FATA Youth Policy: Draft of FATA Youth Policy

Islamabad: FATA Youth Policy draft is welcomed by international forums. This policy if approved and enforced may help FATA Youth to find a better future.

FATA youth is faced with multiple challenges such as, having to deal with the spread of terrorism/radicalism, lack of educational facilities, unemployment and the lack of political empowerment at the local level. This has left most feeling deprived and discriminated against.


The purpose of the FATA Youth Policy is to counter this attitude with a more optimistic and tolerant view towards life and society. The FATA Youth Policy hopes to give an effective direction to its youth in living a purposeful life and participating as responsible members of the community. Thus, this policy aims to help channelize the energy of the FATA youth into a progressive force,who shall work towards the improvement of their communities and society as a whole. It endeavors to do this by providing an enabling environment for social, political and economic empowerment. It also aims to focus and invest in nation building, patriotism, social cohesion and volunteerism amongst the FATA youth, in order to develop a new cadre of youth, encompassing these value systems.








Federally Administered Tribal Areas

The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) is strategically located between the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and the settled areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). FATA, both historically and traditionally, occupies a unique administrative and political status from the British times, since 1849. In 1893, most of the areas which is now in FATA came under British rule by a demarcation with Afghanistan, called Durand Line. The area was controlled through a combination of effective Political Agents (PAs) and tribal elders, while leaving the people with their traditions and internal independence. Pakistan inherited this system from British, and with little modification, it is practiced even today. Since the independence of Pakistan, FATA has not been accorded the same constitutional status as prevails in rest of Pakistan. It is kept as low priority in terms of the development process being undertaken in other parts of the country. The development initiatives and allocations in FATA followed a compartmentalized approach, concentrated around sectoral facilities and benefiting a few influential and politically active sections. This adhoc approach deprived large segments of the population from social uplift, and economic empowerment (FATA, History of FATA) .

Under the Constitution, FATA is included amongst the territories of Pakistan (Article 1). It is represented in the National Assembly and the Senate, but remains under the direct executive authority of the President (Articles 51, 59 and 247). Laws framed by the National Assembly do not apply here, unless so ordered by the President, who is also empowered to issue regulations for the peace and good government of tribal areas. Today, FATA continues to be governed primarily through the Frontier Crimes Regulation 1901 (FATA, Administrative System) .

All the agencies and FRs in FATA give a very versatile ethnic picture. Different tribes live across this mountainous belt at the border with Afghanistan and live as per their tribal cultural norms and values. These tribes share similarities in their cultural norms, yet exhibit visible differences from one another in minor details of life style and the day-to-day running of affairs of their respective societies.

FATA has a tremendous amount of natural resources; however, economic development in FATA is a different issue altogether. The locals usually depend on livestock and agriculture for their livelihood, save for some who choose to migrate outside of FATA in search of work, some of whom settle in the Middle-East as laborers, to generate income for their families.

FATA emerged on the global arena in the last decade, as the center for terrorism and a safe haven for terrorist and militant groups. This unfortunately resulted in serious consequences for the general public of FATA. Since then, the general public of FATA has been stigmatized as potential terrorists and/or extremists, nationally as well as internationally. The fight against terrorism in FATA has resulted in the migration of its people to Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps set up in different parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The worst part of this ongoing insurgency has been the recruitment of the youth by terrorist groups to carry out terrorism across Pakistan and especially in FATA.

FATA Youth Policy Background

Pakistan is currently facing the phenomenon of a youth bulge (overpopulation of the youth) in the context of its rapid population’ growth rate of 2% annually. Thus, Pakistan is among the list of countries with the highest population growth rate globally. Youth, is by far the biggest demographic group in Pakistan. According to the Pakistan National Youth Policy: ‘Pakistan’s population profile is changing. The proportion of working age population is increasing and offering a window of opportunity to turn this demographic transition into a “demographic dividend”. This “demographic dividend” provides a great opportunity to steer the energies of youth for Pakistan’s economic growth and well-being’. (Pakistan National Youth Policy 2008).

If the youth bulge is not dealt with responsibly, it can result in bigger problems for the entire country. Pakistan is already facing many socio-political problems. Issues of unemployment and a lack of access to resources due to overpopulation can further result in frustrated and violent youth groups across the country, and especially in FATA.

According to other reports, tendencies towards collective and group violence are also increasing because of sectarian, ethnic, religious and political segregation of Pakistani society. It must be added that the spread of terrorist outfits in FATA, and resultant internal displacement of people to urban centers has also precipitated violence because the displaced youth could neither be rehabilitated nor employed.

The only way out of this rapidly deteriorating condition and increasing youth-violence is to create enough economic growth and employment opportunities. But this seems to be too ambitious a dream to be realized at least in the foreseeable future. However, the seriousness of the issue demands priority attention, and the problem of integration into the national workforce must be tackled urgently as a part of a counter-terrorism strategy; for employing the young would not only help the economy but also cripple the extremists’ ability to turn the youth-bulge into a terrorist surplus (Sheikh 2013) .

With the youth being the biggest demographic group, along with the possible threat of becoming increasingly frustrated and violent, it is perhaps high time to address the youth of FATA. Keeping in view the need for addressing FATA youth problems and requiring a strategy to involve and utilize this great potential, the Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in August, 2013, took an initiative to chalk out a FATA Youth Policy.

