Guest post from Centre for Research and Security Studies
Summary: In order to bring the youth of Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) into the social, political and economic mainstream, a draft of FATA Youth Policy (FYP) has been developed by the FATA Secretariat on the directives of Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In this regard consultative workshops and seminars are being held with different stakeholders including tribal youth, journalists, lawyers, minorities and tribal women representatives to ensure that the draft reflects the desires and wishes of FATA Population. Their recommendations shall be incorporated in the final draft. It also recommends promotion of peace, interfaith harmony, education and youth encouragement in all fields. Its implementation will be really a big challenge for the concerned authorities and quarters, we are looking forward to the approval of FYP.
Saima Gul: In previous segments of Jwande Jazbeâ program, we talked about empowerment of FATA youth and their role in development and prosperity of the country. We also discussed their social, political and economic problems in tribal belt. In order to guide the tribal youth in right direction and bring them into the political and economic mainstream, the government of Pakistan is going to implement a revised draft of FATA Youth Policy (FYP) after consultation with relevant stakeholders and Fata youth and representatives, since the consultation process is vital. Mr. Wajid Mohmand shall further inform the listeners about it?
Wajid Mohmand: As we know youth are 60pc of the total population of the country. FATA Youth Policy (FYP) was first introduced in 2008 and then in January 2011 with slight, but necessary changes. So the draft comes on the heels of a series of consultation meetings and seminars based on the original draft. The present Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Eng. Shaukatullah announced FYP in 2013, which is still in consultative process. The draft has proposed working on different sectors including education, health, employment, empowerment through political and social mediums etc.
The policy is aimed to bring tribal youth as par with other youth of the country in terms of education and development. Scenario is tense and complex throughout Fata for last ten years, bringing routine life, educational and business activities to a standstill. There is no such effective policy through which job opportunities could be ensured to tribal inhabitants except Fata Development Authority, which is providing skill development training to tribal youths that is insufficient to make them able to stand on their own feet and move them from poverty and starvation to self-reliance by getting any reasonable job.
This sort of training doesn’t suit to B.A and master level students. I suggest that first of all the central government should identify professions or income generating opportunities in Fata. These training centers have to be setup in cities for their exposure and learning on modern methods. In absence of unfavorable environment and opportunities, they could not enhance their capacities.
Khan Baba: If given the opportunity; they can bring drastic change in their areas.
Saima Gul: Before presenting the policy, it proposed draft needs to be properly discussed at different social forums.
Wajid Mohmand: Our rulers and policy makers sit in air-conditioner rooms enjoying a lavish life. They are unaware about actual problems of the people in less developed areas of the country. Apart from the government, NGOs and corporate sector were supposed to conduct awareness seminars and conferences in FATA and all frontier regions to give an opportunity to the inhabitants to share their views and put forward their suggestions on proposed draft. They would able to know about the policies being formulated for them. The people of Malakand Agency were highly supported by national and international communities, organizations and development sector for their rehabilitation after military operations, but what about FATA, which has reached on the verge of destruction. The War against terrorism is being fought on the region, thus they were the most deserving people for humanitarian and financial aid and cooperation.
Report: A round table meeting regarding FATA Youth Policy (FYP) was held by FATA Secretariat here at Peshawar. The participants including people from different walks of life, male and female students of FATA and relevant stakeholders discussed the proposed draft of FYP. Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Eng. Shaukatullah was the chief guest on the occasion. In this regard, Fata Secretariat Director General Project, Mr. Zahir Shah while talking to this scribe told that in case the policy is adhered in true sense of words, the people can come out of ignorance.
DG Project: Presently the population of FATA is going through an age of ignorance. It is the need of the hour to involve the youth in healthy and constructive activities. We want every youth to be confident, tolerable and capable. These activities will turn them into a useful citizen
Centre for Research and Security Studies
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”.