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Taming the `Wild West' - Integrating the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan

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Master's thesis

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Pakistans tribal areas have become a refugee for Al-Qaida terrorists and other criminals. Criminal elements have been able to take advantage of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas FATA because these lands enjoy a unique legal status dating back to the British Empire. The influx of Afghan refugees following the Soviet invasion has likewise provided fertile soil for religious extremism. Religious extremists and hardliners continue to be educated, trained, and sheltered in madrassas operating in tribal areas. Extreme poverty in the FATA lands contributes to their wild west atmosphere, including the proliferation of smuggling and other illegal trade. Fully integrating FATA lands into Pakistan is necessary for both Pakistan and the international community. Pakistan simply cannot afford to have areas operating outside the control of central government and the rule of law. Extending the rule of law to FATA is a necessary step in the prosecution of the war on terror. However, thus far Government efforts to bring the tribal areas into the fold of the normal law of the land have achieved minimal results. Resistance to full integration runs high among certain social forces in FATA. The prevailing environment is thus detrimental to national integration and the security of the country. This study provides an analysis of how tribal areas can be gradually absorbed into Pakistan while offering a strategy to solve administrative, political, and economic problems so that the areas can play a major role in the mainstream life of the nation, while helping the government to establish its writ.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law

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