Don’t turn FATA into another laboratory

Jalil Afridi
Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Iqbal Zaffar Jhagra during his recent visit to Karachi stated that soon the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan will be merged into the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Since taking oath as Governor, this statement of the governor has surely hurt the people of FATA the most. Is the governor interested in turning FATA into another laboratory of experiments, especially with regard to relations with Afghanistan? Has the governor not seen enough agonies of the people of FATA?
Since last one year there have been different forums used to promote the idea of merging FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. It is not known who exactly funded those forums but their sincerity with the people of FATA is certainly doubtful. Since last twelve years, the people of FATA have seen some of the worst kind of brutalities and inhumane treatment. It does not mean that the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province have seen any less miseries. But FATA residents have been kicked out of their own homes, drones have landed on rooftops of their neighbors, terrorist from the around the world have landed next door, their schools and hospitals have been destroyed and they are homeless in their own home and hungry having their own crops.
The people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on the other hand are living in the most terrorism effected province out of the five provinces of the country. There are hardly enough financial resources available with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to run its own education, health, or police departments. How can the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial government manage to run matters of the entire FATA and its people?
Even at present, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has a vast population asking for separate province of Hazara and it is a genuine demand. By creating smaller units or provinces, it is not only easier to manage them but it also puts the local political leadership on its toes. The same concept should be applied to the people and region of FATA. FATA should be made a separate province so it is managed better, it progresses faster and its own local leadership becomes responsible and decision makers of their future.
FATA has enough of its own resources such as minerals, gas and having borders with Afghanistan to earn good enough revenue to be well managed and well secure. FATA should not be turned into another laboratory. Enough of individuals have become millionaires through their NGO’s and their so called humanitarian work for the people of FATA. It is a shame that money given by foreign donors to help the people of FATA went to the corrupt government officials and corrupt NGO owners.
Millions of Rupees worth business is done every day utilizing the roads of FATA but till day not a single university exists in FATA. The people of FATA instead of being used by different terrorist organizations should be given a hope of bright future. The people of FATA should be given a separate province for a dream of happier times. Enough injustice and being used is done to the people of FATA and they should be let out of the laboratory now. Governor Jhagra being from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province knows very well that every part/agency of FATA is very different from even his own district home town in KP and the few friends he has from FATA must have told him that merging FATA into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will be disastrous. There are more benefits of having FATA as a separate province than emerging it with FATA. It is crystal clear to most people but still there are powers which want FATA to be part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. We can only request the governor and his bosses not to play with the future of the people of FATA and let them have a province of their own in order for them to be creator of their own destinies and dreams.