Tribal Areas Rural to Urban Centres Conversion Initiative (TARUCCI)

TARUCCI – or Tribal Areas Rural to Urban Centres Conversion Initiative was launched in time of Governor Owais Ghani, who was an ardent supporter of the idea of having fully self sufficient urban hubs. While the A&C Department in FATA Secretariat finalized this and acted upon it, let me give credit to Mr Zubair Asghar Qureshi, then Additional Secretary with us, to come up with it in the first place. Mr Habibullah Khattak was the Additional Chief Secretary FATA then & I was the Secretary Admin & Coordination FATA. All Directorates of FATA contributed to it.


For all interested, click link below for the full text booklet with additional information, while main text is also given below

tarucci final

Some of the reasons why it didn’t work to full potential are given in


Main text is as below:

Geo-political factors

        The character and society of the Pakhtun tribes in Pakistan’s rugged North-West Frontier with Afghanistan i.e the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have been shaped by centuries of violent struggle for survival wherein these warlike tribesmen, their mountainous redoubts lying astride a historical geo-political fault-line, have frequently found themselves trapped within conflicts between regional military powers or world  empires fighting over the glittering prize of the South-Asian subcontinent or the equally enticing prospects of domination of the overland trade highways of Central Asian and Middle-East regions or the sea lanes of the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea. The current three decades old conflict in the Pakistan-Afghanistan region is no exception and its sequence and final outcomes are fairly predictable when viewed in the historical context.

         In all such conflicts the tribesmen of FATA, their survival instincts fine-honed by their violent history, have been quick to exploit opportunities to their own benefit; some by hiring out as soldiers, others by participating in the war economy as suppliers and transporters, yet others taking advantage of the battling powers pre-occupation with the war to enrich themselves by criminal activities such as kidnappings for ransom, highway dacoities, extortion from traders, smuggling of contraband, bounty-hunting etc. To bring the tribes to heel, the battling powers have resorted to both military force and diplomatic bribery but have invariably been frustrated in their designs and retreated in the face of the savage courage of the tribesmen in battle and their equally adroit and sophisticated wheeling and dealing to turn every opportunity to their own advantage. Similarly attempts by these powers to impose social change on these tribesmen have also failed in the face of their obduracy and their passionate preference for their centuries old way of life.

FATA:  A rural-tribal society

         For centuries, the tribes of FATA have lived as a rural-tribal society in widely dispersed hamlets scattered throughout the rugged mountains of their homeland. Their incessant internal feuding has shaped their habitats; each house a thick-walled mud and stone fort complete with ramparts and firing ports situated at a respectful out-of-rifle-range distance from each other! Limited agriculture (only 7% of land in FATA is cultivated), equally limited water resource and a largely pastoral economy imposes a semi-nomadic life in many areas which further reinforces the rural-tribal nature of society in FATA. The location of several international trade routes in FATA (i.e, The Gomal, Kurram, Khyber and Bajaur routes) offer some opportunities to supplement meager incomes by activities such as transportation, security to trade routes, smuggling and plain loot! Many able-bodied youth serve in the armed forces in both neighboring countries! All these factors, combined with regular geo-political upheavals have shaped the character and ways of these formidable warrior tribes who have, for   centuries, obstinately clung to their independent ways.

Prospects of social change

         It is not that the Pakhtun tribes are not amenable to social change or adjusting to the more sophisticated ways of progressive societies. On the occasions that they have left their traditional homeland for more urbanized environs, they have generally excelled in all fields and exhibited great dynamism to the extent of even establishing their own kingdoms in neighboring areas in times gone by. Even today Pakhtun tribesmen figure prominently in the social, political and economic sectors of Pakistan and many have reached high positions in the government services and the armed forces and established large scale businesses and industries. The trucking fleet, in Pakistan, which keeps the economy of the country churning, is largely owned and operated by Pakhtuns from FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. The port of Karachi today is home to over 2.5 million Pakhtuns making it the biggest urban center for FATA tribesmen even bigger than Peshawar, the so called “Paris” of the Pakhtuns with its population of about 1.5 million.  Paradoxically, this very migration to urban centers of Pakistan has resulted in a continuous brain drain from FATA in that dynamic individuals and youth, who have acquired education and skills in the cities and would otherwise have acted as agents of change had they gone back to their homes in FATA, have tended to stay back in the cities of the country for want of economic opportunities, social life and civic amenities in their home areas resulting in deepening of deprivation and backwardness in FATA and further strengthening the rural-tribal culture of its society. Real social transformation in a rural-tribal society can only be achieved by encouraging the growth of urban societies in its own area which brings greater integration and homogeneity and weakens tribal divisions resulting in a more cosmopolitan and progressive society. Hence the new approach of “Social Transformation in FATA via Urbanization” by the planning and establishment of small embryo urban hubs in selected locations in every tribal agencies of FATA which is now being adopted under the TARUCCI (Tribal Areas Rural-to-Urban Center Conversion Initiative) PROJECT.

