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PESHAWAR, May 21: The tribal people from Khyber Agency have supported the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly’s unanimous resolution regarding Fata representation in the provincial assembly and demanded its merger with settled areas.

Notables and elders from Khyber Agency at a peace conference held here at Nishtar Hall on Monday through a unanimous resolution said that merger of Federally Administered Tribal Area (Fata) with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was need of the hour and in the larger interest of the people of the two regions.

The peace conference was organised to commemorate the death anniversary of four family members of MNA Allama Noorul Haq Qadri who were assassinated near Jamrud in Khyber Agency on May 21, 2008.

Addressing elders and his followers, MNA Allama Qadri said that jirga system, hujra and mosque were main pillars of the Pakhtun society particularly in Fata, but militancy had damaged the main essence of the society.

“Militancy has destroyed the system of governance and social fabric and time has come to integrate Fata with the province,” he said, adding administratively the tribal areas were being governed from Peshawar because all administrative departments and bodies had headquarters in the provincial capital.

He said that only a few vested interests were opposing integration of Fata with the province. He argued that political agents of three tribal agencies including Khyber, Orakzai and South Waziristan had main offices in the province while the other main departments like civil secretariat, development and disaster management authorities had also their head offices in Peshawar.

“Peshawar is like our second home,” said Allama Qadri and stated that majority of the businessmen from Fata had shifted their investments to Peshawar. Because of militancy he said that Pakhtuns were being portrayed as extremists, terrorists and drug traffickers across the world despite the fact that militancy had been imposed upon them.

He said that the people of Fata had no relation with foreign terrorists who had been brought to this region and tribesmen disowned local and foreign terrorists. He said that the people of Fata and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa should get rid of these killers. He said that Fata had been given representation in the National Assembly and Senate despite that parliamentarians could not legislate for their own people. He appealed to all the political forces to work for social and economic uplift of the tribal people.