PESHAWAR - Awami National Party President Asfandyar Wali Khan on Tuesday announced to actively participate in the long march on Islamabad called by tribal parliamentarians in case the federal government fails to implement Fata reforms, including its main point of merging Fata into Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

The Awami National Party (ANP) chief expressed concern over exclusion of Fata Reforms from the agenda of the federal cabinet meeting. He said ANP was not only backing long-march on Islamabad, but would fully take part in it. “Be sure, we will be in Islamabad along with our tribal brothers” he said in statement issued here.

Wali further said his party would continue struggle till the merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP). The ANP wanted timely implementation of the proposed reforms, adding that further delay in the matter was not in the favour of the nation.

He asked the federal government not to create hurdles in provision of constitutional rights to tribal people. We will not stop until tribesmen are brought into the main stream, he said. For the last seven decades, residents of tribal belt had been kept deprived of their basic rights, he lamented.

Conspiracy is being hatched to stop implementation of the reforms which had been drafted after incorporating suggestions of tribal people as well as their elected representatives, he said, adding that time had come to work for Fata’s uplift and removal of all hurdles in its way.

The ANP would be shoulder to shoulder with tribal people in the struggle. Fata must be merged with KP prior to general elections being held in 2018 by allocating seats in the KP Assembly. Besides, census should be carried out in tribal areas give proper representation to tribal people in the parliament, he demanded.