ISLAMABAD: Parliamentarians from tribal areas have taken strong exception to a resolution adopted by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly asking for merger of Fata with the province.
Condemning the resolution, they said that only people of tribal areas had the right to decide about future of Fata. They criticised the Awami National Party and said it had always betrayed the Pakhtun.
They said the tribals knew who bargained for their blood. The self-declared representative of Pakhtun nation, the ANP, did not utter even a single word against military operations and atrocities perpetrated against them, they added. Rather, the so-called nationalists extended full support to these cruelties. Senators Haji Khan Afridi, Hilal Rehman and Engineer Malik Rashid Ahmad and MNAs Zaffar Beg Bethani and Kamran Khan and other parliamentarians repeated their demand for a separate province.
“The ANP government during their four-year rule in the province has done nothing which could be a source of pride for the Pakhtun nation. The ANP can no longer befool people of tribal areas. Only the people of Fata will decide about their future,” leader of the joint Fata parliamentary group Hamidullah Jan Afridi said in a statement here on Tuesday.
He said the resolution had greatly hurt the feelings of tribals. It had led to indignation and unrest amongst them, he observed. It appeared that people of KPK and tribal areas were being pushed towards collision through a planned conspiracy, he feared.
Mr Afridi said the provincial assembly had neither a right nor power to accept or reject a resolution with respect to tribal areas without the consent of the latter.
He said the provincial government should rather plan for creation of Hazara province and construction of Kalabagh Dam, try to find out how was the Bannu Jail broken, explain rampant corruption by the government, rehabilitate displaced people from Fata and provide royalty to tribal areas from the Warsak Dam project.
Mr Afridi criticised the attitude of other political parties and expressed surprise over the role of Pakistan Peoples Party on the issue. On the one hand, the PPP amended the ancient laws, Frontier Crimes Regulation, fulfilling the long-running demand of Fata people while, on the other, they supported an absurd resolution for merging Fata with the KPK, he said.
The Fata parliamentary leader further said the ANP had only 4 per cent support in tribal areas. How was it possible that a minority decided about the future of a majority, he asked.
He said tribal people would not backtrack from their demand for a separate province.