Understanding FATA Volume – II (Dec, 2008)

Understanding FATA Volume - II (English)

Understanding FATA Volume - II (English)

The Community Appraisal & Motivation Programme (CAMP) is pleased to launch ‘Understanding FATA Volume – II: Attitudes Towards Governance, Religion and Society in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas.’

The Second opinion poll conducted in 2008, draws upon the views and feelings of the people in seven agencies and six frontier regions of FATA; opening a whole new window on the region and its people.

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The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) lie at the top of the global security agenda.  Pakistan and the international community are actively debating policy options to deal with the FATA’s development, governance and security needs.   Poverty, difficult terrain, a contested system of governance, cross-border tribal and ethnic connections with Afghanistan, Pashtun traditions and the presence of militants create a set of overlapping challenges.

This poll is the second attempt to provide a better understanding of what local people want – allowing their views to influence the policy debate in Peshawar, Islamabad and overseas. The poll of 2,000 adults was conducted in seven tribal agencies and three Frontier Regions of the FATA.  The poll used proportionate stratified sampling, and included 29.1% women.


Over 50% expressed dissatisfaction with life in FATA. Justice, education and health featured as the most important services the Government of Pakistan should be providing.  Just under half of our respondents viewed the religious clergy as trustworthy.

On the status of FATA, 34% seek integration with the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), 23% preferred things as they are and 20% voiced a preference for a separate province. Over 50% want the ‘Political Parties Act’ to be extended to the FATA.

On terrorism and security, 36% thought negotiating with militant groups was the best way forward, whereas only 15% saw the use of military force as a viable option. Nearly 60% saw Islamic teaching as against suicide bombing. The cause of suicide attacks were described as: ‘western influence’ (51%), ‘unemployment’ (28%), ‘ignorance’ (25%), ‘lack of education’ (21%) ‘Al-Qaeda’ (13.3%).

On human rights, a large proportion rejected practices which compromised women’s rights such as honour killings and forced marriage.  Respondents ranked democracy, an independent judiciary, and violence by security forces respectively as important issues affecting human rights in Pakistan.

Approximately 50% believed that Afghan refugees had negatively affected Pakistan’s economy and undermined its security. 75% wanted to see Afghan refugees return to Afghanistan.

On foreign countries, while 60% wanted to emigrate from Pakistan, views of the US and UK are negative. 45% of respondents wished for Pakistan to be more like Saudi Arabia.