PESHAWAR: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) activists from various agencies of Federally Administered Tribal Areas on Friday held a day-long protest outside the Governor House against the delay in merger of Fata with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
The call of ‘Haqooq-e- Qabail Rally’ or the rally for the rights of the tribes was given by the all parties political alliance under which every party will continue to hold separate protests against the delay in reforms in Fata, until the government fulfill its promise.
PTI leader of Khyber Agency Haji Iqbal Afridi said the aim is to divert the attention of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi towards this issue.
“Ever since Abbasi has taken charge as prime minister, he has not even uttered even a single word about reforms in Fata and freeing the people from draconian laws imposed by the British two centuries ago,” Afridi said.
“We want the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) to be abolished and Fata to be merged with K-P immediately,” said Afridi while addressing the protesters. He said that it was now the youth, who have taken this issue and very active to change the destinies of tribal people and now it is impossible for any government to stop them.
The protestors demanded that Fata should be merged with K-P before the 2018 general elections, FCR should be abolished at once, electoral reforms should be introduced so that the people can elect their own representatives in national and provincial assemblies.
“Our demands are so logical. We want justice against draconian laws, which has enchained the tribal areas for the last 70 years. We want laws of the country should be extended to Fata and tribal should be treated as human.”
Sajid Mohmand, leader of the party from Mohmand Agency who joined the rally along with hundreds of workers said that the federal government has to abolish the FCR and merge Fata into K-P.
Rewaj Act rejected
Rejecting the proposed Rewaj Act, he said that tribal people are not ready to accept it and want to be governed under the laws and constitution which prevail in other parts of the country.
The protestors also accused the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) of using the state machinery and resources to attract people towards his drive to Lahore and said that if the ruling party had any interests in reforms, tribal people would not be on roads now.
The protestors also criticised K-P Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra for not making any efforts for the protection of their rights against federal government. “They are not serious with us,” said Rahim Shah Mohmand a PTI worker “If the governor didn’t take the issue of reforms with the federal government, they will be compelled to launch ‘Go Governor Go’ movement.
In March this year, the PML-N government had approved the recommendations of the Fata reforms committee which, besides other things, envisages merger of Fata with adjoining K-P over the next five years.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2017.