The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Tuesday announced the formation of an advisory committee which will address all social, political, administrative, and development issues faced by the tribal areas of the province. It has also been tasked with holding talks with all aggrieved groups in the region including the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM).
"We are ready to hold talks with them. The government is ready to accept all justifiable demands put forth by the PTM," KP government spokesperson Ajmal Wazir said at a news conference in Peshawar.
"We are trying to resolve all issues through dialogue," he added.
PTM is a rights-based alliance that, besides calling for the de-mining of the former tribal areas and greater freedom of movement in the latter, has insisted on an end to the practices of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and unlawful detentions, and for their practitioners to be held to account within a truth and reconciliation framework.
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Ajmal said the advisory committee headed by KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan will be responsible for holding interactions with the PTM and relay their concerns to the provincial assembly which will then see how to resolve them.
He said the "beautiful thing" about the committee was that it did not only comprise MNAs and senators of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) but also those from Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), PPP, and PML-N.
Prior to the press conference, a meeting was held at Governor House between KP Governor Shah Farman, Chief Minister Khan and National Assembly members and senators belonging to the tribal areas to discuss matters pertaining to the recent KP-Fata merger along with all other issues the region is faced with.
However, no representatives from the PTM were present during the deliberations.
The formation of the committee was mutually agreed upon and it was named the 'advisory committee for redressals and development'.
It was decided that the body would be headed by the chief minister and will include senators and MNAs from the tribal districts along with representatives from various political parties.
When asked for a comment on the formation of the committee, independent MNA from South Waziristan and PTM leader Muhammad Ali Wazir told DawnNewsTV that PTM's demands are "not limited to the tribal areas. The movement now speaks for the entire region."
"When PTM speaks for the entire region, then how can this committee resolve our issues?" he questioned.
"This committee has simply been formed for temporary point-scoring," he alleged.
The PTM leader claimed that the government had acted in haste to merge Fata with KP and is now facing difficulties.
"The PTI government came into power for the first time and the governor is completely unaware of most of the issues faced by the tribal areas," he said, adding that the provincial government is flawed as well.
Wazir said he had not been invited to today's meeting.