Local residents have welcomed the army's pledge, which is seen as part of the government's strategy to address recent protests from the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement.

Pakistan celebrated its 70th year of independence in lavish displays of pride nationwide.

Awaiting the results of the first census in nearly two decades, minorities hope for political inclusion and acceptance.

The first census in 19 years will be the basis for political and funding adjustments and comes one year before parliamentary elections.

The Pakistani cabinet approved recommendations to merge FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The strategy aims to apprise the public of the local government's work and to give them an avenue for suggestions and complaints, officials say.