PESHAWAR -  In the prevailing ups and downs on the political horizon, it seems that the federal government now has lesser interest in implementing the much-awaited Fata Reforms. In that case, it will certainly shatter the dream of the tribal people of being in the mainstream happily. Moreover, it will too create a sense of unrest among them.

Sensing the situation, elected representatives from Fata plan to call a multi-party conference in Islamabad on May 6 over the delay in the implementation of the proposed reforms, approved on March 2, suggesting tribal areas’ merger with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

No doubt, it was a landmark achievement on the part of the government and those backing mainstreaming Fata being governed under the FCR, commonly known as black law. The law, coming into force in April 1901 in the tribal belt has had very negative implications so far.

This law gives all powers to the political agent and they can punish the entire tribes and clans for the actions of individuals. The tribal areas do not come under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the high courts. In these reforms, the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the Peshawar High Court will be extended to this region.

However, due to day-to-day developments on political arena, Fata Reforms go in the backdrop. The government will have to make certain amendments to the Constitution if it is serious to win hearts of tribesmen, who have been ahead with a number of issues since long. Currently, it does not seem to happen in the near future.

Tribal people ask a question that why the government does not take interest in implementing Fata reforms by making changes in the law like it had shown in the extension of military courts recently. This time, tribesmen really want a change in the status quo.

They want to know what hurdles still exist in meeting the demand of bringing them into the mainstream, for which the best and already approved option is making tribal areas as part of the KP. The APC being held on Fata Reforms in Islamabad on May 6will be attended by all political and religious parties. It will pass several resolutions regarding Fata.

However, the most important one will be about asking the federal government to include in the National Assembly’s agenda for the upcoming session those amendments in the Constitution which are necessary for implementing Fata reforms. It may not happen because the next National Assembly sitting will be the budget session.

In this case, tribal MNAs would call for a sit-in in front of the Parliament House on May 20. This protest will continue until meeting demands. However, it, too, may not be workable because the holy month of Ramadan will begin on May 28.

As approved by the cabinet, the Fata reforms will be implemented gradually i.e. in next the five years. Therefore, it seems that it may not come into force earlier. However, majority of the tribal people and political parties wish to have it as soon as the government can do it.

It should be noted that in November 2015, Fata parliamentarians had formally submitted a bill in the National Assembly asking tribal areas merger with the KP. The prime minister constituted a five-member Fata reforms committee headed by Sartaj Aziz, adviser to the prime minister on foreign affairs.

Tasked to visit all seven agencies and frontier regions and meet with different people there. The committee did it’s work and drafted a bill, which the cabinet had approved. Importantly, the committee too had proposed to the government that majority of the tribal people want Fata’s integration with the KP.