According to the FATA Reforms, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor, has declared to chalk out a well thought out youth policy and said he will personally contribute an inspirational role not only in finalizing the document but also enable the youth from FATA to play a leading role in every field of life. The preparation and declaration of the FATA Youth Policy, he added, is now a matter of weeks rather than months and I am already in contact with the concerned circles to ensuring it a complete depiction of the aspirations and present day needs of the youth (FATA Reforms 2013). ” We intend to enable youth from Fata not only to get jobs but also act as job providers and play a significant role in economic development of our beloved motherland as well as to help the FATA Youth to stand on their own feet and serve their respective families and areas as well”, (FATA Reforms 2013) .


Formulation of the FATA Youth Policy comes in the backdrop of the Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa commitment to chalking out a policy to better utilize the potential of the FATA youth. In order to ensure that a meaningful draft of the FATA Youth Policy is developed in time for immediate and effective implementation, the Additional Chief Secretary, FATA Secretariat initiated the process.

The methodology was three pronged:

(i) reviewing the already existing literature and policies available in Pakistan,

(ii) holding meetings with different representatives of government departments working for the youth in FATA, and

(iii) holding focus group discussions with members from different FATA youth groups and organizations. This approach was adopted to ensure an all-inclusive approach of stakeholders and especially youth from FATA.

Literature Review of Youth Policies in Pakistan

Pakistan has an already existing National Youth Policy. The National Policy is an overarching document and has tapped almost all possible areas related to youth development at the national level. The Punjab province has also developed and approved a Punjab Youth Policy while the Sindh province has developed a draft which is awaiting approval in the provincial assembly. A review of the Punjab Youth Policy reveals a very detailed and self-explanatory policy that takes into account their respective cultural needs and norms. The same can be said about the draft Sindh Youth Policy.

Similarly, the guidelines and the sketch draft developed for the FATA Youth Policy is very focused and all-encompassing. However, these are merely guidelines requiring the input and opinion of the FATA youth and government representatives associated with youth issues.

Meetings with Government Representatives

In the second stage of formulating-a FATA Youth Policy, meetings were arranged with several government officials. These meeting were held with the Director General, FATA Sports and Youth Affairs Department, the FATA Secretariat, Director Skills Development, FATA Development Authority, and Coordinator PCNA ISU, FATA Secretariat. These meetings were held in order to discuss ongoing as well as planned youth-specific activities and projects.

Focus Group Discussion with FATA Youth

At the third stage consultative sessions and focus group discussions (FGDs) were held with young persons from FATA. Different youth members were identified with the help of the FATA Youth Forum; a FATA youth organization that played a key role in the initiation of the FATA Youth Policy. It was ensured that young persons from every Agency and Frontier Region participated in the consultative process to ensure proper representation. Details of the participants are in annex 2.

All participants involved in the two separate sessions were oriented about the FATA Youth Policy and its importance. The general issues faced by the youth in Pakistan were also discussed and finally, key problems faced by the FATA youth were highlighted. Later, participants were grouped on the basis of their belonging to a specific Agency or Frontier Region. All groups considered the need for FATA Youth Policy and brainstormed different ideas that they believed were essential for inclusion in the policy. Different developmental initiatives of importance that needed consideration in the first year of the policy implementation were also discussed. At the end of their FGDs, every group shared their views in the form of presentations. The participants also answered a qualitative questionnaire in order to record their opinion and concerns.

The data collected from the minutes of the meetings with various government officials and from the FGDs with FATA youth members, has been closely studied and considered while developing this FATA Youth Policy Draft.


‘Youth’ is defined as a period during which a person prepares himself/herself to be an active and fully responsible member of society. It is a period of transformation from family dependent childhood to an independent adulthood and integration in the society as a responsible citizen. The period of life which youth represents is most productive and useful by virtue of the nascent energies they are endowed with by nature. The young people aspire for full participation in the life of a society. If appropriate opportunities are made available to put their natural endowment to creative, productive and useful channels, Pakistani Youth is indeed capable of working miracles(FATA Youth Policy Concept Note 2013).

It is a known fact that Pakistan is experiencing a tremendous demographic transition, which has resulted in the youth bulge. Similarly, FATA is also encountering the youth bulge phenomenon as the majority of the tribal population falls under the age group of 15-29 years. The Government has taken several initiatives for involving the youth in multiple sectors, especially in the political sphere. In the spirit of mainstreaming and encouraging the youth in political procedures and the running of state bodies, the voting age was lowered to 18 years in 2002. This was a bold statement on part of the government as it demonstrates the trust they place in their young generation. In the last decade, one of the positive steps for mainstreaming FATA was the extension of the “Political Parties Act” to FATA by the President of Pakistan. This step, on part of the government provided an opportunity and forum for the FATA youth to not only participate in elections, but also understand the value of their voting right and inclusion in political decision-making.

Another life altering change for the FATA youth was the displacement of FATA residents from their native lands to different settled areas of Pakistan, in response to the active operations in FATA against terrorism. This internal displacement provided an opportunity for the FATA youth to have firsthand experience and contact with the people of settled urban areas, thus providing them exposure to multiple forms of facilities, including mobile services, computers and internet facilities.

