PESHAWAR: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Wednesday ruled out any immediate merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas into Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, saying the process of reforms is likely to continue for the next five years.
“The process of reforms will continue in Fata for the next five years and only after that a decision would be taken regarding the region’s future with the consent of the people,” Rehman said.
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Talking to media at the JUI-F provincial secretariat, Fazl said Fata needed time and it should be given enough time because it is currently not in a position to be merged into the province.
Although there is wide consensus on bringing Fata into the mainstream, he said, it needs proper infrastructure and development in the healthcare and education sectors.
Internally displaced persons must be rehabilitated and only after meeting the needs of the people, the government can ask their opinion on the proposed merger. “The Fata merger with K-P will not resolve the problems of its people. They need basic facilities first.”
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“We need to think deeply and seriously about Fata’s future rather than making emotional decisions,” Fazl said.
Expressing dissatisfaction on the implementation of the National Action Plan, the JUI-F chief said that religious seminaries are already in the mainstream.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 16th, 2017.
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