NOWSHERA: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan on Thursday favoured the merger of Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, saying turning tribal areas into a separate province near Afghan border was not doable.
He, however, said the people of Fata should be given the opportunity to decide about the matter.
“Fata should be made part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government will consult tribal elders, political leaders and experts to reach an understanding on this important issue,” the PTI chief told reporters here in Manki Sharif.
He went to the area to condole the death of Abdul Latif Khan Khattak, brother-in-law of provincial Chief Minister Pervez Khattak.
Says turning tribal areas into a separate province not possible
The deceased was also the brother-in-law of Nowshera district nazim Liaquat Khattak and father of PTI MNA Dr Imran Khattak.
PTI central vice chairman and deputy parliamentary leader in the National Assembly Shah Mehmood Qureshi, party’s provincial organiser Fazal Mohammad Khan, Senators Mohsin Aziz and Nauman Wazir, MNAs, ministers, advisers and special assistants to the chief ministers, and MPAs were also present on the occasion.
Imran said after tribal elders and elected representatives were taken into confidence, the PTI-led provincial government would consult experts on how to do away with the centuries-old British system of governance and justice still prevalent in Fata.
He declared the prime minister’s relief package for farmers part of rigging before major by-elections and local government elections and said the package should have been given in the federal budget for fiscal year 2015-16.
The PTI chief said it was unfortunate that he and his party leaders had been stopped from campaigning for party candidate in the NA-122 constituency though Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had announced a ‘big relief package’ for farmers just ahead of by-elections and local government elections.
He criticised the federal government for asking provinces to pay half of the cost of fertilisers.
“Provinces don’t have money to buy fertilisers,” he said.
About the National Accountability Bureau’s action against the Pakistan People’s Party and Muttahida Qaumi Movement leaders, the PTI chief said pressure was mounting on the prime minister to stop the operation of Rangers in Karachi against criminals, their financers and corrupt people.
He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif didn’t honour his commitment made to former president Asif Ali Zardari and approved the NAB inquiry against his party’s leaders.
Imran said people wanted accountability across the board and that PML-N and PPP had always made bargain on the appointment of the NAB chiefs to hush up their corruption.
Referring to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ehtesab Commission, he said the chief of the accountability body was appointed by the provincial assembly instead of the provincial government.
The PTI chief said the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ehtesab Commission had begun a probe against provincial minister Ziaullah Afridi without any interference from the party.
He said he took action against Ziaullah Afridi after he began hurling accusations at everyone in the party besides blackmailing them.
“(Ziaullah) Afridi’s duty was to clear himself from charges,” he said.
Imran said the Ehtesab Commission was free and independent and won’t spare looters of public money.
Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2015