Press Briefing and Media Coverage
UNDERSTANDING FATA 2010 REPORT LAUNCHED
A report highlighting the opinions of FATA residents was launched today, Tuesday 14 December 2010 at an event held in Islamabad. ’Understanding FATA’ records the attitudes of over 4000 people towards governance, religion and society in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas .
The key findings of the 2010 poll include:
- Despite increasing optimism on the part of FATA residents, law and order continued to be identified as the biggest area of concern.
- An overwhelming majority of residents do not feel that U.S. drone attacks are justified, yet support for military operations against militants increased dramatically over the past year, particularly among those displaced by the conflict.
- There was a hardening of opinion against suicide bombing.
- The people of FATA readily distinguish between Pakistani Taliban and their Afghan counterparts, with the former being viewed much less favourably, while the latter have also dropped in favour over the past year.
- Views about Al-Qaeda were markedly unfavourable, and similarly so for U.S. and U.K. policies in the region.
- Foreign fighters should either be forced or asked to leave the area according to a majority of FATA residents.
- With respect to development, the study revealed that in 2010 education overtook security as a primary concern for FATA residents, with concern over health services not far behind.
- On political reform, a large number of FATA respondents want FATA to be integrated into KPK, while a slightly lower percentage want FATA to take the shape of a separate province.
- A sizeable majority supported the extension of the Political Parties Act of 2002 to FATA, and welcomed further political reforms announced by President Zardari in 2009.
- With respect to human rights issues, concerns about citizens’ social entitlements and democratic rights have gained prominence in the past year.
Overall, while there were notable changes in public opinions in FATA from 2008 to 2010, security, political reform and socio-economic development continue to be key priorities.
The Chief Guest, Mr. Farhatullah Babar, in his speech commended the work done by CAMP and emphasized the need for more of such extensive surveys to comprehend the needs and address the problems of FATA. Mr. Shaukat Ullah, MNA from FATA, also appreciated CAMP’s efforts and emphasized the urgent need for the implementation of Political Parties Act. Mr. Zahid Elahi, a civil society representative, recommended a more viable and strong role of Civil Society Organizations in FATA so that the areas could be brought together with the rest of the country.
The British Deputy High Commissioner, Dr. Peter Tibber reiterated that, “the British High Commission continues to sponsor this opinion poll by CAMP because it provides an invaluable resource for policy makers, analysts and commentators, but above all, it provides a platform where the voices and opinions from the people of FATA can be heard outside of FATA.”
While presenting the report at the event, Mr. Naveed Shinwari (Chief Executive, CAMP) commented, “Because the only viable future for FATA will be the one that takes into account the people’s views on religion, politics, society and governance, we hope that this report will generate a fruitful debate about the future of FATA: a debate that includes policy makers in Peshawar, Islamabad, Kabul, Washington and London.”
Notes to the Editor
- The event was attended by government representatives, diplomats, academics, national and international media organisations, national and international NGOs, university students and parliamentarians.
- This is the fourth ’Understanding FATA’ report, published annually since 2007.
- For more information, and for copies of the report please contact:
Community Appraisal & Motivation Programme (CAMP)
House # 25,Street #63, F 10/3 Islamabad, PAKISTAN
- Copies of the report are available at the above web address