PESHAWAR, July 16: The participants at a national conference here on Monday asked the government to take the issue of drone strikes to the United Nations if it could not stop the attacks by force.
Centre for Discussions and Solutions had organised the conference titled “Fata issues, problems and solutions.” Former chief of Jamaat-i-Islami Qazi Hussain Ahmad heads the forum.
Tribal elders, retired bureaucrats and representatives of civil society groups attended the event and proposed recommendations about the future of Fata.
Through a joint declaration, the conference asked the government to utilise all available resources to protect national sovereignty and halt drone attacks in tribal areas. “If it can’t stop such attacks by force then it should take the issue to the UN,” it said. The declaration said that government should take concrete measures for safety of innocent citizens from drones.
It called upon the government to disassociate itself from the US-led war against terrorism and follow joint resolutions of the parliament.
It said that government should also halt military operations in Fata and send security forces back to the barracks. The conference termed traditional jirga the best forum to resolve conflicts and disputes.
The government should constitute an elected tribal assembly and elected representatives of the proposed assembly should recommend political, administrative and legal reforms for themselves, it said.
The declaration said that government should abolish draconian clauses of Frontier Crimes Regulation and Regulation in Aid of Civil Power in Fata and also announce a comprehensive economic package for the area on the pattern of Balochistan.
Central leader of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf and former ambassador to Kabul Rustam Shah Mohmand while addressing the conference supported FCR and opposed extension of Political Parties Order, 2002 to Fata.
He argued that political parties had been operating in Karachi and Balochistan despite that law and order situation had been deteriorated there. “If political parties can’t deliver in Karachi and Balochistan then do not expect any role from them in Fata,” he said. He also gave arguments in support of FCR. Other speakers criticised the former ambassador for supporting FCR and role of political agents.
Former parliamentarian from Khyber Agency Advocate Abdul Lateef Afridi suggested merger of Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said that awarding status of a separate province to Fata could create more complications and disputes among tribal people.
Qazi Hussain Ahmad said that political and military leadership should put their heads together to find out viable solution for the future of Fata. He said that military operations had created unrest and sense of deprivation among tribal people. He said that army action and drone strikes could not resolve issues in Fata. He demanded immediate return of internally displaced persons.