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Another commission formed on Fata reforms

By Zulfiqar Ali 2014-05-20
PESHAWAR: As if the recommendations of previous task forces and reforms commissions were not enough, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan has set up another Fata Reforms Commission (FRC) to frame strategic objectives for the volatile tribal areas for the next 25 years.

The five-member commission comprising retired civil and military officers, a former provincial minister and a serving civil officer has been asked to produce a comprehensive report within 10 months.

The successive governors had formed several commissions and task forces for the purpose but administrative and legal reforms are missing in Fata.

Former chief secretary Ejaz Qureshi has been appointed chairman of the FRC, whose other members are Lt-Gen (r) Syed Sabahat Hussain, former bureaucrat Mir Laig Shah, former provincial minister Mossarat Qadeem, who runs an NGO, and additional secretary to the governorMuddassir Riaz Malik.

The commission may corporate another member with the approval of the governor, said a notification.

The body will submit short and long term reforms initiatives to the governor for his approval.

Mandate of the FRC is to formulate and propose strategic objectives, strategic policies and action plans which will be submitted to the governor for approval. The FRC will overview the implementation of the reform initiatives and propose `midcourse corrections` as and when required.

The commission has been given 18 terms of reference (ToRs) and will develop strategic and detailed action plans for realizing strategic objectives of reforms agenda in different sectors including economic in Fata.

The FRC has been tasked to revisit and define the state/citizen relations, identify key reforms areas and options for institutional development and strengthening, and good governance in the area.

It has been tasked to review structure of the existing Fata Civil Secretariat, Governor`s House, Governor`s Secretariat and political administration in tribal areas with a view to strengthen the system for making it more effective, efficient and responsive to the needs of people and propose options.

Under the ToRs, the FRC will make rec-ommendations for introducing accountability process in the financial management, introduction of governance and introduction of grievances redressal system based on study of best practices in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other areas.

With the technical assistance of the National Database Registration Authority, the panel will suggest one-window facilitation centre for various services.

It will also plan introduction of MIS system for good including trade and immigration governance whereas possible.

It will also review border management regime including trade and immigration in consultation with Prime Minister Secretariat. It will re-examine the existing legal an institutional systems in Fata and will propose improvement/ amendments in the existing laws, rules, business process and develop legal regime for the implementation of the approved reforms initiatives.

The commission will also review effectiveness of the Colonial-era Frontier Crimes Regulation in changing governance paradigm and will prepare integrated development and economic development strategies for the region.

Also, pro-investment policy in various sectors like oil and gas, power, dams, minerals etc aiming at improving quality of life of tribal people will be made.