PESHAWAR: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa cabinet has decided to challenge Peshawar High Court decision suspending the interim government regulations governing erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) until the completion of its merger with the province.
The PHC had found several provisions of the Fata Interim Regulations 2018 in conflict with the Constitution of Pakistan and declared the law illegal. It gave K-P government 30 days to make alternate arrangements.
Confirming the decision to The Express Tribune, Attorney General Abdul Yousafzai asserted that the K-P government did not have required number of police, prosecution and investigating personnel to develop a judicial system in the tribal districts. “The law of the land has been extended to the tribal districts but developing policing and related departments will take time.”
He added that the cabinet had decided to challenge PHC decision by the end of November.
Assistant to the Chief Minister on Information Technology Kamran Bangash said that the government had directed concerned officials to initiate paperwork for the appeal. “The provincial cabinet has also shown reservations on existing Fata Secretariat as separate secretariat for the ex-tribal agencies,” he said.
Bangash revealed that a committee has been formed under Senior Minister for Tourism, Sports, Youth, Culture and Archeology Atif Khan to review the matter. The report is due within a week.
He added that the provincial government was formulating a strategy to transfer departments under Fata Secretariat to K-P government. “Health, education and IT departments have already been transferred,” said Bangash.
The move, however, has received criticism. Ex-Fata Lawyers Forum Leader Ijaz Khan Mohmand has termed the government’s decision a tactic to delay the merger. “It is the K-P government’s duty to regulate merger. Instead of working to extend law and constitution to the tribal districts, they [government] are seeking extensions.
Since the PHC verdict, the daily life in tribal districts has been facing difficulties with judicial and administrative matters in limbo.
Advocate Malak Abuzar Khan reflected that an interim system may provide relief to the tribesmen until the completion of the merger.