FATA youth is faced with multiple challenges such as, having to deal with the spread of terrorism/radicalism, lack of educational facilities, unemployment and the lack of political empowerment at the local level. This has left most feeling deprived and discriminated against. The purpose of the FATA Youth Policy is to counter this attitude with a more optimistic and tolerant view towards life and society. The FATA Youth Policy hopes to give an effective direction to its youth in living a purposeful life and participating as responsible members of the community. Thus, this policy aims to help channelize the energy of the FATA youth into a progressive force,who shall work towards the improvement of their communities and society as a whole. It endeavors to do this by providing an enabling environment for social, political and economic empowerment. It also aims to focus and invest in nation building, patriotism, social cohesion and volunteerism amongst the FATA youth, in order to develop a new cadre of youth, encompassing these value systems.

This policy takes into account the ground realities highlighted in the FATA YPCN 2013


‘FATA has shown that it appreciates its youth by putting in place effective structures and strategies to ensure that young people participate fully in national and community life. Although these structures and policies are in place, yet young people are not integrated in the mainstream of economic growth and development. The accelerated and shared growth initiative for FATA recognizes that young people should be at the center of economic growth. This means that they have to be willing, have skills and be able to identify and take their place in the economic sphere. The youth program/policy has a new developmental approach which seeks to encourage them to contribute to family and community activities as well as to their own health mental and emotional well-being. This approach is holistic, positive and encourages the full participation of youth in developmental processes. It promotes self-representation and self-determination by recognizing youth as a normal phase of life’.(FATA YPCN, 2013)

Addressing the youth require sane understanding of what is sues and challenges they are faced with. Knowledge of these challenges will help identify critical areas of intervention. Broadly speaking,these challenges can be categorized into ‘economic’, ‘social’ and ‘political’ spheres. In this chapter,an outline of these challenges is provided.

Terrorism and the Wave of Radical Ideology

The first and most complex challenge that is faced by the FATA youth is that of terrorism and radical ideology persisting in FATA. FATA people have suffered immensely at the hands of various terrorist and extremist groups that were and are still operating from these regions. Economic Challenges The educated and uneducated youth in FATA are facing great challenges in securing employment due to limited employment opportunities within FATA, and the fact that potential employers outside FATA often associate them with terrorism and extremism. Moreover, youth who aspire to be self-employed and become entrepreneurs face a series of hurdles, ranging from the lack of credit facilities to the absence of proper mentoring and training.

Education for Youth Development

Education in FATA is at a very discouraging stage.The lack of well-equipped educational facilities and the unavailability of teaching staff have left most students deprived of good quality education. Ongoing armed conflict has also caused the destruction of the few existing schools and colleges, and has left families hesitant in sending their children to schools due to fear of violence.

The Youth Bulge and Demographic Transition in Pakistan

According to the Punjab Youth Policy 2012:

‘Pakistan is undergoing a dramatic demographic transition.According to the recent projections made by US Census Bureau,population of Pakistan in mid-2012is estimated to be190,291,129 and the active age group of youth falling between the ages of 15-29 years (57,862,590) contributes to30.4% of this total projected population.Youthunder29years of age are estimated at 123,934,419, which is 65.1 percent of the total Pakistani population.This”youth bulge” is not inherently dangerous, but when governments are unable to foster work opportunities and platforms for expression and engagements,or the prospects of stability,youth bulge can exacerbate the risks of internal disorders'(PYP 2012) . Hence, the youth bulge in FATA can prove to be very critical for all stakeholders. The size of the youth group has placed ‘youth’ in the top priority list of the government.

Adolescent and Youth Health Rights

The Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization that came into force in 1948, defines ‘health’ in the following terms:

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. (World Health Organization)

In the light of this definition, FATA youth can hardly be placed in the category of healthy individuals, not because they suffer from diseases, but because the majority of them do not have access to health services and counseling. It is quite possible that the recent wave of terrorism in FATA has caused many young people to suffer from traumatic stress disorders and depression, who may be in dire need of psychosocial support.

Social Empowerment

Healthy development and integration of the youth in the running and management of a community,not only enables individuals but also empowers families,organizations,and communities. Forms of such social empowerment can include: (i)youth volunteerism and community service (ii)youth exchange programs and (iii) living with cultural diversity -pluralism, peace and harmony.

Political Participation and Engagement of Youth

FATA has always been marginalized in political processes throughout its history. This exclusion was due to the fact that administrative and legislative processes for FATA have always been very different from the rest of the country. As a result, FATA youth remained oblivious to their political rights and to the importance of their participation in political activities. It was only recently that the ‘Political Parties Act’ was extended to FATA. As a result, FATA, for the first time ever took active part in the 2013 general elections in Pakistan.

One of the key indicators of youth development is to see how the youth is engaged in affairs of the community,schools,governments,civil society organizations and other local structures. Active engagement of the youth in political processes will help train them for future roles as leaders and representatives of their communities.

Information Gap

Despite the existence of the youth bulge,there is meager reliable data available on youth issues in FATA. This leads to a reliance on secondary information from international and national sources, mostly in the form of media reports.Relying on such information,will not only create information dependency but also result in less efficient initiatives for the betterment of the youth in general. Gathering and researching primary facts and figures regarding the youth bulge and the issues faced by the FATA youth will help coordinate the developmental process and result in stronger and sustainable ownership of developmental initiatives.

Youth Rights of Minority,Differently-able Youth and Other Vulnerable Youth Groups

‘Youth’ does not mean one specific group of healthy individuals. In fact, wherever this phrase is mentioned, it must be clear that it encompasses all members of the group, regardless of their gender, physical vulnerability and ethnic or religious background. Yet, there are some youth groups who face adverse treatment based on their religious background, physical/mental vulnerabilities etc. For example:

•             Religious minorities are highly excluded from and at times face discrimination in society. One of the main concerns of this group is the equal opportunity in the attainment of education and employment.

