Constitutional rights: Political parties stand up for LG system in FATA

Say they will not accept councils nominated by governor


Abuzar Afridi June 08, 2015
Members of Khyber Political Alliance take out a rally in Landikotal. PHOTO: PPI

LANDI KOTAL: Opposing the council system recommended for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas by the FATA Reforms Commission, leaders of various political parties have demanded local bodies’ elections be held at the earliest in all seven agencies and six Frontier Regions.

“We will not go by the nominated councils headed by political agents as it means the black laws set by British colonial rulers will continue,” said Jamaat-e-Islami’s Sahibzada Haroonur Rashid during an all parties rally in the border town of Landikotal on Sunday. The rally was organised by Khyber Political Alliance.

A statement, agreed upon during the rally, was issued which demanded the Frontier Crimes Regulations be abolished and the extant judicial system be extended to the agencies.



While addressing the participants, Rashid said there are certain elements within the establishment which have monopolised power for self-interest, leaving tribespeople to suffer. He said they would not accept the councils nominated by the governor as “he is not a representative but is a worker of the state.” Rashid added tribespeople should be given a chance to elect the representatives of their choice.

Also present on the occasion, Awami National Party leader Sardar Hussain Babak said the unity of the tribal people for their political rights is a positive sign since now their demands will not be set aside. Babak added people living in the tribal belt should get the rights afforded to people in the rest of the country. He urged the government to politicise the system in Fata as per the wishes of locals.

Other speakers echoed the agreed-upon statement, saying the tribal areas will never be able to move forward “unless people living there are given constitutional and social rights.”

Participants urged the government to review its lopsided decisions regarding Fata and take steps for a better future.

Injustice

Separately, Khyber Sports Club President Merajuddin Shinwari, who was also present at the rally, said his 17 year-old brother has been kept behind bars by the Landikotal assistant political agent for the last three months and no one has taken notice yet. He said the APA did not even let his brother take his secondary school examination.

“The boy was jailed because he raised his voice against corruption in APA’s office.” Shinwari added the APA was hired on the basis of nepotism. He demanded the government transfer the APA at the earliest.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 8th, 2015. 

COMMENTS (1)

sheer khan | 6 years ago | Reply Tribal people enjoy more freedom then rest of pakistan. They have right to keep their tradition protect their self, and have brotherhood with Afghanistan. No where in pakistan you can keep AK47 but yes as tribe men you are entitled. Rest of pakistan has kind of rights ? any body come to your area and buy house ? you can't do this in FATA. FATA is inch by inch belong to tribal people. If it was possible they would done it in 1947, 1970,1971,1986 or after 911(2001)(make it rest of country). My friend stop this drama, go each village in FATA ask each tribal man you will find out ground reality.
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