PESHAWAR - Jamaat-i-Islami Fata chapter President Sardar Khan has claimed that thousands of party activists from the Tribal Areas would participate in the planned “long march” to Islamabad on December 10.

The JI has planned this march to protest against the Federal government for delaying the purposed reforms in the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas, the JI Fata chapter chief maintained.

Speaking at a news conference here at Peshawar Press Club on Monday, JI Fata Ameer Sardar Khan said that the protest long-march would start from the historic Bab-e-Khyber in Jamrud and end at the Parliament House in Islamabad.

They said that apart from Jamaat-e-Islami’s central leadership, a large number of tribesmen would participate in the long march . He said that the government was yet not implemented recommendations proposed by the Fata Reforms Committee, in letter and spirit. He said that the delay in the merger of Fata with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa was tantamount to deprive the people of the tribal region of their basic rights.

“We twice held protest sit-ins in the front of the Governor House in Peshawar for Fata merger. The Governor pledged, on both the occasions, to expedite the merger process but the Federal government is looking not serious in implementing the recommendations of the Reforms Committee.

The government is deliberately delaying the implementation process only to appease its allies, Sardar Khan added.

The JI tribal leader said that Fata had been adversely affected by the ongoing war against terrorism.

He said that the tribal people were kept deprived of all basic facilities, while the tribal region was also ignored in National Finance Commission (NFC) Award, which further increasing a sense of deprivation among the militancy-affected people of Fata.

Hassan Shinwari and Sultan Akbar were also present at the Press conference.

Sardar Khan said that the step-motherly attitude should end with the tribal people.

He also criticised the elected representatives from Fata for their failure to raise voice for rights of tribal people.

Sardar Khan said that the abolishment of the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) is inevitable to ensure all fundamental rights to the people of tribal agencies.

He said that the JI had launched a movement for a complete repealing of FCR from FATA and its integration with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, which will continue till its logical end. The JI leader said the JI long march led by JI provincial President Mushtaq Ahmad Khan and other tribal leaders to the Federal capital, Islamabad, will start from Bab-e-Khyber on Dec 10. He said that the party workers will join the rally in Pabbi, Nowshera and Jehangira.

He said that different rallies will be held at Attock and Faizabad, later the demonstrators will further proceed to Islamabad to hold a sit-in at D-Chowk.

The JI leader said that they would also invite leaders and workers of other political parties to join the long march .

He said that the general elections were around the corner but ironically, the government had yet to take initiative to give representation to the people of Fata in the KP Assembly through the 2018 elections.

Sardar Khan said that the government should implement the report of the six-member committee that recommended the merger of Tribal Areas with the province.

“Strangely, the government hasn’t implemented the report of its own committee,” he was surprised.

The JI leader said that the Committee had presented its report in 2016, while the Federal Cabinet too approved it but it had been put in the cold storage to please ‘few’ people.

The JI local leader said that the JI and people of Fata will not tolerate any further delay in Fata reforms.

He said that the National Assembly and Senate had recommended the Fata merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but the government was undermining the Parliament.

He said if tribal people didn’t get representation in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly through the next general elections, then the Fata merger plan would be delayed for the next five years.

The JI leader regretted that the Parliament made laws to make a disqualified Prime Minister as the ruling party’s head, while the genuine demands of millions of tribal people were by-passed.

He said that a handful of people opposed the Fata reforms process.

“The entire Fata is like an internment centre, where over 10 million people have been deprived of their fundamental rights, he said.

The JI would continue its struggle against the status-quo and corrupt system, he maintained.