Abstract

Historically, the present-day northwestern Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan have been ruled under the 1901 Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR). After partition of British India in 1947, the tribal areas acceded to Pakistan; and the latter continued with the same colonial era isolationist special governance system. The Cold War politics and post-9/11 Afghan war turned this area into an ideological and operational base for domestic, regional and global terrorism and militancy. This precarious security environment compelled Pakistan to carry out counterinsurgency military operations. Lately, to achieve enduring peace, the debate on FATA‟s merger has taken on momentum resulting in milestone constitutional developments. This article is an attempt to explore how this significant tribal region evolved over time into a strategic vulnerability for Pakistan leading to a sociopolitical movement for its integration, with a focus on the advantages and challenges of this objective.