Challenges Facing Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)
NBR Analysis vol. 19, no. 3

Challenges Facing Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)

by Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema and Ijaz Khan
August 1, 2008

The prevalence of militant activities in Pakistan‘s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) makes the region increasingly vulnerable to the influence of al Qaeda and other transnational actors. Moreover, the insurgent presence in the FATA challenges Islamabad‘s already limited authority in the region, and threatens a destabilizing spillover effect into other parts of the country. As Islamabad competes with these groups for control in the region, a multi-pronged strategy of socio-political development and economic assistance initiatives, as well as a successful counter-insurgency campaign, is needed. As the essays by Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema and Ijaz Khan show, these activities pose their own sets of challenges and opportunities for Pakistan. Robert G. Wirsing provides an introductory overview of the current situation in Pakistan and an assessment of the findings emerging from these two essays, arguing that important differences in the strategic outlooks of the United States and Pakistan bear far-reaching consequences not only for Pakistan‘s regional and domestic political interests but also for U.S. policy.