Dawn News

PESHAWAR, March 27: Elders of South Waziristan Agency on Tuesday urged the government not to reopen Nato supply route in the country until the US stopped the deadly drone attacks in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

Malik Khan Marjan, Malik Ashraf Khan, Malik Faridullah, Malik Jalal Khan, Malik Shahjehan, Malik Ghulam Khan and others, who converged on the Peshawar Press Club to address a news conference, regretted non-implementation of parliament’s unanimously-adopted resolutions on security and said the government should stop following policies meant to please the US and instead act to serve the country’s interests.

They also urged the government to declare Fata a separate province, saying it’ll bring the hitherto neglected region on a par with the country’s developed areas.

Tribal elders also complained of being stressed out by growing socioeconomic problems in their area and said their member of the National Assembly had miserably failed to deliver over the last four years.

Mr Marjan said people of South Waziristan were leading a miserable life absence of basic facilities, local MNA Kamran Khan’s negligence and US drone attacks. He criticised the MNA for failing to get even a single development scheme initiated over the last four years and leveled corruption charges against him.

The tribal elder said sitting MNAs weren’t true representatives of Fata people as they had failed to raise their voice against unrest in the region and growing drone attacks. He demanded an inquiry by the National Accountability Bureau into the alleged misappropriation of South Waziristan funding.

Mr Marjan said Fata security crisis was spilling over into settled areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and therefore, corrective measures should be taken without delay.

He also regretted the proposed shifting of the cadet college from Razmak in North Warizistan Agency to Nowshera in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and said the move if made would deprive Fata students of the opportunity to get quality education.

The tribal elder also called for early establishment of a medical college in South Warizistan and asked people not to drag it into any controversy. He said funds for the college had been already reflected in the annual development programme and even the site for it had also been selected. He said locals donated 500 kanals of land for the college’s establishment promising 1,000 kanals of more land if a need for it arose.

Mr Marjan said the government was responsible for providing people with security and any move to shift educational institutions from the agency to other areas on security grounds would be resisted by locals.

He said the turning of Fata into ‘Qabailistan’ province was the only option to solve the region’s socioeconomic and security problems. He also urged the president, the prime minister and the provincial governor to ensure early accountability of those embezzling Fata funds.

Meanwhile, Qabaili Aman Taroon, a tribal civil society network in Khyber Agency, on Tuesday demanded repeal of the Frontier Crimes Regulation and early implementation of Fata reforms.

Convener of the network Shahzad Afridi told a news conference at the Peshawar Press Club that FCR violated basic human rights of Fata people, who couldn’t raise their voice against it due to the draconian law.

He said on one hand, the government had introduced Fata reforms and on the other, it enforced the Civil Power Regulation (CPR), which was no different from FCR.

“The authorities should stop harassing Fata people under FCR and CPR. FCR should be repealed, while the recently-amended Fata reforms should be implemented without delay,” he said, adding that the courts’ jurisdiction should also be extended to Fata for the locals’ relief.

Mr Afridi said his organisation had been formed with the assistance of German Embassy and British High Commission to increase Fata people’s awareness of security, peace and democracy in the region.

Accompanied by the organisation’s joint convener, Fawadullah Shinwari, he said Qabaili Aman Taroon had contributed a lot to restoration of peace in Bara, Jamrud and Landi Kotal.

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