PESHAWAR - Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Monday said that his party will support the people of FATA in attainment of their Constitutional rights. “First give them rights and then decide their future through a referendum,” the JUI-F remarked while addressing a Press conference in Peshawar.

The JUI-F chief said he opposed the FATA reforms after discussing it in details with his party leaders. “The reforms package stresses only merger of FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but we state that first of all the tribal people should be given their due rights,” he said.

He said that jirgas were convened on the issue that had representations of all political parties as well as elected members and elders from each Tribal Agency. He said that it was agreed upon that government would be forced to accept all the demands aimed to ensure rights of the tribal people and then future of the area would be decided in accordance to their aspirations.

“Even Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had supported our demands and point of view,” he stated. He made it clear that JUI-F has been playing its due role for attainment of the rights of tribesmen and was not against merger of FATA with the KP.

He said that JUI-F will not create problems rather it would struggle for resolution of the issue through dialogue process. He also demanded that census should be conducted in FATA without any further delay and a development package should be announced for the area.

The JUI-F chief also came down hard on Chief Minister Pervez Khattak who accused the Federal government of not honouring its promises made with him on the China- Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

He said that all Chief Ministers present in the meeting with the Prime Minister had accepted the details about the CPEC shared with them and none of them raised any objection.

“Why didn’t (CM Khattak) raise objections in meeting with Prime Minister,” he asked and said that he remained silent throughout the briefing on the CPEC.

He said that even after meetings he (Khattak) admitted before the media that their objections have been removed but what now when work on the project has been started, he again raised the issue.

He said that nobody within PTI talked when Indus Highway was diverted towards Karak and funds have also been approved for dual carriageway like Motorway.

He said that another road would be constructed via Darra Tang which will enable people of Lakki Marwat to get easy access to Quetta while Karak and Kohat would be connected with Bannu district through another road.

He said that another road would be constructed to give an access to people of Bannu and DI Khan to trade directly with Afghanistan via Miran Shah.