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KHAR: Speakers at a conference here on Monday urged the government to give three per cent share in National Finance Commission (NFC) award to tribal districts.

The roundtable conference titled “Integration of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) into Khyber Pakhtunkhawa: challenges and opportunities” was organised by Tribal Youth Organisation.

Political and religious activists, representatives of trade unions, civil society members, students and tribal elders attended the event.

Opening the conference, TYO president Farahd Ali said that tribal districts were merged with the province but a number of sections of Fata reforms bill were yet to be implemented despite lapse of about 10 months.

Former lawmakers Shahabuddin Khan and Akhunzada Chattan, All Bajaur Political Parties Alliance president Maulana Waheed Gul, ANP leader Sheikh Jan Zada, ANP provincial joint secretary Shah Naseer Khan, PTI president Dr Khalilur Rahman, JUI-F leader Maulana Sultan Mohammad, Fata Youth Jriga leader Nisar Khan Baz, Youth of Bajaur chairman Rehanzeb Khan, researcher Dr Asharf Ali, Islamabad-based senior journalist Haroon Rasheed, Bajaur Chamber of Commerce and Industries president Lali Shah and Dr Alam Khan addressed the conference.

They said that tribal people did not see any visible change in their life after the merger of Fata with the province.

They criticised the PTI government for not taking concrete steps to enforce essential sections of Fata reforms bill.

The speakers said that holding elections for provincial assembly seats, introducing local government system, giving three per cent share in National Finance Commission award to tribal districts and extension of the country’s judicial system to the region were the main components of Fata reforms bill.

They alleged that they did not see any change in the tribal districts during the PTI government except changing the nomenclature of the post of political agent to that of deputy commissioner.

They said that government did not launch even a single development scheme in any tribal district after merger of Fata with the province.

They threatened to launch a peaceful movement if the government did not implement the main components of Fata reforms bill in the merged districts with immediate effects.

Published in Dawn, April 16th, 2019