GHALLANAI: The joint parliamentary group of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) in the National Assembly has rejected the new local government system announced for the region on Tuesday.
The group, led by MNA Hameedullah Jan, includes MNAs Hameedullah Jan, Zafar Baig Bhittani, Kamran Khan and Bilal Rehman along with senators Haji Khan Afridi, Hilal Rehman and Engineer Rasheed.
Talking to The Express Tribune on behalf of the group, Senator Hilal Rehman said the new local government system was trying to fool local tribesmen. He added that neither their group nor other stakeholders had been taken into confidence before the announcement.
Criticising Fata parliamentary leader Munir Orakzai, Rehman termed his title ‘self-imposed’. He alleged that Orakzai had been taken into confidence. “But can he prove this?” he said, adding “no one has signed the act.”
Rehman further maintained that if President Zardari was sincere to the tribal areas, he would have incorporated a clause regarding Fata in the 18th constitutional amendment. He claimed the President neglected the region’s interests when the amendment was being passed.
He demanded an accountability board to overlook the executive board in Fata since, according to him, billions of rupees from the Fata fund had fallen victim to corruption in the Fata secretariat. He also demanded that the executive board be accountable to the parliament in Fata.
Rehman said Fata was a part of Pakistan with its own customs and traditions, and as such, its people need to be taken into confidence before any regulation was passed in the region.
The senator saw contradiction in government’s actions, saying that on one hand it wanted to strengthen the jirga system but on the other it kept trying to implement new policies and practices.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2012.