•             Exclusion of ‘differently-able youth’ in youth programs and policies must be avoided and integration must be made compulsory.

Gender Discrimination

Gender discrimination is another major challenge for the FATA youth; be it the number of schools for girls, colleges at the agency level or even their quota in government jobs; FATA females are mostly discriminated against. Gender discrimination in FATA has resulted in a very grim picture. For example, there are severely limited employment opportunities for educated women, particularly in the government sector. Gender sensitive development has rarely been seen in FATA. Both, culture and the recent wave of radical ideology in FATA have a key role to play in the visible gender discrimination. Thus, the female literacy ratio is only 3% in FATA, in comparison with the 32.02% female literacy rate overall across Pakistan and 18.82% in KP alone . Female mobility and empowerment in the development of FATA has been crippled due to the insecure conditions prevailing at the academic and professional level. Moreover, their representation in decision and policy making is rarely observed. On the other hand, those who are willing to participate are not always given the opportunity. In order to curb gender discrimination at multiple levels, special attention needs to be given to the needs of the female youth in the overall development of the FATA Youth Policy.


The mandate of the FATA Youth Policy is to create and ensure an enabling environment for economic, political and social empowerment of the FATA youth. The Policy aims to help clarify the rights, entitlements and responsibilities of the youth in the context of the Pakistani state and international conventions. It maps out and caters to contextual needs, challenges and the situation of the youth in FATA, with the vision of initiating, informing and implementing a comprehensive concept of integrated youth development across the public policy domain. The FATA Youth Policy aims at guiding the youth and all stakeholders towards a coordinated effort for an optimistic, talented and dedicated generation of individuals, who will work for the betterment of their communities as well as for the country.


“To create an enabling environment for the FATA youth, by providing them equitable opportunities to realize their full potential in a safe,secure, and conducive environment. To develop a generation of youth who are working for the betterment of their communities and the prosperity of their country “.


” To build a generation of youth who are economically productive and independent,socially empowered and politically engaged; a generation of youth, who may become future leaders of Pakistan;a generation, groomed to be the best human resource for the running of the public and private machinery of the country; a generation of youth, who possess strong potential, greater understanding of global politics and hold tolerant values of good citizenship”.

Definition of “Youth”

Given the context and perspective of the youth in Pakistan,youth can be defined as: ‘The phase of physical, emotional ,spiritual and intellectual growth, between the age cohorts of 15 to 29 years, when youth actively pursue to develop attitudes, skills, knowledge and competencies to realize their potential and strength at an optimal level for the well-being of themselves, their family,communities and the country'(PYP 2012) .

Core Values and Principles of FATA Youth Policy

FATA Policy holds the following core values:

•             Youth as agents of change and a symbol of hope and aspiration for the nation;

•             Youth as the positive potential and strength for national development, rather than as an instrument for serving vested interests;

•             Character, courage,excellence,tolerance,team-play and perseverance as pillars of the super-structure of life for youths;

•             Respect for human rights as enshrined in the Last Address of the Holy Prophet Muhammad(SAW);as adopted in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948; and as in the Fundamental Rights endorsed by the Constitution of Pakistan 1973.

The main principles of the FATA Youth Policy are given below:

Transparency: Institutions and organizations involved in youth empowerment would operate in a transparent and accountable manner. A system and mechanism involving youth in the accountability process will be developed.

Participation and inclusion: Service providers would design policies,strategies and programs for and with young persons ‘by sharing information,creating opportunities and involving them in decision-making as active participants in their own development. The young generation should own the outcomes of the development process and should view human rights as the fundamental basis for human development.They would be treated as equal partners in development programs. Their input will be given great value during the designing stages of major developmental initiatives. The youth will also have the chance to suggest new and more culturally appropriate development ideas.

Social cohesion: Youth empowerment interventions would promote inclusion of young persons as a significant part of societal structures,by involving the min democratic and nation-building activities. For this purpose, different youth groups and organizations will be developed and encouraged to help organize FATA towards coordinated and focused socio-economic interventions. The universal per-requisites for a democratic society, i.e. respect for difference of opinion,freedom of expression, tolerance and mutual co-existence, will be inculcated in the FATA youth for better social cohesion.

Social Protection: Various public and private youth development interventions would be required to promote youth well-being by putting in place measures that seek to protect and address the needs of the youth and reduce their vulnerability in terms of their physical and mental health.

Youth-Centric: The promotion of social, economic and political empowerment as well as the engagement of the youth in the mainstream of society,economy and governance, will play a key role in the FATA Youth Policy.

Diversity: Youth empowerment interventions would recognize and concede diverse backgrounds and respect/honor the roles played by different segments of youth communities,gender, tradition and location i.e. rich, poor,urban, rural, male,female, etc.

Youth Service and Volunteerism: The FATA Youth Policy greatly values youth service activities. These activities not only benefit communities,but also boost self-image and develop a sense of patriotism and abilities through learning, services and volunteerism. This helps build strong characters and in turn, helps in creating a strong social fiber for a positive future society.

Holistic:The FATA Youth Policy would include all aspects of youth life. It will cater to their economic,social and political needs so that they may gain the necessary knowledge,skills, and experience to ensure their smooth transition into practical life. The holistic approach will help polish them for every aspect of adult life as active citizens.

