The Tribal Districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa erstwhile Federally
Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) are among the backward areas of the
country in terms of socio-economic indicators. The key reasons for this
development lag have been ascribed to the resources and capacity
constraints, scarce economic opportunities, socio-cultural barriers and
fragile security situations, particularly over the last two decades. The
per-capita expenditure in erstwhile FATA has been very low as compared
to other parts of the country.
In a historical step, the constitution of Pakistan under the 25th Amendment has merged these Tribal Areas into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) by extending the executive authority of the Province. This step is a big leap towards mainstreaming of the tribal districts and opened up new avenues for socio-economic development in Merged Areas. The merger has been complemented by a commitment from the Provincial as well as the Federal Government to invest adequate resources for the development of merged districts and to bring them at par with other parts of the country.
To accomplish this task and to make the transition smoother, a Ten Years Development Plan in the form of Tribal Decade Strategy (TDS 2020-2030) has been framed that provides guiding principles for developmental initiatives in Merged Tribal Districts. The Government has committed to provide at least Rs. 100.00 billion every year for the next ten years.
Initially, a three-year programme, under the TDS, was formulated in the form of Accelerated Implementation Programme (AIP), comprising of 206 interventions and falling over different sectors, laying the broader foundation of development in the region. Out of the AIP, the departments were able to approve 127 projects, in the first year, from the concerned forums with an aggregate cost of Rs. 142 billion. During the Financial Year 2019-20, an amount of Rs. 24.00 billion was released to the departments, which was spent on the execution of various projects.
The projects envisioned in the AIP provides a base for sustainable development in Merged Areas. It aims to fill the development gap with an increased inflow of resources coupled with some innovative approaches that have been introduced
for the very first time in the Merged Areas with defined outputs and outcomes.