PARACHINAR: Pro-government tribal elders gathered in Sadda, Kurram Agency to muster support for their stance against the proposed merger of Federally Administered Tribal Areas with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
While addressing a jirga in front of Tehsil Headquarters Hospital Sadda on Sunday, former MNA Malik Hameedullah Jan Afridi said, “It [Frontier Crimes Regulation] is a suitable law to govern Fata as it is in accordance with tribal traditions.”
Hameedullah and other tribal elders present did support demands for some amendments that would enable tribespeople to get legal and constitutional rights, in line with those enjoyed by the rest of the country.
The tribal elders opposed the merger of Fata with K-P and said the former should get an independent status. They criticised political parties that demanded the merger with the province.
Against the ‘black law’
In reaction, workers of various political parties, including PML-N, PPP, JI, PTI and ANP arranged a rally in front of Sadda Press Club the same day. Party activists vociferously criticised the infamous black laws of the FCR as well as the tribal elders who opposed political activism in Fata and its merger with the neighbouring province.
The political administration took timely action and controlled the situation, making protesters disperse peacefully.
Hameedullah and his associates will visit Parachinar and address a similar jirga on Monday (today).
Earlier, he as well as former MNA Akhunzada Chattan addressed similar gatherings in Mohmand, Bajaur and Khyber agencies.
Meanwhile Jamia Masjid Parachinar got a khateeb after around a year on Sunday.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 18th, 2016.