The past three decades of conflict which has convulsed the Pakhtun heartlands has also thrown open the area to external influences and revealed unto the tribes a much larger world of possibilities outside their isolated mountainous abodes. The same tribes who in the past resisted every move to bring socio-economic development to their area, are now clamouring for schools, roads, hospitals, electricity etc. If there is a silver lining to these dark decades blood-letting and destruction it is that the tribe of FATA are finally ready for change.



1.      FATA stands at a critical juncture of its history. It is evident that after such a massive upheaval caused by the militant insurgency and efforts towards re-establishment of Government’s writ, the present system of governance seems to have lost its effectiveness thus necessitating a paradigm shift both in governance and socio-economic thinking. The existing rural-tribal society in FATA and its scattered population is not conducive for provision of facilities and modern conveniences in an efficient and cost effective manner. There is a need to address the drivers of conflict promptly, effectively and offer a new social contract to the residents of FATA ensuring their participation in a sustained economic and social change program. The low socio-economic indicators point to many factors including lack of livelihood opportunities both in agro-based (On-Farm) and non-agro based (off-Farm) sectors, enterprise development and social safety nets which need to be targeted in a focused manner. Local tribes need to be encouraged to move into more concentrated population centers in order to conveniently provide all modern facilities and convenience and place these areas firmly on the path to progress.

2.      The Tribal Areas Rural-to-Urban Centers Conversion Initiative (TARUCCI) Project envisages the development of at least two small urban hubs in every tribal agency of FATA. In the first phase every agency headquarter will be targeted for development into a properly-planned urban hub to include facilities such as housing townships for families of government officials, teachers, doctors, officers of local garrisons and the local populace to encourage the local tribesmen to take up abode in urban areas. These hubs will also include bazaars/commercial areas, upgraded Agency Headquarter Hospitals with tertiary care facilities, upgraded residential schools and colleges for girls and boys for residents as well as students from surrounding rural areas, civic amenities and services including sewerage and garbage disposal facilities, fruits and vegetables markets, slaughterhouses, bus and truck terminals etc. Security umbrella to the urban hubs will be provided by the Army or Frontier Corps garrison already present at the selected location.

3.      To further support the needs and economy of these urban hubs, a greenbelt of 10-20 kilometers around the urban hubs will be targeted for introduction of modern scientific farming and production of meat, dairy products, fuel wood etc, water harvesting through small dams and dykes will be planned.

4.      Each urban hub will be connected by improved road network to a Border Trade Gateway for developing a trade and transport economy to make the urban hubs more sustainable. For this purpose Angoor Adda gateway for South Waziristan Agency, Ghulam Khan gateway for North Waziristan Agency, Kharlachi, Burki, Shahedano Dhand & Tri-Mengal for Kurram and Orakzai, existing Torkham for Khyber and Nawa-pass for Mohmand and Bajaur Agencies are highly suitable.

A new social contract for FATA

5.      These embryo urban hubs will grow over a short period of time attracting more and more tribesmen towards city life and socially transform their societies to increasingly resemble those of Pakhtuns in the settled districts of Peshawar, Mardan, Kohat etc.

6.      Land Settlement will be progressively introduced to encourage individual ownership to replace the present tribal community ownership and “settle” the tribesmen and develop stronger economic stakes and thus promote their interest in peace and order.

7.      Administrative and political reforms will progressively follow as the urban environments continue to expand and promote sedentary habits amongst the tribes and render them more amenable to government.

