The parliamentary democracy and four provinces sham


We have all been taught that Pakistan is a country that consists of four provinces and that the constitution prescribes parliamentary democracy as the country’s system of governance. But are there really only four provinces in the country and is parliamentary democracy really the system under which the entire country is being run? Certainly not! There are various political systems in Pakistan which are being run; some constitutionally and others unconstitutionally. The country also has chunks of territory that are of undefined or indeterminate status. One such example is the FATA region, which is controlled directly by the president. Another example is Gilgit-Baltistan; a territory that is neither a province nor a federal entity, and is yet run by a chief minister!
This scheme of things is beyond the comprehension of any sane person. Only our ruling elite appears to make sense of it, but then our elite has never fallen short of ingenuity in matters of political expediency.
Similarly, the logic behind the nomenclature of the Frontier Regions (FRs) and PATA is incomprehensible. One is at loss as to why the FRs are a different from the FATA and the PATA, or as to what is the difference between these three categories. There seems to be neither logic nor clarity in the system, for example some of the FRs overlap with the province of Khyber Pukhtunkwa and in these areas the president simultaneously shares powers with the province, but there is no clear line of demarcation to indicate how power is shared between the two parties. The PATA too is a region where the president and the province share powers without any clear differentiation of power. When secretary of the States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON), Habibullah Khattak, was approached in this regard, he said the FATA, PATA and the FRs were terms coined by the British who had done so for their own political expediency and that there was no clear formula to differentiate the three regions. “The names of FATA, PATA and the FRs are based on an agreement between the tribes and the British forces. No single formula can be applied in this regard,” Khattak said. He also added that only the ‘nature of the agreement’ between the tribes and the British can shed light on the difference between the terms FATA, PATA and the FRs.
How can we account for the presence of so many systems in a single country which proclaims to be run under a single system? Should we then reach the conclusion that there is no order or system of governance at all.