JAMRUD / PESHAWAR: FATA Siyasi Ittehad President Iqbal Afridi has criticised the FATA Reforms Committee for not inviting major political parties from the tribal belt for a meeting that will be held on April 4. He announced a protest will be held on the same day against the committee’s actions.
He was speaking at a news conference at Peshawar Press Club on Saturday.
FATA Siyasi Ittehad has been working for three years to bring reforms in the Frontier Crimes Regulations. However, the reforms committee has refused to invite them for an important meeting.
Iqbal maintained Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra invited around 400 elders of Fata for the meeting but ignored leaders of the political parties who are key representatives of the tribal areas.
He added they would protest against the reforms committee and would boycott their meetings in future.
He also expressed his displeasure over the governor’s decision to visit all other agencies of Fata, except Khyber Agency.
On the other hand, tribal elders held a jirga at the house of MNA Haji Shahjee Gul Afridi. They demanded constitutional rights be given to the tribespeople just like those enjoyed by people in the rest of the country.
Elders at the jirga also endorsed the demand for the integration of Fata in K-P. This, they said, could be done if status quo ends in the tribal areas. The elders expressed their displeasure over the imprisonment of many tribespeople who were in jail for a crime they have never committed.
Shahjee Gul said the time was ripe for tribespeople to receive their due rights.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 3rd, 2016.