PARACHINAR: The members of FATA Reforms Committee visited Parachinar, headquarters of Kurram Agency, on Monday and sought views of elders and parliamentarians on reforms in the tribal areas.
During a jirga, tribal elders expressed their resentment over the misuse of Frontier Crimes Regulation and demanded it be abolished at the earliest. A number of them also spoke about the arrests recently made under the collective responsibility clause of the FCR. They said the student in Kurram — who was arrested under the same law and was also barred from take his exam — should be released soon.
The jirga included a large number of members of various political parties who demanded Fata be merged with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
In response to the points raised by the tribal elders, Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra made it clear the government has no intentions to impose their own decisions on the tribespeople. They said the fate of Fata would be decided as per the wishes of locals and that was why the committee members visited Parachinar.
The committee also visited Bajaur and Mohmand agencies where they spoke to members of tribal jirgas and parliamentarians.
The FATA Reforms Committee was established by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif a couple of months ago in 2015. The committee includes Aziz, Jhagra, federal ministers Abdul Qadir Baloch and Zahid Hamid, and Lieutenant General (retd) Nasir Janjua, who is also an adviser to the prime minister.
Earlier, the former governor of K-P, Sardar Mehtab Abbasi, was a member of the committee. He was replaced by his successor, Jhagra.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 29th, 2016.