PESHAWAR: Activists of Jamaat-e-Islami’s Fata chapter staged a sit-in outside the Governor House on Sunday against the exclusion of Fata reforms from the cabinet’s agenda and called for doing away with the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) in the tribal areas.
Terming Fata an open-air prison for tribesmen, chief of JI’s provincial chief Mushtaq Ahmad Khan said that the federal government was insincere about abolishing the British-era law, adding that more than 10 million people in Fata were being deprived of fundamental rights because of the non-serious attitude of Islamabad.
“Excluding Fata reforms from the cabinet’s agenda clearly demonstrates the non-serious attitude of the federal government,” he said. He urged the government to organise a cabinet meeting to discuss Fata reforms immediately.
“The government must announce the merger of Fata with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa … This is the only way forward.”
Protesters were flanked by other tribal elders, including former MNA Sahibzada Haroon Rashid and chief of JI’s Fata chapter Sardar Khan. Sher Shah Suri Road was blocked for several hours, creating abnormal traffic congestion. Mushtaq Ahmad Khan said that people in tribal areas were without basic health facilities, including education and infrastructure. Shouting slogans of ‘Go, FCR Go’, demonstrators warned the government that if their demands were not met by March 12 this year, they would paralyse the federal capital.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 27th, 2017.