PESHAWAR, Aug 8: The government is likely to extend the Political Parties Order 2002 to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, allowing political parties to operate in the volatile tribal region, according to sources.

“All is set for issuing a new presidential regulation, in the current week, extending the legislation that allows political mainstreaming of the tribal areas besides introducing some reforms in the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR),” sources said. A parliamentarian from Fata told Dawn on condition of anonymity that President Asif Ali Zardari was likely to sign the new regulation on Aug 14, while a day before he was expected to meet a tribal jirga comprising parliamentarians and notables to take them into confidence.

Extension of PPO 2002 coupled with a set of reforms in FCR was a long standing issue, as even the incumbent Pakistan People's Party government was not able to move ahead with it, he said. Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani during his maiden speech to the parliament in 2008 had announced abolishment of FCR. A committee was also notified to suggest recommendations for amending FCR.

Similarly, President Zardari had been reported as signing the extension of PPO 2002 to Fata, but as the tribal parliamentarian said 'elements within security establishment' did not put their weight behind the move, which resulted into stalemate of most of the interventions made so far.

“The contentious issues seem to be resolved this time,” he said.

Article 247 of the 1973 Constitution deals with executive authority of the tribal areas, as it specifies that no Act of parliament shall apply to any Federally Administered Tribal Area or to any part thereof, unless the president so directs.Sub-section 5 of the same article; however, enables president to make regulations for the peace and good government of a Federally Administered Tribal Area or any part of it.

With extension of PPO 2002, the political parties will be able to set up offices and mobilise masses around their manifestos. Similarly, tribal people will also have the liberty to form, organise, continue or set up a political party.

At the moment, candidates for 12 National Assembly and eight Senate seats are required to contest as independent although most of the time they enjoy support of various political parties.

After the extension of PPO 2002 to the tribal areas, political parties will field their own candidates for the National Assembly and Senate seats, which as many observers believe will put a break on horse trading that is otherwise synonymous to the Fata parliamentarians. It is pertinent to mention here that it was only in 1997 when the right of adult franchise was given to the tribal people, as till that period only tribal Malaks would cast votes in favour of their candidates.

Opinion

Editorial

Vox populi
22 Mar, 2023

Vox populi

History will not judge kindly those who throw the laws of this land in the bin to keep just one man away from power.
Iraq’s wounds
22 Mar, 2023

Iraq’s wounds

TWO decades after the US military machine — aided by the ‘Coalition of the Willing’ — stormed into Iraq, ...
Mental health epidemic
22 Mar, 2023

Mental health epidemic

THERE are mounting stressors in the day-to-day existence of average Pakistanis. Rising inflation and unemployment...
Petroleum subsidy
Updated 21 Mar, 2023

Petroleum subsidy

The govt seems more interested in reviving its political capital through ad hoc measures rather than fixing economy.
Country on edge
Updated 21 Mar, 2023

Country on edge

In this war of petty egos, ordinary people cannot continue to suffer.
Afghan funding cut
21 Mar, 2023

Afghan funding cut

AS the world grapples with multiple crises, the miseries of the people of Afghanistan seem to have been relegated to...