawar, Prof Dr Fakhrul Islam, has supported the integration of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) by naming the enabling factors which make the assimilation easier. He made the case while delivering a speech at the national roundtable conference on Fata, which was arranged in Islamabad.

The theme of the roundtable conference was “Integration of Fata into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Issue and Challenges.”

The event was jointly organised by the Institute of Policy Studies and Federal Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON).

Prof Dr Fakhrul Islam supported the Fata integration into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as enabling factors existed highlighting some enabling factors.

He said geographical contiguity of Fata to KP, same language, culture, age-old dependence of Fata on the settled areas and, above all, the consensus of Fata people over the proposal were the factors that strengthen the case of the Fata integration into KP.

Reviewing the reforms package suggested by Sartaj Aziz-led committee, the UoP Pakistan Study Centre head said that though the committee was not fully representative, yet the body worked hard and came up with workable solutions. He said KP governor, his staff and the KP government played a positive role in finalisation the package. 

Dr Fakhrul Islam opined that Fata should be merged with the KP as soon as possible and there was no reason to wait for five more long years. He said the best time would be to finalize the proposal before the 2018 general elections so that tribal people get early representation in the KP Assembly.

The Pakistan Study Centre director believed that an inordinate delay may lead to controversies as some vested interest had started raising voices against merger.

Dr Fakhrul Islam said there was no need to ascertain views of the KP people on the issue because they were unanimous on the merger. He believed that the merger would not only bring Fata people on a par with the settled areas but also strengthen KP in terms of area and population. The academician said the 74,521square kilometers area of the KP would be enhanced to more than 100,000 square kilometers and population will exceed 30 million figure after the merger.

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