PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has accused the federal government of ‘unnecessarily politicising’ the issue of Fata’s merger with the province.

“Had the federal government been sincere about Fata reforms and its merger with the province, it would have begun the implementation of the reforms process,” an official statement issued here quoted the CM as telling delegations of the All Fata Political Alliance and elders from Khyber Agency, who held separate meetings with him here at the CM’s House on Tuesday.

The CM said the Fata-KP merger was a matter of days and could be realised by the issuance of a simple presidential order.

He said the tribal people had long waited for the abrogation of the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) and had paid a heavy price in the meantime.

Mr Khattak said the provincial government had taken several steps for the merger of tribal areas with KP and had written a number of letters to the prime minister and army chief besides discussing it at the forum of apex committee.

He said the federal government had earlier agreed to the KP-Fata merger and made necessary preparations, including the extension of the Peshawar High Court’s to the tribal region but the unwillingness of one politician obstructed the entire process of the Fata reforms’ implementation.

The CM urged tribal elders to stay united on the one point agenda of the merger of Fata with KP and said the process in that respect should be sped up otherwise the vested interests would spoil the plan.

He said logically speaking, the federal government had no objection to the merger plan but the only thing, which worried it, was Rs100 billion package to be given to the region every year.

Mr Khattak said the package was the only thing that the federal government didn’t want to do and thus, endangering national unity.

He said the ruling PTI fully supported tribal people’s demands for the region’s merger with KP, abolition of FCR, provision of basic rights to them, 10-year development package for the region and their proper representation in the provincial assembly.

Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2017

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