PESHAWAR - Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak is expected to participate in the sit-in outside the Parliament House today besides senior leaders of other political parties supporting the proposed reforms in Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).

The sit-in is aimed at pressing the federal government to implement the reforms’ package as recommended by the Sartaj Aziz-led committee, including merging the Fata with KP. Elected members of the National Assembly and Senate hailing from Fata have organised the sit-in, as well as the Fata Political Alliance (FPA), a conglomerate of pro-Fata reforms parties. The organisers have formally invited leadership of different political and religious parties and scores of civil society organisations to the sit-in.

In this regard, political parties like PPP, ANP, QWP, PTI, MQM and JI have accepted the invitations, so it is expected that top leadership of the above-mentioned parties would be among the attendees. These parties are backing the Fata-KP merger besides abolishment of the FCR law being exercised in tribal belt for many decades.

A force behind the move, Shah Jee Gul Afridi, an MNA from Khyber Agency, phoned CM KP Pervez Khattak the other day and invited him to join them in Islamabad. Opposition leader Syed Khurshed Shah, ANP’s Mian Iftikhar, QWP’s Aftab Sherapo, JI’s Sirajul Haq or Mushtaq Ahmad Khan and PTI’s central lawmakers are also expected to show their presence in the show of power.

Expect JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and PkMAP Chairman Mehmood Khan Achakzai, the entire political and religious leadership and even Pak Army is favouring mainstreaming the Fata.

To bring Fata into the mainstream, the federal government had formed Fata Reforms Committee headed by former premier Nawaz Sharif’s then advisor on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz.

 The committee had been tasked to propose reforms in the present status of tribal areas for bringing it into the national mainstream. The committee’s members visited all tribal agencies and frontier regions and compiled a comprehensive report, which the federal cabinet approved on March 2.

In the light of the recommendations of the committee, the federal cabinet under former prime minister Nawaz Sharif approved a set of measures including Fata’s merger with KP along with a 10 years reforms package to bring the region at par with rest of the country, however; since then, there is no further progress over the matter, which has now been one of the most important issues.

It has been learnt that federal government had made mind to go ahead on the reforms and not to leave it for the next government, however; it is so far unclear as to what obstacles were in the way.

The delay in implementation of Fata reforms is creating apprehensions in minds of those who are favouring the package, particularly the tribal people.