PR No.226 Islamabad: January 25, 2017

The attention of the FATA Reform Committee has been invited to a report appearing in various newspapers, in which certain comments were made concerning the work of the FRC. The FATA Reform Committee’s views about the instant comments are as under so that the real position is placed before the public.

1) The FATA Reform Committee visited all the 7 tribal agencies as well as held a separate meeting with representatives of the 6 Frontier Regions in Peshawar. In all it met a total of 3,525 tribesmen for consultations. Out of these 3,096 were Maliks and elders while 429 were lawyers, youth, tradesmen and members of tribal civil society organisations. In addition, the Reform Committee held separate meetings with FATA Parliamentarians and experts. The Committee spent more than 8 months in the consultation process. 2) It may be noted that the consultative process continues by engaging tribesmen through the tools of media outreach, including the provision of a Hotline, which records views of the tribesmen and shares them with the FATA Reform Committee on a weekly basis. So far, an additional 27,536 persons have given their opinion regarding different aspects of the Reforms. Very clearly the FRC has been talking continuously with the people of FATA and this conversation continues. 3) The FRC Report described the geopolitical positioning of FATA (Para 8, Page2), that was used by Britain as a “borderland,” to protect British India against aggression. There is no derogatory remark in this description. 4) It may be noted that the FRC also held four consultative meetings with FATA Parliamentarians. The very first meeting of the FRC was held with 19 FATA Parliamentarians on 10th December, 2015 (Page 33 of the FRC Report), where the Parliamentarians gave the committee a written memorandum containing 7 points  of advice; they gave the committee the right to choose the best future trajectory that FATA should take, including its mainstreaming, (Page 70 of the Report). 5) The report was also placed before the Parliament, where it was discussed threadbare. The report is still before the Federal Cabinet and a final decision is awaited.