Pakistan Government approves merger of FATA with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa

nwfp_fata-svgThe Pakistan Government on 2 March 2017 approved the merger of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) with the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. The step was taken to bring the impoverished and politically deprived tribal region at par with the rest of the country.

Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan, presided a meeting of the federal cabinet, which approved in principle the recommendations of the FATA Reforms Committee.  The Committee includes the merger of the tribal areas with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and repeal of the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR).


The recommendation to merge Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa with the FATA was made by the six-member committee headed by Sartaj Aziz, PM’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs.

The Government, in addition, also approved a 10-year reform package to bring the tribal region on a par with other developing areas of the country.

Key highlights

  • The development package, worth more than Pakistani Rupees 110 billion, has been approved for the seven agencies of the tribal region.
  • Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the Peshawar High Court will be extended to FATA.
  • Introduction of Local Government system, education and jobs opportunities for youth and up-gradation of Levis Force are part of the 24-point FATA reforms. However, LG polls will be held after 2018 general elections.

What is Federally Administered Tribal Areas?

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  • The Federally Administered Tribal Areas is a semi-autonomous tribal region in northwestern Pakistan.
  • The region borders Pakistan’s provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan to the east and south, and Afghanistan’s provinces of Kunar, Nangarhar, Paktia, Khost and Paktika to the west and north.
  • The FATA consists of seven tribal agencies and six frontier regions. They are directly governed by Pakistan’s federal government through a special set of laws called the FCR.
  • The territory is almost exclusively inhabited by the Pashtuns.

About Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

  • Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is one of the four provinces of Pakistan.
  • It is located in the northwestern region of the nation.
  • The province was formerly known as North-West Frontier Province.
  • Its provincial capital and largest city is Peshawar.
  • Khyber Pakhtunkhwa shares borders with the FATA to the west; Gilgit–Baltistan to the northeast; Azad Kashmir, Islamabad and Punjab to the east and southeast.
  • The province also shares an international border with Afghanistan, connected through the Khyber Pass.
  • It is the third largest province of Pakistan by the size of both population and economy. However, the province is geographically the smallest of four provinces.