ISLAMABAD - Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) parliamentarians Saturday once again threatened that they would not allow to run the affairs of parliament and other main institutions if the federal government failed to fully implement the proposed Fata reforms.

“Fata parliamentarians with ANP lawmakers would share future course of action on 14 September (Thursday), if practical steps were not taken to ensure Fata reforms,” Fata parliamentary leader in the National Assembly Shah G Gul Afridi shared with The Nation.

Fata lawmakers have thrice threatened the incumbent government to take practical steps for FATA reforms, including representation of FATA in 2018 general elections, proper share in the National Finance Award (NFC) award etc.

“We expect the government would force us to stage sit-in in front of parliament house...Hopefully government will deal this matter very soon,” said Afirdi while responding to a query regarding their future planning.

About a high-level National Committee on the Implementation of Fata Reforms, Afridi lauded Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for taking interest in the matter. “The Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan’s interest in the matter shows that there would be no need of sit-in,” he remarked.

The Prime Minister last Friday directed the Minister for Law and Justice to take fast track legislative and administrative measures for mainstreaming of FATA so that area’s can have access to the fundamental rights.

The committee overseeing the FATA reforms process had decided to install a transitional mechanism. The decision taken in this effect has revived the package for mainstreaming of the tribal areas after it was frozen by Nawaz Sharif-led government under the pressure from its coalition partners — JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and PkMAP chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai.

This session of the committee was meant to set the guidelines for future action for implementation of the reforms.  The FATA Reforms Package was approved by the federal cabinet on March 2 but the government later deferred the Reforms Bill in the National Assembly.

The JUI-F chief had expressed numbers of reservations over the report presented by the FATA Reforms Committee in the Parliament.

“I have reservations over the report of the FATA Reforms Committee on the status of tribal areas as it is replete with wrong statistics and information,” JUI-F chief remarked in one of his press conferences.

The reforms hit a snag when former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, on the request of JUI-F chief a couple of months ago, had directed the government to hold back the controversial Rewaj Bill, presented by it in the National Assembly and the decision was implemented.

SHERPAO FOR EARLY MERGER OF FATA, KP

Staff Reporter from Peshawar adds: Chairman Qaumi Watan Party Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao on Saturday called for early merger of Fata with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to bring the tribal areas into the mainstream.

He said that merger of the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) into KP would not only stamp out the black law of the colonial eras, the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR), but would also open up new vistas of development and uplift to tribal people.

He was addressing a public meeting in Charssadda. QWP KP Chairman Sikandar Hayat Khan Sherpao and other party members were also present on the occasion. Sherpao said while referring to the federal cabinet’s meeting that the federal government should take its allies and stakeholders into confidence on the merger and devise a comprehensive policy on the matter.

He said that any solution of the issue short of Fata-KP merger would not be acceptable. He said that if certain quarters had reservations over the merger, then the matter should thoroughly be debated in the Parliament.

Sherpao out-rightly rejected the interim census report on Fata population, saying the population of Fata was shown lesser than the actual. He said that the QWP had earlier expressed reservations over the census process and had recorded its protest over installation of counting machines for KP and Fata in Islamabad. He said that unlike other provinces, the machine was not installed in Peshawar.

He said that undermining the population of Fata was sheer injustice with the tribesmen which, he said, would further deprive them of their share in the national the resources, job quota as well as representation in the Parliament.

Sherpao said that Pakhtuns rendered matchless sacrifices for the country but, he said, they were always denied their due rights. He said that the aim of the QWP was ensuring the rights of Pakhtuns. He added that the only objective of the QWP was welfare of Pakhtuns and it would continue its struggle for the cause.