PESHAWAR - Backing FATA’s merger into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province prior to 2018 general elections, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) KP Sunday called up government to hold local bodies’ elections next year in tribal areas and implement Shariah regulations there instead of extending any other law.

Speaking at a news conference at the party’s provincial headquarters Almarkazi Islami, JI Provincial Chief Mushtaq Ahmad Khan said that it was demand of tribal people that FATA should be merged into KP by making 22nd amendment in the Constitution immediately.

Moreover, to end existing sense of deprivation among tribesmen, government must announce a huge development package for FATA, he said, adding that it was a right time to give representation to tribal areas in KP Assembly.

In addition, local bodies elections must be held immediately in FATA and all financial and administrative powers be handed over to the newly elected public representatives, JI KP chief maintained.

Flanked by JI FATA Ameer Sahizada Haroon-ur-Rasheed, General Secretary Munsif Khan, Shah Faisal Afridi and Dr Samiullah Jan, he rejected a law in the name of Rawaj order for tribal areas said that instead of such black rule, Shariah regulations should be implemented in tribal belt.

In the same breath, he also rejected Rs 90 billion package by the federal government for FATA and asked for a handsome package of Rs 500 billion for ever-neglected tribal areas and excluding FATA from all kind of taxes.

“We welcome to recruit 20,000 personnel for Levis force. But, it is not enough, thus, we demand creation of more jobs in tribal areas,” he added.

Furthermore, he said that FATA must have advantage from CPEC like other parts of the country, stop constant load shedding there and set up industrial zones in tribal belt.

JI would organize a grand jirga soon after Eid-ul-Azha so that to discuss reforms package for FATA, and raise a strong voice for its people and their rights. Tribal people have rendered a lot of sacrifices for the sake of the country, but every time, they have been deceived by rules, Mushtaq Ahmad Khan said.

It is crystal clear that terrorism could not be eliminated from FATA, if government didn’t provide education and other basic facilities of life to people of tribal areas, he said, adding that government should establish colleges, universities there so that to bring tribal people at par with people of other parts of the country.