The Middle East Institute is proud to host Mr. Habibullah Khan, current head of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) Secretariat, to discuss the security, policy, and cultural challenges surrounding the integration of FATA into Pakistan's mainstream political system. In his talk, Mr. Khan will highlight the primary characteristics of life in the tribal areas and outline the present governance system. He will also discuss the impact of Afghan Jihad and the rise of militancy on the FATA region, as well as the proposed road map for a peaceful and smooth transition from isolation to the mainstreaming of FATA into Pakistan's national affairs. Mr. Khan will focus specifically on recommendations for FATA's integration that are realistic, practicable, and have the backing of local tribesmen.
The FATA region of Pakistan is a strong, conservative society where tribesmen still adhere to centuries-old customs and traditions. After the creation of the state of Pakistan in 1947, no effective policy measures were taken to bring FATA up to speed with rest of the country. Now, more than half a century later, there is a growing realization amongst Pakistan watchers and security analysts that FATA cannot be left to its own devices. Calls for the transformation of FATA are being voiced by the international policy community, although few regional specialists have a deep enough knowledge of the tribal areas and their people to make informed policy recommendations about FATA's future.