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PESHAWAR: All Fata Political Parties Alliance has rejected the proposal for holding a referendum on merger of Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and urged the government to announce the merger immediately to bring tribal regions into the mainstream.

The demand was raised at a seminar held by the alliance at the Peshawar Press Club on Tuesday. Awami National Party leader Nisar Mohmand, Jamaat-i-Islami Fata chief Sardar Khan, PTI leader Iqbal Mohammad Afridi, PPP’s Jehanraiz Khan, JI activist Zarnoor Afridi, Pakhtunkhwa Olasi Tehreek leader Dr Said Alam Mehsud, Shahid Shah and members of civil society organisations shared their views on this occasion.

Through a joint communiqué the participants expressed dissociation from a peace conference, sponsored by Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl, regarding future of Fata in Peshawar on Dec 18, and asked the government to immediately announce merger of Fata with KP.

The participants also demanded announcement of a comprehensive financial package for rehabilitation and reconstruction of the damaged infrastructure in Fata. They also stressed the need for holding population census and local bodies elections in the tribal areas.

All Fata Political Parties Alliance announces boycott of JUI-F conference

The speakers called for abolition of the Frontier Crime Regulation. They lauded the endorsement of constitutional amendment bill moved by the Fata parliamentarians and called upon the government to immediately implement the recommendations of the Fata reforms committee to mitigate sufferings of the people.

They alleged that the development funds meant for uplift of tribal people were being embezzled. They urged the government to announce Rs100 billion package for Fata and declare it as tax-free zone to revive the trade and commercial activities in tribal regions.

Nisar Mohmand read out the jirga’s declaration and said that the alliance had disowned the JUI-F’s peace conference scheduled for Dec 18, and decided to hold protest rallies and demonstrations across Fata on the same day.

He alleged that the JUI-F’s event was based on anti-Fata agenda. He warned that if any political party created hurdles to the Fata-KP merger they would collectively opposed it.

Sardar Khan said that tribal people had been kept deprived of all fundamental rights due to FCR and some political figures were trying to create hurdles to repeal this law. He said that they would continue efforts for abolition of this black law.

He said that Fata was ignored in the NFC award though it was the fifth entity of the country.

Mr Mehsud said that Fata people had faced many hardships during the past about one decade, but the government was least bothered to mitigate their miseries.

Other speakers demanded a comprehensive relief package for rehabilitation of the damaged infrastructure in Fata, holding of census and LG elections and representation in the provincial assembly for Fata people.

Published in Dawn December 14th, 2016

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