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Mainstreaming FATA

Series of Workshops


It is a fact that, throughout Pakistan, lack of good governance is perceived as a grave challenge confronting the nation but the rapidly deteriorating situation in the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) needs immediate attention.

The social and economic indicators for the whole of Pakistan are not something to boast about, but the ones in FATA are certainly bad enough to be ashamed of. It is rather tragic that the step motherly treatment meted out to FATA has marginalized it to an extent where it by no stretch of imagination seems part of Pakistan, Today, FATA’s affairs are managed more or less in the same manner as it was administered during the British rule. Though, this rather peculiar system of governance fitted well in to the colonial scheme of things, denying its people their basic human rights by Pakistan, with which it sided, voluntarily, during partition, is hard to fathom. This socially, economically and legally inferior status of the people of FATA along with the dwindling writ of the government, the ever escalating extremism and the changed geopolitical realities have forced all the stakeholders to review their handling of FATA, While there is no denying the fact that economic uplift of FATA must top any agenda intending to bring it at par with the rest of the country, it will end up as a futile exercise if it is not preceded by a political and administrative overhaul.

However, different vested interests are bent on resisting all attempts to change the status-quo, which necessitates a thorough analysis of the different available options and the same being presented to the policy makers and the people of FATA to choose from.

The proposed series of Workshops will be organized by Benazir Democracy institute, which has vast experience of organizing similar events, in close collaboration with Peoples FATA Development Program, which has established it’s network in all the agencies supervised by a competent team of professionals. The Shaheed Bhutto Foundation (SBF) FATA is headed by Brig ® Qayyum Sher, who himself belongs to South Waziristan Agency.

Objectives of the Workshop

The main purpose of the series of these workshops is to generate a public debate that could ultimately lead to providing the people of FATA with the best possible options. It is expected that following objectives will be achieved through this exercise

  • 1. To create harmony of thoughts among all the concerned communities on issues confronting FATA.
  • 2. To analyze the issues from different perspectives as they exist.
  • 3. To identify options of possible logical solutions.
  • 4. To clear the ambiguities of the concerned communities regarding each other's point of view.
  • 5. To come up with working guidelines for the formulation of a solution.

Structure of Workshop

In order to cover a broader spectrum of views and to involve all the stakeholders, right from the grass-root level to the top most policymaking individuals, a series of workshops followed by a national seminar will be conducted. This will include Regional, Provincial workshops and national seminar. While the main focus of all the three level workshops & national seminar will help in determining the status of FATA, this exercise will achieve the dual aim of involving all the stakeholders in the decision-making process and identifying the best option in a phased manner as follows:

Regional Workshops

Though every tribal agency has its own unique socio-economic set up, geographically, FATA can be divided into three regions. To make the workshops more representative and meaningful one workshop for each region has been planned. The Regional workshops will aim at identifying the different available options presented by the participants. All regional workshops would be held in Peshawar

Northern FATA:

Khyber, Mohmand, Bajaur Agencies & FR Peshawar

Central FATA:

Kurram, Orakzai Agencies & FR Kohat

Southern FATA:

North, South Waziristan Agencies and FRs Bannu, Lakki, Tank, DIK

FATA Workshop

This FATA workshop will be the most important and crucial stage of this series of workshops. Recommendations of the three regional workshops will be grouped in three thematic areas and will be presented in the plenary of the FATA workshop. Participants supporting a particular option in each thematic area will jointly deliberate to further strengthen their case. The FATA workshop would conclude by either recommending one unanimously agreed upon option or more, with the pros and cons in each of the three thematic areas.

National Seminar

This federal level seminar would include participants identified by the FATA workshop who will be joined by representatives of the policy making bodies, Political leaders, Intellectuals, representative from Donor Agencies and other relevant experts at the provincial and federal levels. The seminar agenda would allow the participants to have threadbare discussions on the recommendations of the provincial level workshop and/or any other option deemed important or relevant to the case of FATA mainstreaming.

Thematic Areas

For structured out put of the series of workshop each workshop would be further subdivided into three thematic groups. Participants from each group with the help of one facilitator, co-facilitator and thematic area expert will discuss and made recommendation on each thematic area. In each thematic area the facilitators will seek participant’s opinion on pre-structured questions through open discussion, brainstorming and debate. The groups would be free to formulate their work plan addressing the sub thematic areas. They may decide to divide themselves into smaller groups addressing the sub themes. The themes and sub themes are:

  • 1. Define FATA
    • a. Constitutional and legal status
    • b. Governance status
    • c. Social and economic status
  • 2. Develop FATA
    • a. Strategics, planning and development
    • b. Capacity building for development
    • c. Community involvement in development
    • d. Social development
  • 3. Democratize FATA
    • a. Constitutional transformation
    • b. Political transformation
    • c. Administrative transformation
    • d. Cultural transformation

Criteria for selection of Participants of the Regional level seminar

While every effort will be made to give representation to all relevant stakeholders of FATA, by and large, to keep the number of participants manageable, the following criteria will be used in selecting the participants of the Regional Seminars:

  • a) Elected and nominated councilors
  • b) Parliamentarians (Current and Former)
  • c) Traditional Maliks
  • d) Govt. functionaries having served in FATA (Civil, Military and Para Military) (Current and Former)
  • e) Office bearers of political parties, in FATA (if any)
  • f) Representatives of political parties
  • g) Political Workers from FATA but living in settled areas.
  • h) Media representatives, based in FATA as well as elsewhere having interest in FATA
  • i) Religious Leaders from FATA
  • j) Constitutional and Legal Experts
  • k) Academicians
  • l) Students’/Youth Leaders belonging to FATA
  • m) Representatives of FATA Women
  • n) Representatives of FATA Minorities
  • o) Representatives of FATA Businessmen
  • p) Representatives of Labor from FATA
  • q) Civil Society Organizations working in FATA

There would be three representatives from each category. It will be ensured as much as possible to give equal representation to each agency and FR. That means a total of 80 participants including facilitators and organizers.

Each workshop would be further subdivided into three thematic groups. The groups would be free to formulate their work plan addressing the sub thematic areas. They may decide to divide themselves into smaller groups addressing the sub themes.

Simultaneous electronic mutual translations for Pashto, Urdu and English would be provided

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