PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government on Friday overhauled the present governance system in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) after the 25th Constitutional Amendment Bill was approved by President Mamnoon Hussain.
According to a notification issued by the KP Home and Tribal Affairs Department, the changes include re-designation of political agents, additional political agents and assistant political agents as deputy commissioners, additional deputy commissioners, and assistant commissioners, respectively. The implementation of the overhaul has been ordered with immediate effect.
The change to the administrative system was made “in pursuance of the Constitution (25th Amendment) Act, 2018 and all other enabling provisions in any other law, for the time being in force, in the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas”.
The constitutional amendment bill seeking the merger of FATA within a year’s time had been passed by the National Assembly and the Senate in May amidst opposition by the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP).
Last week, the provincial government raised a number of legal, constitutional and financial issues with the federal government regarding the merger of FATA with KP and identified the possible fallout on the mainstreaming.
The chief secretary of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Muhammad Azam Khan, touched upon a number of these issues in a letter to the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (Safron), but was optimistic that all the problems would be overcome with time.
He had said that the transition entailed massive infrastructure development and recruitment to put in place the required administrative, security and judicial machinery.
“Without funding, nothing can be done,” he had said, hastening to add that the provincial government would tighten its own belt and fork out the necessary resources to get the ball rolling in the tribal region.
He said that he had already begun deliberations and the necessary spadework on creation of a new administrative system, depending on the availability of resources from the federal government, but would move ahead with the money available in his province.
The plan included a situation-based and time-bound conversion of tribal areas into properly administered areas and identification of areas for staring direct policing mechanism as soon as possible, and conversion of Levies and Khasadars into police, besides finalisation of the Local Government Act based on the province’s law but with some modifications considering the ground realities.