A historical overview of reforms in the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Pakistan


  • Bakhtiar Khan Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Buner, Sowari, Pakistan. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1331-8347
  • Sajad Ali Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Buner, Sowari, Pakistan.
  • Arif Khan Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Buner, Sowari, Pakistan. https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4265-2659




FCR, Frontier Crimes Regulations, FATA reforms, constitutional reforms, merger of FATA, erstwhile FATA, tribal areas of Pakistan, merged districts


The erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), recently merged with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), are one of the less developed areas of Pakistan. The erstwhile FATA included seven agencies and six frontier regions. Under the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR), popularly known as a black law, the legal and administrative structure of these tribal areas was formulated by the British colonial power. These regulations were the cornerstone of FATA's administration after 1947. These areas remained semi-governed under the executive and did not fall under the sphere of influence of the national and provincial legislatures. Due to the region's internal and external dynamics, Pakistan's governments failed to introduce reforms or merge the FATA with their adjoining districts or the province. The regulations empowered the political administration to adjudicate civil and criminal cases through Jirgas and take measures for peace and security. The head of the state constitutionally governed these areas through the governor of KP. The study focuses on the historical evolution of the reforms in erstwhile FATA. The findings show that after the May 2018 merger of erstwhile FATA, it is essential to change the system to integrate these merged districts into the country's mainstream politics and governance structure.


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How to Cite

Khan, B., Ali, S., & Khan, A. (2023). A historical overview of reforms in the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Pakistan. Journal of Humanities, Social and Management Sciences (JHSMS), 4(1), 15–27. https://doi.org/10.47264/idea.jhsms/4.1.2