NO MORE FCR: A blessing in disguise for the tribals

Today is indeed a historic day for the people of Pakistan and our brothers and sisters in FATA who were finally relieved from FCR, a colonial administrative system that the Britishers came up with about hundred years ago.

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan which gained independence from the “Goras” has been following laws enacted under the British Raj by the same “Goras” for the past seventy years. Our obsession with colonial laws doesn’t seem to fit our ideological independence narrative, right?

A policeman in our country still registers an FIR under the Pakistan Penal Code previously known as the Indian penal code formulated back in the nineteenth century and here we are as independent as one can be.

Why did it took so long is the question that has surfaced throughout the capital and even the legislators are reluctant to answer that. Though this constitutional amendment comes as the government is about to leave in eight days or so, does the timing of this bill rings any bell?

At this point in time when PTM under their supremo Mr. Pishteen are demonstrating their power throughout the country with massive rallies and protests against the establishment as well as the elected government.

The current political situation seems quite under control compared to what it was a few years ago, the armed forces have been successful in eliminating the menace of terrorism from the region in question and the refugees are on their way back. Though the bill has been passed and will soon be adapted, this part of the world isn’t an easy place to administer, this was well understood by the English men who were in control of half of the world but feared the tribesman.

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Whether its the geographical immobility due to the terrain under administration or local ideology towards a governance system, an effective implementation of what was passed today will require due diligence by the concerned stakeholders.

Procedures and regulations, a local administrative system, policing and civic laws is something that’s unheard off in the tribal areas, probably one of the reasons the extremists were able to penetrate FATA easily.

The legislators have done their bit but there is a lot more to be done to turn this into a reality. There is one more factor to be considered, certainly the most important one when it comes to diplomacy and international borders.

Our friends across the Durand line though they never accept that something of that sort exists reacted vigorously when our border authorities started fencing, maybe they understood that they cant smuggle drugs and ammunition worth millions of dollars back to Pakistan. I wonder how Kabul will react to this merger but one thing is for sure Pakistan has been mending its side of the border for quite a while now and we are serious when it comes to our sovereignty whether its the eastern or the western front, the message is loud and clear.

Someone was missing from the parliament today, none other than Mr. Fazlur Rehman who addresses the constitution more than his party workers at times and no one can forget Mr. Achakzai with that traditional “Chadar” of his, the point is they didn’t get what they always wanted when it comes to FATA and KPK. Both of them have been in political circles for the past few decades and it’s about time for them to subvert their political agenda for the betterment of the country that will, in turn, strengthen federalism and the Republic of Pakistan.

The implementation needs to be phased out in a manner which respects the wishes of the tribal people while allows the provincial government to uphold the administration with local consent.

The 229 Ayes are a symbol of democratic credentials still prevalent in the country despite the absurdity and conspiracy theories and we hope they remain that way in the years to come.

(Picture in the thumbnail has been taken from the following link:
https://tribune.com.pk/story/1170044/fata-reforms-govt-replace-fcr-tribal-areas-rewaj-act/)

Regards

Shehryar Ejaz

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