FATA senators to start sitting on opposition benches ‘because of government attitude’

Published: February 24, 2017

SHABQADAR: Senators from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) have decided to sit on the opposition benches from now because of the government’s “maltreatment” of the lawmakers and their constituents.

The disgruntled legislators submitted an application to Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani on Friday to get space allocated on the opposition benches.

When asked about the decision, Safron Committee Chairman Senator Hilalur Rehman said one of the major reasons for the decision was the Punjab Government’s attitude towards Pakhtuns in general and tribesmen specifically who live in Punjab.

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He said the provincial government of PML-N,  which is also in power at the federal level, was mistreating the Pakhtun people as they have lost their jobs in Punjab. The lawmaker said they have repeatedly asked the government to differentiate between terrorists and Pakhtuns, who “are a peaceful people”.

Rehman recalled an incident that took place in Sukkur on Thursday, when, according to him, poor labourers were harassed and called terrorists simply because they were unemployed.

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He said they would not support any upcoming government-sponsored because of their growing reservations. Rehman said that government should ensure tribesmen’s right by clearly defining the term “terrorism”, the current vagueness of which has caused scores to suffer due to the state’s highhandedness.

Meanwhile, Senator Momin Khan was of the opinion that moves against tribesmen in impending legislation would lead to the disintegration of national unity and cohesion. Khan said that tribesmen are peaceful people who have sacrificed their lives for Pakistan while fighting along the Line of Control (LoC).

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