Caretaker PM stresses on Fata’s swift transition to mainstream

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Caretaker Prime Minister retired Justice Nasirul Mulk on Monday emphasised that the process of erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas’ (Fata) transition to the mainstream should be completed swiftly and must provide a sense of security to the people of the former “tribal areas”.

He made these remarks while presiding over a meeting to review the progress on implementation of Fata reforms at Prime Minister’s Office, a press release by the office said.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Secretary Muhammad Azam Khan briefed the meeting on the progress of implementation and pointed to the various administrative, legal and financial issues that needed immediate attention to ensure smooth completion of the merger process following the passage of 25th Constitutional Amendment.

The meeting, attended by Law Minister Syed Ali Zafar, secretaries of States and Frontier Regions (Safron), finance and planning divisions, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief secretary and other senior officials, was briefed on the actions taken so far.

The KP chief secretary said that the former agencies and frontier regions have been re-designated as districts and sub-divisions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and the posts of political agents and assistant political agents have been re-designated as deputy commissioners and assistant commissioners.

Furthermore, the meeting was informed that with the abolition of Agency Development Fund, the collection of all taxes, levies and rahdaries has been stopped. It was told that the draft plans for the extension of judiciary, policing, prosecution and prisons service in the newly-embedded districts have also been prepared.

A Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) representative briefed the meeting about the tax exemptions and other financial incentives that have been provided to the people of erstwhile Fata and Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (Pata) for the next five years.

The Secretary Finance also briefed the meeting about the financial allocations for the development of the region and for ensuring smooth implementation of the merger process.

The prime minister observed that the merger of Fata into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was a landmark development promising positive impact on addressing the development lag and bringing a marked improvement in the lives of the people.

He stressed upon the need for addressing the important administrative, legal and financial issues in this regard.

A committee was also constituted under the chairmanship of federal minister for law, justice and parliamentary affairs and comprising the provincial chief secretary, advocate general, home secretary and additional chief secretary of former Fata as well as representatives of the finance, revenue and planning divisions to formulate a strategy for removing bottlenecks and making the merger process seamless.

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