PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak on Tuesday said he supported the merger of Fata with his province and the extension of regulations enforced in other parts of the country to the region.
He was speaking to a delegation of multi-party conference on Fata reforms at the Chief Minister’s House, said a statement issued here.
The CM said Fata reforms should reflect the aspirations of local tribesmen and merger process should be completed before 2018 and the tribal agencies should be given the status of districts after the merger of region with KP.
Says reforms in tribal region should be in line with wishes of locals
Ministers Inayatullah Khan and Shahram Khan Tarakai, adviser to the chief minister for information and higher education Mushtaq Ghani, Fata Political Alliance president Nisar Mohammad, Iqbal Afridi, Latif Afridi, Mukhtar Bacha, Zar Noor Afridi, Zahir Shah Safi, Asad Afridi, Ijaz Mohmand and Abdur Raheem were present on the occasion.
The chief minister was briefed about the federal government’s proposed Fata reforms.
He said he would extend all-out support to the merger of Fata with KP and that the federal government should complete it before 2018 to give full representation to the people of region in the provincial assembly.
The participants agreed on the extension of the 1973 Constitution to entire Fata and extension of the jurisdictions of high court and Supreme Court there.
Mr. Khattak expressed reservations about certain recommendations and the participants agreed to them.
He disagreed with the proposal to keep Article 247 of the Constitution intact and gradual merger of Fata with KP.
He said Article 247 of the Constitution should be abolished because it empowered the individuals and that those powers should be exercised by the elected and representative parliament.
The participants suggested amendments in articles 247 and 246 of the Constitution in the backdrop of Fata-KP merger.
They proposed amendments to Article 106 of the Constitution to give better representation to the people of Fata in the provincial Assembly.
The CM said after the merger of Fata with KP, the people of tribal areas would be the equal shareholders in incentives and facilities of CPEC.
He said the merger should take place before 2018 so that the local government system could be extended to the tribal areas and the whole of the unit should have an equal system at grassroots level.
Mr. Khattak said after the merger, there should be amendments to the Constitution so that tribal areas could have the same developmental strategy as evolved for the province.
He said the objectives behind the merger were to establish the writ of the government and bring about a change in the overall prosperity and development of the people and that was only possible if the merger took place with sincerity.
Published in Dawn September 7th, 2016