8.      The dynamics set in motion by the TARUCCI PROJECT will transform society in FATA to enable its smooth merger into the existing mainstream system prevailing in rest of Pakistan.

9.      The above facts require that this compartmentalized sustainable development plan is woven into a strategic picture of social transformation of the people of FATA per se into a modern, progressive and urbanized body-politic. Any strategy to achieve lasting peace, sustained development and social transformation has to be based on increased urbanization via the planning and establishment of Urban Centers in selected higher population density areas in every Agency of FATA providing increased access to planned housing, quality education and health care, municipal services, diverse economic opportunities for trade and employment, social recreation and security.

Selected locations for Urban Hubs

10.    Selected location for Urban hubs in FATA are;

S# Location Agency Category Present Population Area (sq km) Border trade gateway
  Khar Bajaur A 10,000 1 Nawa-pass
  Ghallani/ Mian Mandi Mohmand A (5,000 +__) 1 Nawa-pass
  Kalaya Orakzai A 30,000 3  
  Parachinar Kurram A 80,000 14 Teri Mengal, Burki, Shahedano Dhand
  Miranshah NWA A 39,000 3 Ghulam Khan
  Wana SWA A 23,027 2 Angoor Adda
  Landikotal Khyber B 8,000 2 Torkham
  Ghiljo Orakzai B 20,000 2.25  
  Sadda Kurram B 25,000 8 Kharlachi
  Mir Ali NWA B 15,000 1.5 Ghulam Khan
  Sarwakai SWA B 31,472 (For Tehsil) = HQ    
  Darra Adam Khel FR Kohat B 30,000 15  
  Darazinda FR D.I.Khan B 9,452 3 Gomal Zhob
  Jandola FR Tank B 17,054 4  

Municipal services & housing

11.     Standard municipal services provide quality life opportunities to the residents. Planned municipal services and housing are a dream yet to be fulfilled in FATA. The concept is based on standard municipal services under a proper administrative arrangement which provide the basic essentials of roads, streets with street lights, pavements, water supply, sanitation and planned sewerage, commercial centers, sports stadia, community centers, slaughter houses, transport stops etc. These are wed with developed private housing through Public Private Partnership where the Government provides the regulatory framework including building codes and the basic infrastructure and investors develop modern private housing. This partnership is more so important as the private investor would also be encouraged to invest into upgradation of social services delivery mechanism (education and health facilities) as the profitability of such an enterprise increases with the increase of standard and easily accessible facilities         (Annex-A).

Education facilities

12.    Access to improved education system is basic human right in terms of international conventions including MDGs and National Policy Framework. In line with this the upgradation of schools, colleges and technical education institutions with boarding facilities for students would on one hand ensure maximum enrollment from far-flung areas of the Agency as well as quality/standard education to them. The establishment of Cadet Colleges and Model Public Schools for both genders would ensure that tribal students develop capabilities which give them the competitive level playing field with students of rest of the country. This will be augmented by the establishment of the FATA University, campuses of University of Engineering, Agriculture and the FATA Institute of Medical Sciences. Future may hold a Board of Technical Education and Information Technology in FATA as a separate initiative. (Annex-B).

Health care set-up

13.    Social justice is to ensure equitable access to health care and guarantee quality services to all segments of population particularly the vulnerable and disadvantaged. In health sector increased access to secondary and tertiary care health facilities including properly equipped trauma centers is the center piece of improved health care in the urban center. This will be augmented by a ring of Community Health Centers which will cater to the primary health care needs of the public. The very sparsely populated areas would be approached through the integrated mobile hospital programme which includes specialists, surgical procedures, eye care and preventive programmes (Annex-C).

