PESHAWAR: A tribal jirga comprising representatives of various political parties has demanded of the federal government to abolish the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) and merge the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) without any delay.
The jirga was convened by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Sami (JUI-S) chief Maulana Samiul Haq at a local hotel on Tuesday. It was attended by K-P Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, JI Senator Professor Ibrahim, ANP Central General Secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain, QWP leader Asad Afridi, tribal leader Alhaj Shahji Gul and other tribal elders.
The jirga participants, through a joint statement, demanded that an amendment be made to the Constitution so that the people of Fata could be given the right to elect their representatives in the 2018 general elections to represent them in the K-P Assembly.
The jirga also demanded an assurance for the elected representatives to have complete control over financial, administrative and legislative affairs of their areas.
The jirga said FCR is a black law and should be abolished immediately, adding that the jurisdictions of Peshawar High Court and Supreme Court be extended to Fata.
It said the merger with K-P is necessary for economic development and social uplift of the tribal areas, adding that laws and regulations that govern other parts of the country should be extended to Fata also.
“When the federal government can amend the law for a disqualified prime minister within a few hours, then why can’t it amend the Constitution for the people of tribal areas?” Khattak said.
PTI wants the people of Fata to elect their own representatives for the K-P Assembly in 2018 general elections, he added.
“Political parties and even the security establishment want Fata to be merged with K-P,” said ANP’s Mian Iftikhar Hussain. “No one is opposed to the merger except for some political parties.”
He said the federal government also wants Fata to be merged with K-P, but only after the 2018 general elections, adding that if the merger takes place before the elections, the federal government would have to give Fata its due share from the NFC Award, which it is reserving for the elections.
Expressing dismay over the census results in Fata, the jirga members said Fata’s population has been shown less than it actually is, adding that it will undermine the share of Fata in the NFC Award.
The jirga asked to correct loopholes in the census.
Hussain said his party has rejected the Fata census results and demanded a fresh one. “Just 5.0 million population … isn’t it injustice with Fata?” he questioned the federal government.
Later on, Khattak asked the participants of the jirga to make the October 9 protest in the federal capital for the rights of the people of Fata a big success.
The protest has been called by politicians of Fata in which several political parties, including ANP, has announced to participate.