Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch. - A file photo

PESHAWAR, 15 December: The federal government says the reforms process in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) will be completed within three or four months.

In an interview with BBC, member of the FATA Reforms Committee and Minister for States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) Lt. Gen. (Retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch said the prime minister’s committee will visit every agency of FATA to ascertain the viewpoint of tribal elders on reforms. He said a final decision about the reforms will be taken at a Grand Jirga of all tribal elders after thorough consultations. He said the proposals of the Grand Jirga will be presented before the federal cabinet for approval.

The minister said the option of conducting local bodies elections in FATA is also under consideration. He said a separate system on the pattern of Gilgit Baltistan region may also be introduced in FATA if the local population supported that.

Mr Baloch said the option of merger of FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is also being considered but it will create the problem of development funds share. He said the area of FATA is large, while the population is less and merger with KP will reduce its development share in the resources.

The minister said amendment will be introduced in the Constitution for abolishment of Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) law from FATA. He said abolishment of the FCR was inevitable for reforms in FATA. He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Pakistan Army are serious about reforms in the tribal areas.

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