Accessibility:The policy aims to provide easy and equal access to resources and services to; male, female, physically/mentally-challenged persons, religious minorities and the youth from diverse backgrounds for their integrated and holistic development.

Aims and Objectives of FATA Youth Policy

The FATA Youth Policy aims to provide an enabling environment for youth development, by informing the public policy domain and facilitating the work of youth-led and youth-serving agencies. Its specific objectives are to:

•             Mainstream and prioritize youth on the agenda of public policy of FATA as a cross-cutting theme;

•             Promote and support Youth Development Organizations by recognition, facilitation and stronger networking and coordination;

•             Define and enforce standards for Youth Development Organizations within its mandate to ensure quality, transparency and accountability;

•             Create incentives for the promotion of volunteerism, civic participation, political engagement and responsible citizenship among the youth;

•             Identify, promote and network young leaders (male and female) from businesses, the community, academia, politics and the civil society;

•             Contribute to economic empowerment of the FATA youth, by facilitating in job placements, job search and self-employment.

•             Increase investment in relevant skills training, emphasizing training that increases employ-ability. Forming linkages and also greater collaboration between employers and training providers;

•             Promote entrepreneurship among young women and men belonging to FATA via the provision of accessible information on market opportunities. Linking aspiring entrepreneurs with the existing FATA Chamber of Commerce, training in business skills, providing access to capital (credit and other financial services), mentoring by qualified persons, and other business support services, especially the use of internet for business promotion and marketing (FATA ICT Policy,2012);

•             Help bridge the digital divide gap by promoting the positive use of ICT amongst the marginalized FATA youth, by introducing it at multiple educational levels and providing easy access to the general public;

•             Focus on efforts and projects to improve the conditions of the youth from FATA minorities; economically backward agencies/ FRs; youth with disabilities and special needs;

•             Encourage and facilitate domestic and international academics and skilled youth exchange programs for improving peace, harmony, and mutual cooperation;

•             Create awareness of health services available to the FATA youth via different electronic and print media outlets;

•             Help decrease gender discrimination in the behavior and concepts of the FATA youth to improve gender equity;

•             Promote a healthy environment amongst the FATA youth by facilitating their access to sports facilities and competitions;

•             Organize and stream-line FATA youth groups as volunteers and, social service providers to help boost their potential and their self-image;

•             Contribute actively in the World Youth Agenda as declared in the UN World Program of Action for Youth, Commonwealth Youth Program, SAARC Social Charter and the OIC International Forum for Youth.


The Strategic Action Plan outlines specifications,as well as advisory guidelines for main streaming youth in public policy making.These guidelines are non-binding in nature.However, the FATA Youth policy considers its adoption a progressive step towards an integrated approach for youth development.

Economic Empowerment

Strategic guidelines:

1.            Diversification of employment sectors and comprehensive awareness of the youth on the available job market;

2.            Mapping of skills and demands of multiple sectors in the job market;

3.            Establishing a program for certified technical training for the literate and illiterate youth;

4.            Encouraging the youth in the promotion of local crafts,through exhibitions and trade fairs through concerned departments and the FATA Chamber of Commerce;

5.            Encouraging entrepreneurship by the youth, especially by vulnerable groups;

6.            Ensuring a specific quota for female youth in Government jobs in order to ensure gender-sensitive interventions as the FATA Youth Policy has the aim to reduce and ultimately eliminate gender discrimination.

Skills Development and Vocational Training:

1.            It is proposed to carry out an assessment of the demand/requirements and the capacity of the skills development facilities in FATA . Based on this assessment, technical and skills development programs will be enhanced. It is proposed that in addition to the existing government managed infrastructure for training programs in FATA, CSOs from relevant agency/ FRs should also be utilized for skills development and technical training, funds for which would be provided by the government, the private sector and development agencies;

2.            A crash program would be launched for promoting technical and entrepreneurial education for the unemployed educated youth with the provision of micro-credits to help them become self-employed. A, 20 % quota for the educated unemployed FATA females will be made compulsory;

3.            National and international job market analysis would be carried out to identify the requirements of skills in various target markets and for the youth to be trained in relevant fields, especially the uneducated working in the Middle-East. Moreover, support will be extended to the youth seeking jobs and placements locally and internationally. In this regard, special desks and access points for FATA females will be provided;

4.            Vocational Training Institutes in FATA will update the curriculum in accordance with current requirements and job-opportunities in the Agriculture/Industrial and services sectors and prepare a phased expansion program of such training facilities in rural/urban areas;

5.            Establishment of job banks to promote youth employment; fully activating the concept of “Employer on-line” and “Job Bank on-line”. Gender specific “Job Melas (fairs)” will be organized annually for young people looking for jobs in the public and private sectors within Pakistan;

6.            Specialized institutions for providing training in area-specific and gender-specific needs will be opened e.g. training of agriculture, livestock, minerals, forestry, skilled labor, and businesses, alongside the FATA Development Authority will be established;

7.            Establish and encourage local crafts-based youth enterprises for income-generation at village and urban-neighborhood levels and provide professional assistance for marketing of such enterprise products, especially for the female and vulnerable FATA youth;

8.            Initiate a program of certification of informally acquired skills by technicians and other manual laborers/workers to enable them to acquire suitable jobs and financing.


