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PESHAWAR: Elders of various tribal regions have demanded of the election commission and the caretaker federal government to announce holding of the national and provincial assemblies elections in Fata on the same day as in Pakistan on July 25.

Speaking at a news conference at the Peshawar Press Club on Tuesday, the elders led by candidates for NA-46, Kurram-II, Sajid Hussain Turi and NA-42, Mohmand, Malik Israel said the government had already merged Fata with KP and there was no logic in delaying the elections in Fata for one year.

Mr Turi said the merger was longstanding demand of the people which was resolved after a long struggle, adding the people of tribal areas would now be able to get their rights like other residents of the province.

However, he said the delay in the provincial assembly elections in the tribal region one year after the national assembly election was illogical and tantamount to keeping the people deprived of their basic rights.

Mr Turi, who belongs to Pakistan Peoples Party, pointed out that there would be a gap between the duration of elected representatives belonging to KP and Fata in the provincial assembly due to conduct of elections in the tribal areas and the Frontier Regions a year after the July 25 elections.

He said it would also cause delay in development schemes in the tribal region, which had been kept underprivileged in all sectors in the past.

Flanked other tribal elders, Mr Turi urged the caretaker prime minister and the election commission to take steps for simultaneous holding of the general elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata.

However, he suggested that if it was not possible the elections in Fata could be held three months after the polls in KP.

Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2018