PESHAWAR: A tribal jirga, including different political parties, has urged the federal government to announce merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa till mid January otherwise the tribal people will march on Islamabad and start a sit-in in this regard.
The jirga meeting was held under the aegis of Jamaat-i- Islami, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, at Peshawar Press Club on Wednesday, which was chaired by the party leader Liaquat Baloch. Senior minister Inayatullah Khan represented the KP government at the event.
A declaration was presented by JI leader Sahibzada Haroonur Rashid on the occasion, which called for taking necessary legal measures for merger of Fata with KP, abolition of FCR, extension of jurisdictions of the Peshawar High Court and Supreme court to the tribal region and repeal of Articles 246 and 247 of the Constitution to ensure all constitutional rights to the tribal people.
It also sought the representation of Fata in the provincial assembly before 2018 general elections.
JI, ANP, QWP and PPP ask govt to announce merger within a fortnight
It demanded holding of local bodies’ elections in all the tribal agencies.
The statement called for implementation of Fata reforms recommended by Sartaj Aziz committee. It also demanded announcement of a rehabilitation package for internally displaced persons and reconstruction of the damaged infrastructure in tribal regions.
JI provincial chief Mushtaq Ahmad Khan, Fata chief Sardar Khan, ANP leader Abdul Lateef Afridi, PPP leader Akhunzada Chattan, PTI’s Mohammad Iqbal Afridi, journalist Saleem Safi, QWP leader Asad Khan, JI MNA Tariqullah Khan and Peshawar High Court Bar Association president Arbab Usman were the keynote speakers at the jirga. Representatives of civil society, lawyers, political activists and tribal elders also participated in the meeting.
Liaquat Baloch said on the occasion that people of Fata had been kept deprived of all constitutional rights since inception of the country. He said that education and health facilities were not available to the people, which was a sheer injustice with them.
He stressed the need for Fata-KP merger to open a new chapter of development and progress in the region.
He said that majority of tribal people were in favour of the integration with KP.
Mr Baloch said that the demand for holding referendum or declaring Fata as a separate province was aimed at putting the Fata issue on the backburner and delaying the merger.
He clarified that his party had put four main conditions before JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman for joining Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal. He said that the Fata issue was on top among the four conditions. He said that the Fata issue would be discussed in the next meeting of MMA.
“We are sincere on the Fata issue and would continue struggle till merger of the tribal region with KP,” the JI leader said.
He, however, added that it was the democratic right of every political party to set own strategy for the upcoming general elections.
Commenting on the recent statement of US president, Mr Baloch called for forging unity to tackle any external threats.
He said that in fact the US was trying to hide its failure in Afghanistan.
Others speakers backed the charter of demands for the rights of tribal people. At the end, the participants unanimously approved the declaration calling for Fata-KP merger without any delay.