LANDI KOTAL: Fata Students Organisation has demanded immediate merger of tribal areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with separate seats for tribal women in Senate and National Assembly and provincial assembly.

Addressing a jirga of students from all the seven tribal agencies and six frontier regions, FSO president Shaukat Aziz said that people of Fata rejected the recommendations of reforms commission of Fata merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in different phases, spanning over five years time.

He demanded holding of local bodies’ elections in tribal areas and said that the process of merger of Fata with the province should be completed before the 2018 general elections.

Mr Aziz demanded of the federal government to establish industrial zones in different parts of Fata to generate employment opportunities for local educated youth and encourage tribal investors to invest in their own areas with the government declaring the region as a tax-free zone for at least 20 years.

The FSO president said that after destruction of hundreds of educational institutions in Fata during the last one decade of militancy, the federal and provincial governments should arrange for free education for the talented tribal students in reputed educational institutions of the country.

He demanded fulfilment of the promise made by authorities about establishment of cadet colleges, medical college and opening of branches of Islamia College in different tribal agencies.

Mr Aziz also called upon Fata Secretariat to repair and reconstruct all the government schools destroyed by militants along with introducing a strict monitoring system to check the regular attendance of teaching staff.

The FSO president said that a representative jirga of tribal students would soon meet the governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to apprise him of their legitimate demands.

Published in Dawn, November 11th, 2016