PESHAWAR: Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra has said only tribespeople have the right to decide their future and no decision will be imposed on them.
This was stated in a handout issued on Friday. Jhagra was addressing a delegation from North Waziristan Agency at the Governor House on Friday. The delegation was led by the chief of the Utmankhel tribe Malik Khan Marjan Khan.
According to the governor, the status of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas will be decided according to the wishes and demands of the tribespeople.
“The repatriation of displaced population is the topmost priority of the federal government,” stated the document.
The document cited Jhagra as saying peace had been restored to Fata due to the sacrifices made by the tribespeople and security forces.
“Efforts were afoot to ensure the successful and dignified return of IDPs to their homes,” stated the handout.
Jhagra assured tribespeople’s sacrifices will not go in vain.
“The government is aware of the problems and difficulties faced by the tribespeople,” the handout quoted him as saying. “The time has come to take concrete measures to alleviate their grievances.”
He added not only Fata but the entire country is moving towards peace and stability and the repatriation of internally displaced persons (IDP) is also in progress.
The governor said steps had been taken to ensure “the dignified return of displaced people” and bring about their rehabilitation.
“The entire nation has tremendous regard for patriotic tribesmen and the sacrifices they have rendered,” the document quoted the governor as saying. “Maintaining lasting peace was another of the government’s major priorities and all possible steps would be taken to ensure basic facilities in the tribal belt.”
He said concrete measures would be taken for development of the health and education sectors.
“No stone would be left unturned for the development of this marginalised region,” the handout cited Jhagra as saying.
Members of the delegation informed the governor about the problems and challenges they face on a daily basis. They presented suggestions to address these issues. Jhagra heard the proposed steps and assured they would be taken into consideration.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2016.