A Successful Merger.

 
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Prime Minister Imran Khan should be commended for his words regarding the uplift of the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The whole point of the merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) was to ensure that the area was brought up to par with the rest of the country, and it is positive that the federal and provincial governments of ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf also recognise this fact. The erstwhile tribal areas need the government to prioritise on both development and establishing the rule of law to see gradual improvement.

Having said that, there needs to be an element of greater accountability and transparency in the developmental process. Words alone will not bring the former tribal areas up to the level of other provinces. Nor will this be a short-term endeavour. Providing access to healthcare, education, basic amenities and law and order takes both time and planning, and it is hoped that the KP government is cognisant of this fact.

The Prime Minister asked the provincial government to provide more jobs and economic opportunities in the region, but this is easier said than done. The government can only improve employment opportunities in developmental programmes, but for a lasting and thriving job market, initiatives will also have to be taken by the private sector. Too long have the former tribal districts been seen as no-go areas and virtually inaccessible to outsiders; and if...

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