FATA development and leaders’ legacy

Interim Provincial Minister for Commerce and Industry, and Tribal Affairs, has recently observed that the caretaker government will make all-out efforts to complete unfinished development work to ensure the provision of all facilities to the residents of Erstwhile FATA as being enjoyed by the citizens in other parts of the country.

According to him, launching new development projects was not a mandate of the interim government, however, initiatives would be adopted to complete the ongoing progress schemes. He noted that the merged tribal belt had been ignored for a long period, and the interim government was competent enough to remove a sense of deprivation among the tribesmen.

Historically, the newly merged Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have faced challenges in socio-economic development due to factors like limited access to education, healthcare, and a lack of essential infrastructure.

However, remarkable efforts have been made by successive governments to bring about positive change, and these endeavours became visible after FATA was merged with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province in mid-2018. The federal government reserved 3% of the NFC award along with a provincial grant under the PSPD to bring FATA up to par with the rest of the country in terms of social development indicators. Various development projects have been launched to improve educational facilities, healthcare services, and economic opportunities in the region.

Over the past two decades, the deteriorated security situation and continued counter-terrorism operations by the security forces seriously disturbed social life and significantly undermined development and growth in the entire border belt region along the Durand line.

Although, the interim leaders have no mandate to initiate new development projects in any area. However, the interim government continued the ongoing development work on various projects for the larger benefit of the masses until prohibited by the court a few days back. In fact, the tribesmen suffered the utmost socio-economic deprivation in the past years, hopefully, they would harvest the blessing attached to their sacrifices in the future.