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Religion, Economics, and Politics in FATA-KP

The Enduring Challenges of Merged Tribal Districts in Northwestern Pakistan


Edited By Tahir I. Shad and Syed Hussain Shaheed Soherwordi

This book provides a unique Pakistani perspective and understanding of a region that has not been studied extensively to date. Pakistan’s Frontier Region has been at the forefront of the War on Terror since 2001. The Federally Administered Tribal Agencies (now known as merged Tribal Districts) are a critical geostrategic area for Pakistan. This work highlights key economic, political, and religious issues in the FATA -KP region in order to identify means to eradicate ongoing conflicts and integrate the region within mainstream Pakistani society. This project proposes a series of phased economic development reforms that can guide FATA ’s transition as an integrated territory within the rest of Pakistan. These reforms can and should encourage dimensions of indigenous economic practices, women’s empowerment, the education system, food security, subsistence agriculture, and transportation and communication infrastructure where possible. These improvements can be implemented in 10+ year plans designed to organize a committed effort to develop and integrate FATA with the rest of Pakistan.

Tahir I. Shad is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and International Studies at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland. He is the Academic Director for the minor in Middle Eastern Studies. He also directs programs in Islamic, Turkish, and Near Eastern studies at the Institute for Religion Politics and Culture at Washington College. He has served as the Associate Dean of Washington College, Director of International Studies, and Curator of the Goldstein Program in Public Affairs. He earned his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh; his MA from the University of Pittsburgh; his PGCE from the University of London, and his BA (honors) from the School of African Asian Studies at the University of Sussex, United Kingdom. His email address is

Syed Hussain Shaheed Soherwordi is Professor, Chairman of the Department of International Relations and Director of the Center for FATA Studies with the University of Peshawar, following a career as researcher and teacher of international relations, conflict resolution, political science and creative leadership. He also remained Director of the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies in the same University. He completed his MPhil and PhD from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He remained a fellow of the Fulbright, Carnegie, Charles Wallace, Higher Education Commission (HEC), and Edinburgh University. His email address is