1.            Forgiving FATA youth a chance to succeed at new entrepreneurial ventures, the policy envisages the creation of a youth venture capital fund to support new developments and the implementation of new business ideas.The fund for this can be subscribed by the government, entrepreneurs, corporations, donors, beneficiaries etc. The eligibility criteria will ensure that every segment of the FATA youth population gets an equal chance at availing this financial support;

2.            The creation of small incubator offices equipped with all office facilities for young graduates, both male and female, so that they may work in these incubators to polish up their ideas and implement activities. Such incubators may beset up in colleges in each agency, respecting gender equity whilst providing these facilities to the FATA youth;

3.            Support and promote Innovation Competitions to attract and fund best business ideas;

4.            To facilitate and guide young entrepreneurs, male and female, regarding procedures for the establishment of new companies and providing legal advice accordingly; Guide and train the youth to do business, to innovate and expand businesses;

5.            Arrange entrepreneurship training programs for different segments of the FATA youth to enable them to learn from existing enterprises and companies. Learn the art of making business plans and selling it to the venture capital and other funds;

6.            Guide and train small and under-resourced service providers to grow from small occupations into large enterprises;

7.            Enhance outreach programs of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (SMEDA).

Interest-free Loans:

1.            Provide financial resources/loans to increase access of youth from poor/low income families to training institutions and facilitate those seeking self-employment;

2.            Expansion of the micro-finance sector in terms of outlets, products and access by the young;

3.            Create a centralized “Information-System/Data base” on job opportunities for the youth in public and private sectors and to guide and counsel educated job-seeking youth from FATA.

4.            Encourage all universities to set up offices to assist FATA graduates in job placements. These offices will also work as career advisers, helping fresh graduates in opting for better career choices. These offices must have a separate desk for females.

Education for Youth Development

FATA has no dearth of hard-working and talented young individuals. Given the opportunity, they can rise to the highest ranks in academic and intellectual pursuits. Many talented students, however, are restricted because of the lack of financial support, compromise on merit, limited opportunities, lack of knowledge of opportunities and of availability or access to books, literature and other academic resources. To promote young academics to pursue excellence, programs include:

Formal Education Sector:

1.            Broaden the definition of educational outcomes beyond literacy;

2.            Clarify educational aims and objectives to avoid the disparities resulting from multiple school systems;

3.            Uniform basic and secondary education to promote integration and social cohesion;

4.            Clarify a set of standards and competencies for students at different educational levels irrespective of public, private or religious school in gbackgrounds;

5.            Provide safe/violence free campuses that would attract students instead of creating fear;

6.            Increase the availability of books and research materials and facilities for young researchers through internet access, libraries, book banks or book loaning programs;

Exchange and Scholarship Programs:

1.            Public-private partnerships to extend the scope and outreach of education;

2.            Scholarship programs to include marginalized groups from FATA, i.e. by creating, a quota system for the inclusion of females, physically challenged and religious minorities;

3.            The inclusion of leadership programs at school, college and university level for grooming students in extra-curricular activities (non-academic activities), by creating a quota system for the inclusion of females, physically-challenged individuals and religious minorities;

4.            Enhance the availability of scholarships to carry out studies at higher-secondary, under-graduate and graduate levels in the country and abroad. Special emphasis will be placed on scholarships at the higher-secondary and under-graduate level; thus, catering to the needs of motivated and ambitious young persons in FATA;

5.            Starting and augmenting programs for educational loans and “Qarz-e-Hasna” for students who do not get merit scholarships for studies both within Pakistan and abroad. These loans can be advanced by the Government/ FATA Secretariat through the ADP Program, donor agencies and banks;

6.            Special funds will be created to facilitate the participation of young students and professionals in conferences, both within the country and abroad, with a quota system for the inclusion of females, physically-challenged individuals and religious minorities;

7.            In order to prepare FATA students in getting admissions and access to funding for renowned educational institutions at under-graduate and graduate levels, special gender specific tutorials and guidance sessions would be arranged at local institutions, mostly at colleges in FR regions with the help of the Education Department, FATA Secretariat;

8.            Women participation and leadership programs will be encouraged;

Non-Formal Education:

1.            Promotion of non-formal basic educational programs, especially for female and physically/mentally-challenged youth groups;

2.            Introduction of service learning and community service programs;

3.            Reaching out to the uneducated youth in streets, towns and villages through the participation of the educated youth, as part of their community service will be encouraged. This will not only engage the literate youth in a productive manner, but also help build the capacity of the uneducated youth in becoming more responsible citizens;

4.            The promotion of peer education on general life skills and, interactive and leadership skills to benefit the literate and illiterate youth groups.

Youth Health and Sports

Health Awareness and Prevention Program:

1.            The over-all aim is to facilitate actions of concerned departments with collaboration of the civil society and the corporate sectors to ensure the physical, mental, and social well-being of the youth in FATA. This, should especially include the FATA Youth in IDP Camps as most of them are more likely to be suffering from psychosocial issues by being both, conflict affected and restricted to a temporary residence, Female, physically/mentally-challenged, and religious minorities will be provided a conducive environment and the opportunity to be part of these health programs and interventions.

2.            Awareness and preventive campaigns would be launched against; drug abuse, smoking, infectious diseases, mal-nutrition, accidental injuries, psychological and mental illnesses and environmental hazards. Community Youth Health Committees and a health counseling PTCL help line would also be established for this purpose, inside and outside of FATA.

