Academic journal article Journal of Political Studies

Governance Reforms in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan: The Past and Present

Academic journal article Journal of Political Studies

Governance Reforms in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan: The Past and Present

Article excerpt

FATA of Pakistan: A Brief Introduction

Federally Administered Tribal Areas extending over 27220 sq. km along Pak-Afghan border covers 3.4 per cent of Pakistan's land area. This mountainous land is inhabited by a majority of pakhtun population. It is surrounded by the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the north and east, the province of Balochistan in the south, the province of Punjab in the south-east and in the west by the state of Afghanistan (IPRI Factfile, 2008, p. 15). It is thus connected in the north with the district of Lower Dir of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, whereas in the east with the districts of Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan, Karak, Kohat, Lakki Marwat, Malakand, Nowshera, Charsadda and Peshawar. In the southeast, FATA is physically linked with the district of Dera Ghazi Khan in the Punjab province, while in the south it joins the districts of Zhob and Musa Khel of Balochistan province (Ibid, p. 21). Pak-Afghan border also known as Durand Line lies to the west of FATA.

FATA is consisted of seven political agencies and six tribal pockets called 'Frontier Regions'. The political agencies are, Bajaur, Khyber, Kurram, Mohmand, North Waziristan, Orakzai and South Waziristan agency. Whereas Frontier Regions are in the district of Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan, Kohat, Lakki Marwat, Peshawar and Tank. With a minor exception of Orakzai agency, the rest the political agencies have common border with the state of Afghanistan (GOP, 2006, p. 3). To the north and west, FATA and the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa collectively join a chain of nine provinces in Afghanistan from north to south i.e. Nuristan, Kunar, Nangarhar, Khost, Paktika, Zabol, Kandahar, Helmand and Nimruz, which are predominantly inhabited by pakhtun ethnic group (Shuja, 2009, p. 2). The census report of Pakistan 1998 demonstrates 3.138 million population of these areas which makes 2.4 per cent of the total population of the country. But the current estimate shows its population almost 3.5 million. FATA is inhabited by majority of pakhtun tribes with a limited number of other religious groups such as Sikhs and Hindus (Sarfraz: 2008, pp. 8-9).

Origin of the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR)

The British government strengthened their basis of power by establishing a strategic and effective judicial system and an archive of legal record of the necessary documents which ultimately assisted them in tax collection and maintaining public order during the mid of 19th century in British India. The government was mostly cautious against collective criminal activities and considered it as a direct menace to the empire rather than individual crimes (Nichols, 2013, p. x). The colonial authorities after thorough visualization drafted and executed a comprehensive system of legal and formal codes in the form of Indian Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure in order to rule British India effectively. In the like manner, Criminal Tribes Act was also designed from 1871 through which the government watched, registered and controlled certain tribes. However, the British official authorities realized within a short span of time that these formal codes, laws, rules of evidence and fact-finding potentials were insufficient to control lofty velocity of crimes in Peshawar valley in general and in the Afghan border regions set a part as tribal agencies in particular. The colonial authorities quickly differentiated between the peaceful agriculturists residing in the valleys and wild tribesmen of the frontier border. The only distinction of the settled district was that surveys of formal tax revenue and settlement had been completed while the rest of the situation and general environ of settled district and tribal belt was almost alike. When the government observed high rate of killings, robberies and violence across Peshawar valley, the government eventually developed the Punjab Frontier Crimes Regulation and implemented it in early 1872 (Ibid, pp. x-xi). After the establishment of North West Frontier Province, the government executed the same Regulation with some minor modifications which was called Frontier Crimes Regulation 1901 (Ibid, p. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.