KHAR: Participants of a thanksgiving rally held here on Sunday in connection with the approval of the legislation to extend jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and Peshawar High Court to Fata, called for the complete and early repeal of the Frontier Crimes Regulation in the tribal areas.

The gathering was held in Pashat area of Salarzai tehisl, the hometown of PML-N lawmaker Shahabuddin Khan.

The participants, who shouted slogans against the FCR and in support of the recently-approved legislation, warmly welcomed the passage of the Fata reforms bill from the parliament.

They termed the approval of the legislation a historic step, saying the act would enable the six million tribesmen to have access to the country’s superior courts.

Workers of various political parties, social activists and youth leaders, including PML-N youth wing provincial general secretary Nizamuddin Khan, Israr Khan, Sher Mohammad, Mohammad Saleem, Iqbal Khan, Ishan Khan and others, addressed the gathering.

They said extension of the jurisdiction of superior judiciary to Fata had been longstanding demand of tribesmen. They called the legislation a step towards provision of fundamental rights to the tribesmen.

The speakers noted that approval of the legislation would not only help the tribesmen get speedy justice, but would also curtail the unbridled powers of the political administrations.

They were of the view that after implementation of the legislation, the socio-economic situation of the tribal areas would improve and the locals would have no fear of destruction of their houses and properties by the local administration under the collective territorial responsibility clause of FCR.

They said the legislation would also help discourage the trend of corruption and corrupt practices by the officials of the local administrations and other government departments in the tribal areas.

They pointed out that extension of the jurisdiction of superior courts would encourage the tribesmen to speak in front of local administration officials without hesitation.

The speakers also urged the government to merge Fata with KP before the upcoming general elections.

Published in Dawn, April 23rd, 2018