Sports Facilities and Competitions:

1.            Distinguished government officials, such as the Governor KP, CS, ASC FATA, Political Agents, MNAs, Senators, Maliks (community elders) and, leading icons in society, as well as corporate leaders and other known personalities to become patrons of sports organizations in agencies and FRs;

2.            Arrange competitive events at all administrative levels. Female, physically/mentally-challenged and, religious minorities will be provided a conducive environment and opportunities to participate in such events;

3.            Enhance training for various sports through training centers, schools and educational institutions and the media. Female, mentally/physically-challenged and religious minorities will be provided a conducive environment and opportunities to participate in such events;

4.            Organize school level tournaments, both boys and girls, with the help of local elders and the private sector;

5.            Generate funds with the help of the private sector and local elders/ business persons in order to build playgrounds and sports stadiums for boys and girls by using and developing free spaces/land;

6.            Enable the expansion and sustainability of sports facilities and play grounds;

7.            Ensure proper media coverage and appreciation of sports activities.

Social Empowerment

Youth Volunteerism and Community Service

1.            A FATA Youth Volunteer Corps will be promoted to utilize the FATA youth human resource and potential. It will be mobilized and motivated through incentives to assist in practical work for social and economic development of FATA. Areas of youth volunteer activity will cover all vital sectors, from Social Security, Health, Education, Environment, Gender, Sports; and Community Uplift Programs. The program will be based on methodology, principles and best practices adopted nationally and internationally. Female, physically/mentally-challenged and religious minorities will be provided a conducive environment and opportunities to participate in such events;

i. Re-activation of boys scout and girls guides at school level;

ii. Mentoring of youth on disaster management will be ensured at multiple educational levels, starting from high school to university level.

Youth Mobility and Group Tourism:

1.            Arrange FATA/ national youth conventions, where various cultural and social competitions are held. Corporations and leading organizations will be invited to set up stalls to exhibit their products and business practices giving the FATA youth an opportunity to interact with them and possibly choose future career paths. Female, physically/mentally-challenged and religious minorities will be provided a conducive environment and opportunities to participate in such events;

2.            Promote FATA/ national integration and harmony amongst the FATA youth from various walks of life in the country. Participants from all over FATA, from every segment of the youth group such as female, male, vulnerable and religious minorities will be invited to come together for organized visits to various areas of Pakistan. These programs will be based on the selection of youth on merit from various regions of FATA so that the objective of cross-cultural learning is achieved.

Political Participation and Engagement of Youth

Strategic Guidelines:

1.            Democratic and politically empowered youth are the need of the hour. Political empowerment of the youth would materialize by instilling a sense of ownership and legitimacy through their involvement in electoral and legislative processes at different levels of governance;

2.            Manifestos of political parties should elaborate their youth development agendas for FATA, and must be communicated to the FATA youth by the relevant political party and through media awareness campaigns;

3.            Student unions/councils with pro-peace,women-friendly and student-centered politics need to be established at colleges/universities. Such unions should have a minimum education criterion for their leaders and must be delinked from mainstream political parties.

Civic Responsibility and Citizenship:

1.            Build knowledge of the youth through curricula and mass campaigns on their civil, political, social and economic rights,so that they can practice good citizenship;

2.            Civics topics should be part of the curricula;

3.            Promotion of youth associations on campuses and in communities should be supported. Female, physically/mentally-challenged and religious minorities will be provided a conducive environment and opportunities to participate in such events;

4.            Engaging the youth in mass campaigns and country-wide crisis/emergencies;

5.            Annual awards to be presented to those youth groups that have successfully implemented projects to promote youth rights. Equal representation of male and female youth groups will be ensured;

6.            Encourage private sector companies to dedicate a substantial part of their Corporate Social Responsibility Programs to youth development in FATA.

Youth Motivation, Awareness and a ‘Sense of Pride’

It is proposed to reinforce a sense of pride of being Pakistani amongst the youth. It is also proposed to motivate the youth for the achievement of excellence, to learn from national and international icons and to be aware of international developments. Female, physically/mentally-challenged and religious minorities will be provided a conducive environment and opportunities to participate in such events.

The objective stated above can be achieved in the following ways:

1.            Arranging discussions, meetings and conventions on various topics of interest. Preparing documentaries and disseminating information through the media,educational institutions and other communication channels on the achievements of our heroes in various walks of lives, the richness of our culture, our famous monuments and our honored/ proud traits and traditions. These may include stories of bravery, culture, traditions of society, justice, landmark projects, adventures and our natural endowments in FATA regions.

2.            Arranging national and international visits to see various areas, monuments, museums, cities of historical importance, world renowned facilities,universities and encourage participation in national and international events pertaining to heritage and cultural diversity.

3.            Interaction with Pakistani and international corporations, leaders, researchers, academics, social workers and other icons through visits, meetings, seminars, chat programs, video conferences other means of mutual exchanges to share ideas and to expand knowledge and awareness.

Youth Database Development

Despite the existence of a youth bulge,there is too little data available on youth issues in FATA. Relying on unreliable secondary information will not only create information dependency but also result in poorly designed initiatives for the betterment of the youth in general. Hence, it is suggested that a youth data base be established. An updated data base about FATA youth will help generate accurate figures and the effective planning of developmental initiatives for the youth.


