DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Nov 5: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said on Monday that continued presence of armed forces in Fata had raised questions about freedom and sovereignty of tribesmen.
Addressing a tribal jirga and talking to reporters in Dera Ismail Khan, he said tribesmen were independent people and the government should first restore their independent status and then make decisions in accordance with their wishes and opinions.
He said a jirga would be held in Peshawar on Nov 9 and a grand jirga on Dec 16 to discuss recommendations of the earlier jirga and take decisions about the future of Fata.
The Maulana said the jirga would try to ensure that its decisions were acceptable to tribal people and armed groups.
He said the jirga would take tribal people into confidence on any decision about their future in accordance with presidential regulations and a resolution of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly about making tribal areas an independent province or merging it into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The Maulana said that drone attacks continued in Fata despite parliament’s unanimous resolution.
He said the government should realise that the use of military force would not resolve the crisis.
He said the JUI-F respected views of tribesmen and for that reason a 38-member committee had been formed with representation from all tribal agencies. He said that several meetings were held in tribal regions and “we got positive opinions and suggestions.”
He said the nation should think for solidarity of the country, instead of relying on the US and its allies.