The government is planning to repeal the draconian Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) within a week's time, Minister of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) Abdul Qadir Baloch said at a press conference on Friday.

Fata is still ruled under the British-made FCR of 1901, which violates the fundamental rights of the tribal people. The law states that three basic rights are not applicable to Fata residents: appeal, wakeel and daleel.

Similarly other FCR articles violate the fundamental rights of the citizens of this area. Clause 21 deals with collective punishment and under section 22-23, fines are imposed on the entire tribe/family for the crime of a single person. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan high courts call the FCR illegal.

Baloch, addressing a press conference alongside Fata Reforms Committee head Sartaj Aziz, said, "The FCR is a black law. It is necessary to rid ourselves of it," adding that the law would be eliminated within a week's time.

The KP governor will send President Mamnoon Hussain a summary to repeal the FCR shortly, Baloch said. However, there is no set date for a KP-Fata merger in sight as yet, he added.

'Mainstreaming' Fata

Sartaj Aziz said that work is underway to bring Fata into the 'mainstream'.

He said the Supreme Court would extend the jurisdiction of the high court to Fata. However, due to a lack of quorum in the Lower House today, the bill related to this development could not be passed, he added.

A Rs1,000 billion Fata Development Fund will be created, he said, adding that many schemes are in the pipeline to help bring Fata into the economic mainstream.

Additionally, the government will be contacted in order to bring Fata into the mainstream administratively, and Levies forces will be deployed there in order to bring it into the security mainstream.

Once Fata is brought into the mainstream on the legal, administrative, economic and security fronts, then it will be merged with KP, Aziz said.

A monthly briefing will be given on the Fata reforms, he said.

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