ISLAMABAD -  Federally Administrated Tribal Areas parliamentarians after getting their concerns on FATA reforms duly addressed by the government asked the Prime Minister to get the reforms package approved by the federal cabinet in upcoming cabinet meeting due on Feb.7.

Addressing a press conference, FATA Parliamentary leader Shah Jee Gul Afiridi along with FATA MPs G.G Jamal, Bismillah Khan, PML-N MP from FATA Ghalib Khan, PTI member Qasir Jamal and Sajid Hussain Toori, welcomed the move of renaming Federal Crimes Regulation(FCR) as Rawaj Act with certain amendments. They said that now when it was decided that FATA would not be made a separate province and at first stage mass-scale reformation of the area with main focus on infra-structure development would be done and then at later stage it would be merged in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in consultation with the people of the area.

Shah Jee Gul Afridi said that initially they have reservations over the FATA reforms package but now the government had duly addressed all their concerns and they would be given the lead role in the whole reformation exercise.

FATA Parliamentary head said that they sincerely wanted to see real development and welfare of the people of these areas and were not doing politics on it and would not let anyone play with the fate and future of FATA people.

FATA MPs said that the reforms package mainly comprise the infra-structure development, establishing of health and education facilities as well as job creation and job provision to the people who had faced the brunt of war on terror.

They further said that a committee comprising the FATA members would be made which would oversee all these reformation activities in the area and then at some later stage the decision on the merger of FATA in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would be made and that too with the approval of the FATA members.

They said that on the strong recommendation of FATA MPs, the draconian FCR would be replaced with Rawaj Act which would facilitate the residents of the area and would not be used as a coercive force to bring the people of the area in subjugation. They urged the Prime Minister to get an affirmative nod of the Federal Cabinet on FATA reforms in its upcoming meeting scheduled on Feb. 7 so that the development activities could start in the area at once.

They said that due to operation against terrorists in the area the infrastructure was completely destroyed in the area so for quick rehabilitation and welfare of the people the reforms process should start forthwith which could only be possible after its passage from the federal cabinet.

The FATA reforms package was already laid before both houses of the Parliament but initially the FATA members had rejected it and showed serious concerns on it. Later the government had engaged the FATA MPs in consultation and addressed their reservations over the package and on getting certain assurances they now have come up in support of the package.

Interestingly Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party Chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai had come up with strong opposition to the proposal of merger of FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and as both these parties were in coalition with the ruling PML-N so the Prime Minister was left with no choice but to defer the whole exercise for more consultation with the people of the area.

Meanwhile, the FATA members were averse to the opposition of JUI-F and PkMAP to the merger option of these areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and they criticised both Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Mahmood Khan Achakzai for doing politics on the issue concerning the fate of FATA people.

Shah Jee Gul Afiridi informed that they had called the convention on Feb.6 wherein the people from all walks of life from FATA and other stakeholders were invited to come up with the suggestion of merger of the area in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at second stage after the execution of the reforms in these areas.