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Tribal Areas,officially the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), former administrative region, 10,510 sq mi (27,220 sq km), NW Pakistan, comprising seven agencies (or tribal areas) and six generally smaller frontier regions located mainly between Afghanistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa prov. but also bordered by Punjab and Baluchistan prov. in the south. The seven agencies were Khyber, Kurram, Bajaur, Mohmand, Orakzai, North Waziristan, and South Waziristan; the inhabitants were overwhelmingly Pashtuns.
Under British rule, the area served as a buffer zone between the British and Russsian spheres of influence. The colonial government never completely controlled the region; the tribes governed their own internal affairs, while the British were responsible for British India's security. The arrangement was far from successful, and in the last half of the 19th cent. British troops repeatedly battled tribal groups. The British retained a tenuous hold on the region until they left the subcontinent in 1947.
A 1948 agreement granted the Tribal Areas a special administrative status in Pakistan, which allowed them to remain semiautonomous and base their administration on traditional tribal rules, but the inhabitants did not have full Pakistani citizenship rights. The system was codified in the 1973 constitution. In the early 21st. cent. the Pakistani TalibanTaliban
, Islamic fundamentalist militia of Afghanistan and later Pakistan, originally consisting mainly of Sunni Pashtun religious students from Afghanistan who were educated and trained in Pakistan.
..... Click the link for more information. were a major force in the region, and the Pakistani army conducted a number of offensives against Islamic militants in parts of the FATA. The FATA, particularly the Waziristans, were also alleged to be a stronghold for Al QaedaAl Qaeda
or Al Qaida
[Arab.,=the base], Sunni Islamic terrorist organization with the stated goals of uniting all Muslims and establishing a transnational, strict-fundamentalist Islamic state.
..... Click the link for more information. . Reforms that would give the inhabitants full citizenship and merge the FATA into Khyber PakhtunkhwaKhyber Pakhtunkhwa,
formerly North-West Frontier Province,
province and historic region (2017 provisional pop. 35,525,047), c.51,510 sq mi (133,410 sq km), NW Pakistan, bounded on the N and W by Afghanistan. Peshawar is the capital.
..... Click the link for more information. were enacted in 2018, and the FATA was dissolved, though some aspects of the merger were to be completed by 2020. The former agencies and regions became provincial districts.