Trade and transport infrastructure

14.    Harnessing the trade potential is critical for major economic growth. To increase access to the urban hubs and connect them with the trade routes proper road infrastructure would be developed. Well designed passenger and goods transport terminals would be established in each Urban Center to encourage the private sector to go for investment in better transport facilities for the public. This effort, coupled with slaughter houses, community and commercial centers, fruit and vegetable markets would be a source of revenue for the Municipal Administration of these Urban Centers- Border Trade Gateways. (Annex-D)

Small businesses, industry and mining

15.    Local enterprises form the backbone of any developing economy. Indigenous enterprise development would form the basis of kick start of economic activity in and around the Hubs. In this regard emphasis has been laid on exploring and encouraging local industry – be it marble and minerals in Mohmand and Bajaur, Food Processing in North and South Waziristan, leather goods and carpet weaving etc in other Agencies. (Annex-E) The benefits from “oil” for FATA, that is the Dimension stone and mineral deposits, would remain untapped if these are not scientifically mined and value addition is not carried out locally by introducing modern technology and techniques. In order to have a base of skilled people for such a purpose, skill-development has to be invigorated into a methodology which is based on market assessment and future absorbability.

Agriculture and green belt development

16.    Food Security through agriculture promotion ensures job creation and productive engagement of the local population. Augmentative services of Agriculture model farms and livestock management/improvement are also part of the proposed initiative. The modeling of best practices in these fields would be encouraged to be replicated by common people to value add to their product by enhancing their capacity and quality of produce and providing a market in the urban hub for their consumption. Similarly, in order to improve the eco system of the hub proper green areas and parks have been proposed which will include ornamental plants and water falls for the pleasure of the people. The initiative also includes fish farms both as entertainment spots as well as commercial enterprise (Annex-F).

Energy sector plans

17.    Development of alternate and eco-friendly energy resources ensure improved availability and sustainability of the resources resulting in cost effective quality of life. Electricity network will be extended to all parts of FATA especially within the urban hubs. Concerted efforts will be made to tap solar energy as a primary source in far-flung areas for the purpose of lighting, domestic cooking, pumping machines for water and sanitation system and micro irrigation. Other means of cheap power such as coal briquettes and LPG will be encouraged thus reducing dependence on firewood; forests would be saved. The hydel power potential will be harvested through public private partnership based enterprises.

Community ownership

18.    Participatory decision making process is the lynchpin for successful governance model. The Urban Centers cannot bring about social change if these are devoid of citizens-centered management. The Urban Growth Boundary of these areas is set as, in the initial stage, 25 square kilometers. The area will enhance the existing protected area of these towns at the moment and allow the Government to introduce the normal laws of the land in these protected areas under a phased plan. Self-governance as a municipal area forms the basis of this initiative and we have planned for an elected Committee headed by an elected “Chairman” to manage the affairs of the Urban Center. The chairman will be assisted by a mini-Secretariat consisting of Engineers, water supply and sanitation staff etc to manage the multifaceted affairs of the Urban Hub. The security environment would be much improved as urbanization in itself enhances security. Moreover most of the existing LEA garrisons are already co-located with the proposed centers.

Employment generation

19.    Internal conflicts are avoided by engaging the local population in livelihood development initiatives and productive activities. The TARUCCI PROJECT would serve as a catalyst of local employment generation as the moment civil work starts on various activities at least 5000 people from the locality would be employed in labour for at least 3 years period. These individuals would be trained on job to develop and enhance various skills so that they would continue getting employment even after the completion of the civil work. This will also boost the micro economic condition and confidence of the local population and, by generating self employment opportunities afterwards, tie their feet down to the urban area.

Women empowerment

20.    Development of vibrant society entails active involvement of women in decision making processes both at home and work. Women development and empowerment is one of the most critical aspects of the TARUCCI. It is firmly believed that without bringing about social change in the status of women in FATA no measure would succeed. Multi-pronged strategy is required for such a change. First is to improve the technology at their work environment to reduce physical burden on them. For example by introducing micro hydel power generation schemes or solar powered kilns women would get significant respite in labour connected with grinding of wheat etc and cooking within the family. Similarly if the present labour intensive tasks of women are converted into less laborious but equally paying economic activities such as embroidery, gem polishing, carpet weaving etc their quality of life as well as span would increase and the family would also benefit from lesser requirements of health expenditure – enabling them to give quality time to their families especially the children.

