Hundreds Protest Proposal To Merge Pakistani Tribal Areas With Khyber Province

Hundreds of tribesmen on December 14 gathered in the Khyber tribal district to express their opposition to a proposal to merge Pakistan's tribal areas with the adjacent Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

While the tribes living in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas that stretch from North to South along the Afghan border have called for reforms of colonial-era laws and borders that are more than a century old, they have been divided over how to integrate the region into Pakistan in the future.

One group of tribesmen wants the tribal region to be a separate province, which would make it the fifth province in Pakistan, while another group is in favor of the proposed merger with adjoining Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The tribesmen protesting such a merger on December 14 warned the federal government that it would meet with resistance, however, if it tries to carry through with that plan.