KHYBER AGENCY  - The tribal elders, political leaders and members of civil society have welcomed the intention of the government to extend local bodies system to the tribal belt.

The tribal leadership termed it a good omen and said that it would help resolve problems of tribesmen on their doorsteps.

Zer Noor Afridi, vice chief of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) FATA, lauded the step of the government and said it was need of the hour to involve tribesmen in electoral process at grassroots level. It will not only empower the tribal people but will also remove sense of deprivation among the dwellers of tribal belt, he remarked. To check unlimited powers of administration in FATA it is necessary to make the elected representatives of the masses powerful, Afridi said and added through implementation of local bodies’ system bureaucracy would be answerable to the people.

While sharing his views on the issue, tribal elder Malik Waris Khan Afridi demanded of the government to introduce the local bodies system in true letter and spirit to authorise the tribal people.

Iqbal Afridi, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Khyber Agency leader, appreciated the decision and said it was their oldest demand to limit the powers of political administration. He said that local bodies elections should be held in a fair way and unlike past system, where all powers had been bestowed to the governor and agency administration, the elected representatives should be made powerful and authoritative. Real change in Fata will be possible only through ballot and in the prevailing situation free and fair election of local bodies will guarantee progress and development of tribesmen, he observed.