The total population of the FATA was estimated in 2000 to be about 3,341,070 people, or roughly 2% of Pakistan's population. Only 3.1% of the population resides in established townships. It is thus the most rural administrative unit in Pakistan.
...According to a 2009 BBC survey, categorized as "grossly exaggerated" by the Pakistan Army which was fighting the militants there, the Taliban were present in all FATA agencies, and in full control of Waziristan, Orakzai and Bajaur.
Rise of the Taliban
In 2001, the Taliban and al-Qaeda began entering into the region. In 2003, Taliban and al-Qaeda forces sheltered in the FATA began crossing the border into Afghanistan , attacking military and police. Shkin, Afghanistan is a key location for these frequent battles. This heavily fortified military base has housed mostly American special operations forces since 2002 and is located just six kilometers from the Pakistani border. It is considered the most dangerous location in Afghanistan. With the encouragement of the United States, 80,000 Pakistani troops entered the FATA in March 2004 to search for al-Qaeda operatives. They were met with fierce resistance from the Taliban. It was not the elders, but the Taliban who negotiated a Truce with the army, giving an indication of the extent to which the Taliban had taken control. Eight more times between 2004 and 2006 troops entered the region, into South Waziristan and North Waziristan, and faced further Taliban resistance. Peace Accords entered into in 2004 and 2006 set terms whereby the tribesmen in the area would stop attacking Afghanistan and the Pakistanis would halt major military actions against the FATA, release all prisoners and permit tribesmen to carry small guns.
 Pakistan’s new Waziristan strategy
On June 4, 2007, the National Security Council of Pakistan met to decide the fate of Waziristan and take up a number of political and administrative decisions to control "Talibanization" of the area. The meeting was chaired by President Pervez Musharraf and it was attended by the Chief Ministers and Governors of all four provinces. They discussed the deteriorating law and order situation and the threat posed to state security. To crush the armed militancy in the Tribal regions and the NWFP, the government decided to intensify and reinforce law enforcement and military activity, take action against certain madrassahs, and jam illegal FM radio stations.
The FATA does not have a university. A system of reserved seats is kept in universities in Pakistan. There is no concrete plan to make a full-fledged university there to benefit them.
The FATA's literacy rate is 17.42%, which is well below the 43.92% average in Pakistan. 29.51% of the males, and only 3% of females receive education whereas on average throughout the nation 32% of women do.
There is one hospital bed for every 2,179 people in the FATA, compared to one in 1,341 in Pakistan as a whole. There is one doctor for every 7,670 people compared to one doctor per 1,226 people in Pakistan as a whole. 43% of FATA citizens have access to clean drinking water. Much of the population is suspicious about modern medicine, and some militant groups are openly hostile to vaccinations.