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Special taskforce made for merger of FATA with KP

06 September, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) government in the Centre has constituted a special taskforce to remove bottlenecks in and accelerate the process of merger of formerly Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province.

Muhammad Shehzad Arbab, a senior bureaucrat and an advisor to the Prime Minister, will convene the taskforce. Among its members will be KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Governor Shah Farman and former federal secretary Habibullah Khattak. Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (Safron) secretary Muhammad Aslam will serve as the taskforce’s secretary.

A senior official at the Safron told reporters that the ministry is preparing a report detailing progress made in merger so far as well as plans for the future. The report will be presented to Prime Minister Imran Khan on the 10th of the month, he said. He said the PM has issued special directives to accelerate efforts for the redress of grievances of tribal districts.

The official maintained that the merger process initiated by the former government led by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had so far moved at a snail’s pace.

The merger process involves several legal complications, therefore, integration of the FATA Secretariat with KP Civil Secretariat will be of paramount importance since it will set the ball rolling in other departments.

The services of the Law Department will be significant in ensuring transition from the Levies and the Khasadar Force to the KP Police Department. Officials at the Safron are considering ways to integrate the ill-equipped Levies and Khasadars to improve maintenance of law and order in the volatile tribal region.

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