Proposed FATA Youth Commission

A number of FATA Government departments, organizations, various international donors, philanthropists, corporate bodies ,NGOs and community-based organizations are already engaged in youth empowerment activities in FATA.The implementation of this plan will thus ,heavily rely on existing institutions.To create synergy, harmony and increased coordination in programs of various institutions, a FATA Youth Commission will be setup comprising of youth members from civil society organizations, the FATA Sports and the Youth Affairs Department and other stakeholders. The main function of this commission will be to give impetus to harmonious implementation to the Youth Policy, monitor performance and provide overall guidance on youth policy and initiatives.

The Commission will:

1.            Give vision,strategic direction and an institutional road map for the empowerment of the youth in the social, economic and political life of the youth as enunciated in the FATA Youth Policy;

2.            Monitor the achievement of strategic goals and the progress of action points/strategies;

3.            Ensure adequate resources to achieve the mission,including assistance in fund raising for youth development in FATA by interacting and participating in donor conferences;

4.            Submit an annual report on the Status of the Youth in FATA to the Governor of KP.

Advisers to Governor on FATA Youth Development

In pursuance to the establishment of the FATA Youth Commission, the Honorable Governor, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa shall appoint two advisers on youth, comprising of a male and a female member,who will report to the Governor and will act as liaison between the Governor and the FATA Secretariat.

Agency Level Youth Councils in FATA

The agency-level Youth Councils will ensure youth participation in the implementation of the Youth Policy. These councils will comprise of youth from the local communities and will forge a direct link between the youth and the FATA Secretariat.

FATA Youth Endowment Fund

Establishment of the FATA Youth Endowment Fund will be materialized through a public-private partnership and the collaboration of national and international development agencies. The FATA Sports and Youth Directorate will administer the fund. It is proposed that the Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will make available a one-time grant assessed money in the accounts of the FATA Youth Endowment Fund.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Monitoring and evaluation units would be established with the help of the FATA Secretariat for policy implementing departments or organizations to assess the impact and progress of the policy.The FATA Youth Commission shall prepare an annual progress report on the state of the youth in FATA during the preceding year and convey it to the government for its submission to the Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Inter-departmental Working Group on Youth Development

The FATA Sports and Youth Department will take the initiative for the establishment of an inter-departmental working group on youth development to consolidate communication and operational links among government departments and other organizations/projects bodies working on youth development in FATA.



Challenges of FATA Youth Strategic Action Plan initiative: Institutional Mechanism
Terrorism and Wave of Radical Ideology Youth motivation, awareness and a ‘sense of pride’
  • Department of Sports and Youth Affairs, FATA Secretariat.
  • FATA Youth Commission.
  • Adviser to the Honorable Governor.
Economic Challenges Economic Empowerment

  1. Skills development and vocational training
  2. Entrepreneurship
  3. Interest-free loans
  • Department of Sports and Youth Affairs, FATA Secretariat
  • FATA Development Authority
  • FATA Chamber of Commerce
  • FATA Youth Commission
  • FATA Youth Endowment Fund
  • Inter-Departmental Working Group on Youth Development
  • Adviser to the Honorable Governor
Education for Youth Development Education for Youth Development

  1. Formal Education Sector Reforms
  2. Exchange and scholarship programs
  3. Non-Formal Education Sector
  • Department of Sports and Youth Affairs, FATA Secretariat
  • FATA Youth Commission
  • FATA Youth Endowment Fund
  • Inter-Departmental Working Group on Youth Development
  • Adviser to the Honorable Governor
  • Education Directorate, FATA Secretariat
  • Higher Education Commission of Pakistan
The Youth Bulge and Demographic Transition in Pakistan Social Empowerment

  1. Youth mobility and group tourism
  2. Youth volunteerism and community services
  • Department of Sports and Youth Affairs, FATA Secretariat
  • FATA Youth Commission
  • Adviser to the Honorable Governor
Adolescent and Youth Health Rights Youth Health and Sports

  1. Health Awareness and prevention programs
  2. Sports facilities and competitions
  • Department of Sports and Youth Affairs, FATA Secretariat
  • FATA Youth Commission
  • FATA Endowment Fund
  • Adviser to the Honorable Governor
Social Empowerment Social Empowerment

  1. Youth mobility and group tourism
  2. Youth volunteerism and community services
  • Department of Sports and Youth Affairs, FATA Secretariat
  • FATA Youth Commission
  • Inter-Departmental Working Group on Youth Development
  • Adviser to the Honorable Governor
Political Participation and Engagement of Youth Political Participation and engagement of Youth

  1. Youth participation in the political process
  2. Civic responsibility and citizenship
  • Department of Sports and Youth Affairs, FATA Secretariat
  • FATA Youth Commission
  • Agency Level youth councils
  • Adviser to the Honorable Governor
Information Gap on Youth Youth Database development
  • Department of Sports and Youth Affairs, FATA Secretariat
  • FATA Youth Commission
  • FATA Youth Endowment Fund
  • Inter-Departmental Working Group on Youth Development
  • Adviser to the Honorable Governor
Rights of Minority, Differently-able Youth and other Vulnerable Youth Groups Incorporated in every initiative of the strategic action plan
  • Department of Sports and Youth Affairs, FATA Secretariat
  • FATA Youth Commission
  • Adviser to the Honorable Governor
Gender Discrimination Incorporated in every initiative of the strategic action plan
  • Department of Sports and Youth Affairs, FATA Secretariat
  • FATA Youth Commission
  • Adviser to the Honorable Governor


Asad Haroon
Asad Haroon
A netpreneur, blogger and above all; A Human :) Asad tweets from @aghaasadharoon and can also be approached on Google+

Must read


Latest article