Govt set to abolish Safron

The federal government has decided to dissolve the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (Safron), following the merger of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said, “After the merger of Fata, the provincial government will look over the affairs of the tribal areas which is why we have decided to dissolve the Ministry of Safron.”

On the issue of Afghan refugees, he said there were over 1.7 million Afghan refugees in the country. “They are our guests, and we want them to be safely repatriated,” Chaudhry said.

The Ministry of Interior overlooks the issues of refugees. With the abolition of the Safron, the four Afghan commissionerates, and chief commissioner for Afghan refugees, which were reporting to the former, will now be under the Interior Ministry. A decision has yet to be taken on the fate of the Fata secretariat, the Khasadar Force, and the Levies deployed in the tribal areas.

Published in Daily Times, September 12th 2018.