Implementation framework

21.    An effective implementation framework is pre-requisite for the success of any initiative. A comprehensive implementation mechanism has therefore been designed for TARUCCI consisting of the following components:

Oversight Committee:

22.    There would be an Oversight Committee headed by the Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which would provide strategic directions for the initiative and would include the following:

  • Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa     Chairman
  • ACS (FATA)                                  Vice Chairman
  • Chief Executive FDA                              Member
  • Secretary A&C FATA                              Member-cum-Secy
  • Secretary P&D FATA                              Member
  • Secretary L&O FATA                              Member
  • Secretary Finance FATA                Member
  • Secretary Social Welfare FATA             Member
  • Senior Rep of 11 Corps HQ                     Member
  • Concerned Commissioner              Member
  • Rep of HQ Frontier Corps              Member

Steering Committee

23.    A Steering Committee headed by the ACS FATA and comprising the following would provide tactical level decision making in terms of funding, work plan approvals, monitoring and review on at least quarterly basis:

         (i)     ACS FATA                                     Chairman
(ii)    Secretary P&D FATA                     Member
(iii)   Secretary A&C FATA                     Member
(iv)   DG Projects FATA                         Member
(v)    Chief Economist FATA                  Membe
(vi)   Project Director TARUCCI            Member-cum-Secretary
(vii)  All Heads of Directorates              Member
(viii) Concerned Political Agent/           Member
| DCO/Commissioner

Project Management Unit & Project Implementation Units

24.    A Project Management Unit has been institutionalized through FATA ADP 2010-11 at FATA Secretariat to have a focused entity for the initiative. PMU, headed by Project Director, would be responsible for overall coordination with all stakeholders and ensure effective implementation through PIUs at each Urban Centre level. The PIUs headed by Project Managers would be housed in each Agency and FR.

Progress and way forward

25.    Consultants have already been hired to have the area urban-planned and propose a governance structure for the Municipalities keeping in view the already existing municipalities of Parachinar, Sadda and Miranshah and the requirement of social change through extension of normal laws to these areas.

  1. Preliminary proposal + Estimates.
  2. Consultancy for urban planning and urban economic sector development
  3. Funding resources
  4. Plantation mechanism based on local military garrison + community involvement through nomination.

Cost estimates

26.    Initial Rough Cost Estimates show a financial implication ranging from Pak Rs.1800 to 3000 Million (US$ 21-25 million) as cost of establishment of each Hub. This cost is mitigated to some extent by the fact that 20-30 % of the schemes are already in FATA ADP and also that in future all development in FATA is oriented towards this end. The sector wise/Hub wise detail of various components is at (Annex-G).


Municipal Services

Item Category A Category B
Urban Growth Boundary 15-30 Sq km 10-20 Sq km
Roads-min 40 ft, Paved streets-min 12 ft Yes Yes
Garbage Collection Points Yes Yes
Dumping ground 10 Kanal 5 Kanal
Street lights Yes Yes
Fire Brigades/Bowser Two One
Community Centre (City Hall and Library) Yes Yes
Sports Stadium or Complex Stadium Complex
Transport 100 vehicles 50 vehicles
Cattle Fair Center Yes Yes
Overhead tanks and tube wells Yes Yes
Building codes Yes Yes
Planned sewerage Yes Yes



Institution Students (Cat A) Boarding (Cat A) Teachers  (Cat A) For Category B
Boys Degree College 1500 750 20 Students  = 1000 Boarding  =  500
Girls Degree College 1500 750 20 Students  = 1000 Boarding  =  500
Boys High Schools (4) 800 400 40 Same as Cat A
Girls High Schools (4) 800 400 40 Same as Cat A
Cadet College 600 600 Standard None
Modern English Medium School for both Boys and Girls (Independent BoG) 500 500 20 Same as Cat A

Technical Education

Institution Degree/ Technologies Students Boarding Teachers
College of Technology B.Tech (4) 320 200 26
Polytechnic Institute Diploma (4) 600 100 28
College of Business & Management Sciences M.BA, M.Com 200 100 24
  B.BA, B.Com 400 100 28
  D.Com, DBA, DIT 200 100 30
Short Course Survey, auto-tech, electrician etc 6-12 monts As required



Facility Detail
Hospital At least 40 bedded
Specialists 10 including Physician, Surgeon, Gynecologist, Pediatrician, Pathologist
Sentinel Sites AIDS and Hepatitis
Waste management Incinerator & Autoclav Shred Compact
Trauma Center Disaster Management
Diagnostic Facilities & Pharmacy shop
Solar Power OT, ICU and Cold Chain
Ambulances 8 Units
Mortuary Refrigerators 16 bodies
Reproductive Health Service Center Contraceptive surgery, treatment of STIs, infertility diction etc.


