DI KHAN: One of the major allies of the federal government has categorically rejected the federal cabinet’s decision on Thursday to merge the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), alleging that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has deceived it on the issue.
Earlier in the day, the federal cabinet approved the proposal for merging Fata with the K-P over a period of five years. It also decided to repeal the Frontier Crime Regulations (FCR) and to enact Rewaj Act besides approving financial and infrastructure development packages.
“The federal cabinet has taken this decision with a mala fide intention,” JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman told a news conference in his hometown. “That is why the JUI-F’s central executive committee (CEC) has rejected the move.”
Fazl said he would take up the issue with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, during opening ceremony of Kurram Tangi Dam. “If a democratic government can’t protect the rights of Fata residents then how can they safeguard rights of Kashmiris?” he asked.
The JUI-F chief said Fata reforms and the decision for its merger with the K-P was taken without the consent of Fata residents and a minority had tried to impose its will on a majority.
He called upon the government to revive the column of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the forms of the upcoming census, adding that most people of Fata were still living in other parts of the country due to the military operation in their areas.
Fazl said the decision about future of Fata should be taken after the return of all IDPs into the respective agencies. “We have summoned Fata’s elder jirga in Peshawar and a decision on the future course will be taken after consultation from the real representatives of the area,” the JUI-F chief said.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 3rd, 2017.