After passing of the 25th constitutional amendment tribal areas of Pakistan have been merged with and become part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Right from the merger, a score of announcements were being made by the government to transform and mainstream the administrative and judicial system of the tribal districts. Experts believe that many positive developments were being made for the mainstreaming of tribal districts but there are still many challenges to change the status quo and implementation of reforms agenda post-merger. Local people and experts have the reservations and termed the process of reformation is slow and it should be speed up in order to give relief to local people from this new set up.
Sajid Mohmand, Member of National Assembly from Mohmand district claimed that after merger with KP, the administrative and judicial set up in tribal districts have been improved.
“Many aware people in our community have the misperceptions that not a single step has been taken after merger. I say that it is evident the abolition of Fata Secretariat and merging its departments with KP, extension of judicial system, transformation of Khassadar Force into Police are all new steps regarding tribal areas mainstreaming. After the notification of merger there are scores of issues but these all will resolve through joint venture and it will take time.
Jehanzeb, a social activist hailing from Mohmand Tribal District said that steps taken by the government is limited only announcements; there is no practical work on these steps.
“There is anarchy like situation in tribal areas; no such system of governance is being applicable. I think that 60 percent of the people of tribal belt are not know about the Courts, only some few educated people take their cases to these courts. Government using delayed tactics in implementation of reforms agenda. Uncertainty situation prevails in the tribal areas regarding administrative and judicial system”.
However, Doctor Ashraf Ali, social expert and chairman erstwhile Fata Research Council said merger of Fata with KP was a difficult task however, hopefully majority of the people are being happy from this decision of the government and now the challenges ahead will be resolved amicably.
“I will say that there are some people who are not satisfactory from the pace of reform process but other present a different opinion. But difference of opinion is a good omen. I have the view that majority of the people are happy from this decision of the government and I think the process of reformation and mainstreaming of tribal areas is being initiated and that is positive development. Certainly, this is a big project which needs sustainability and more time.
Khial Matshah Afridi, journalist and President of Bara Press Club Khyber district told that government should give priority to education and health sector in reforms process in erstwhile Fata.
“In reform process there should be focused on issues like education health and infrastructure. Here is propaganda regarding merging of Fata and this propaganda will make more strengthen if government does not resolve the genuine issues of the people. In Bara Tehsil only there are above one hundred schools which have no boundary wall and proper infrastructure. Same is the condition of health facilities. So, government should prioritize the provision of education, health and basic infrastructure in tribal areas”.
Social Expert Ashraf Ali said that there three major demands of the people of tribal districts that include conducting of provincial and local body polls and initiating of financial package for economic up lift of the areas.
“Conduction of provincial and local body polls is the real time need which should be carried out soon. By this, people of the area will feel sense of ownership and they will enjoy the right of vote and they will become part of decision making process. One crucial demand of the tribal people is the ten years social and economic plan which should be commenced soon in order to initiate developmental and livelihood programs for the war trodden people of the area.