Trade Gateways & Transport

  • Trade Corridors improvement  –  Khyber, Mohmand, Bajaur, NWA & SWA, Kurram
  • Customs clearing houses and immigration facilities on these corridors
  • Transport terminals for passengers and goods transport
  • FMRs
  • By passes to major hubs
  • Improvement in transport vehicles.


Local Industries

Agency Enterprise Activity
Khyber, Mohmand, Najaur Mining (Dimension stone and minerals) Marble & granite cutting & polishing. Testing laboratory Model quarry
SWA Copper, Chromites Mining & up gradation
SWA Woolen, leather products Improvement I technique and material
SWA, Kurram Honey, fruits Value addition through processing & packaging
NWA, SWA Transport body making Improvement in technique, machinery and material
FR Peshawar Carpet weaving  
FR D.I.Khan & Tank Embroidery, wood works  
FATA level Coal washing plant Value addition



Item Category A Category B
Model Broiler Farm 5000 birds 3000 birds
Model Layer Farm 5000 birds 3000 birds
Model Dairy Farm 90 cattle 30 cattle
Model Fattening Farm 200 heads 200 heads
Model Slaughter house Yes Yes
Veterinary/Artificial insemination center Yes Yes
Diagnostic Laboratory (Livestock plus Poultry) Yes Yes

Forests &Fisheries

Item Category A Category B
Green Spots 400-500 acres 200-300 acres
Parks 10-15 acres 8-10 acres
Linear plantation 50 Av.Km 30 Av. Km
Stream/River Bank Stabilization Yes Yes
Integrated Forest park    
Nursery Yes Yes
Ornamental Plants Nursery Yes Yes
Model Fish Farm One One
Peasantry Yes Yes
Rockeries Two One
Mushroom cultivation Yes Yes

Cost Estimation of Urban Centers under TARUCCI ( Rs in Millions)

Urban Hub Sectors Total
Municipal Services Education Technical Education Health Livestock & Dairy Dev Forestry Local Industry Minerals Agriculture Public Health Housing
Khar, Bajaur Agency 175.91 583.517 382.584 436.18 142.244 37.03 179.409 397.038 69.004 141.07 90.846 2634.8
Gallanai Mohmand Agency 261.088 429.584 140.57 891.05 119.622 78.627 700 80 73.724 200 90.84 3065.1
Landi Kotal Khyber Agency 180 292.668 41.909 878.6 76.246 45.511 300 50 73.724 185 75 2198.7
Kalaya Orakzai Agency 201.201 288.584 41.909 1026.8 40.054 48.291 700 55 100 150 90 2741.8
Ghiljo Orakzai Agency 188.212 200 41.909 868.28 20 47.438 400 45 50 110 70 2040.8
Sadda Kurram Agency 206.212 269.486 292.51 894.16 107.27 54.841 250 50 55 120 70 2369.5
Parachinar, Kurram Agency 189.023 161.356 120.8 808.74 73.046 77.399 710 40 64.841 125 90 2460.2
Miranshah, NWA 200 190.584 120.8 739.55 119.622 85.252 300 35 73.724 100 90 2054.5
Mir ali, SWA 185 195 120.8 868.28 35 49.507 195 50 45 95 75 1913.6
Wana, SWA 191.151 515.289 128.8 839.69 200.956 65.02 300 90 123.466 341.84 99 2895.2
Sarwakai, SWA 180 852.016 120.8. 868.28 40.174 53.568 150 50 50 85 70 2519.8
Darra Adam Khel, FR Kohat 200 199 41.909 868.28 30.746 50.718 500 50 50 125 60 2175.7
Darazida, FR D.I.Khan 150 301.584 120.8 868.28 30.746 49.733 150 35 50 110 60 1926.1
Jandola, FR Tank 175 205.584 128.8 868.28 30.746 52.46 150 35 50 100 70 1865.9
Total 2682.8 4684.25 1844.9 11724 1066.5 795.4 4984.41 1062 928.483 1988 1100.7 32862