FATA’s fate in Pakistan 

On May 25th 2018, Pakistan’s senate passed a constitutional amendment that merges the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) – a patch of mountainous land snaking along parts of the Afghan border – with Khyber Pakhtun Khwa, a province that sandwiches it. This means that for the first time the constitution’s jurisdiction stretches all the way to the frontier region. In popular culture FATA mostly pops up as a lawless abode where thugs and criminals hide to avoid detention.

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Pakistan’s Reluctant Constitutionalism

On 20 April 2017, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled in one of the greatest cases in its turbulent history: the impeachment of the prime minister for involvements in shady financial dealings that bubbled up after the Panama Papers. Nothing happened; the court only showed Nawaz Sharif the yellow card. But while Pakistan narrowly missed her constitutional moment by a single judge’s vote, the court’s ruling displayed tremendous democratic maturity.

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