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Tribal Areas,officially the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), administrative region (1998 pop. 3,176,331), 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. (There are also Provincially Administered Tribal Areas within Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Baluchistan, and Punjab.) The FATA's forested mountainous terrain broken by small valleys and dotted with towns and agricultural areas. The economy is mainly based on agriculture, and there is much poverty. The people are overwhelmingly Pashtuns, who belong to more than 10 major tribes. The seven agencies are Khyber, Kurram, Bajaur, Mohmand, Orakzai, North Waziristan, and South Waziristan, the largest of the regions.
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. 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 (1998 pop. 17,554,674), c.41,000 sq mi (106,200 sq km), NW Pakistan, bounded on the N and W by Afghanistan. Peshawar is the capital.
..... Click the link for more information. have been proposed (2017) but not enacted. Since 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. have been a major force in the region, and the Pakistani army has conducted a number of offensives against Islamic militants in parts of the FATA. The FATA, particularly the Waziristans, are 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. .