BAJAUR AGENCY  - Tribesmen and leaders of various political parties have welcomed the passage of Fata reforms related bill by the National Assembly to extend the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and Peshawar High Court to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. 

Talking to The Nation here on Saturday, they lauded the members of the National Assembly for passing the bill with the majority and termed it the beginning of a new era for tribesmen. 

A notable tribal elder and senior leader of PTI Bajaur Agency chapter Nawabzada Anwar Zeb Khan said that the Fata reforms bill passed by the National Assembly would not only extend the jurisdiction of Peshawar High Court and Supreme Courts to the tribal areas but would also ensure the protection of the fundamental rights of the tribal people. 

He termed approving of Fata bill in the National Assembly a roadmap towards the complete extension of country’s regular laws to the to the tribal areas. 

 Khan was of the view that extension of the superior courts’ jurisdictions to the Fata was the long-standing demand of the tribesmen as they had been deprived of basic rights since their birth. 

Policy Advisor at the National Society for the Protection of Human Rights (NSPHR) Habibul Hassan Yad said that approving the extension of country’s superior court’s jurisdiction to the tribal areas by the National Assembly was good news for the tribesmen as it was their long-standing demand. He said that the move would not only ensure the protection of the fundamental right of tribal people but would also help to ensure the role of law in the tribal areas. 

This is the beginning of a new era for the people of tribal areas and now the tribesmen who had been deprived of their basic rights would easily approach to the country’s superior courts against the injustice of political administration,” Yad said. 

PTI youth wing activist and member of Provincial Youth Assembly Muhammad Ayub Khan said that the extension of Peshawar High Court and Supreme Court jurisdiction to the tribal areas would not only ensure speedy justice to the tribesmen but also improve the socio-economic condition of the tribal areas. 

He added that social justice was vital for peace and socio-economic development of the region. 

Ayub Khan said that the move would not only help to ensure basic and fundamental rights to over six million tribesmen but also decrease the “unlimited powers” of the political agents in the tribal areas. He termed the passage of Fata bill in the National Assembly a roadmap towards the complete extension of country’s regular laws to the to the tribal areas. 

Khan added that the day was not far-off when the tribesmen would get rid of the century-old colonial governance system forever. 

About the importance of the bill, Ayub was the opinion that the move would help the tribesmen to challenge any decision and penalty of the political administration under the FCR in PHC and SC. Insaf Students Federation President Asadullah Khan Khilji said that Fata reforms bill passed by the National Assembly would not only extend the jurisdiction of Peshawar High Court and Supreme Courts to the tribal areas but would also ensure the protection of the fundamental rights of tribal people. 

Asad urged upon the government to implement the bill with immediate effect so the people could get access to the superior courts without further delay. 

JI local chapter Chief Qari Abdul Majeed said that approving of Fata bill by the National Assembly was truly a remarkable step towards the provision of judicial and basic rights to the people of tribal areas. 

He appreciated the members of the National Assembly for passing the bill with the great majority, adding that the credit of the move goes to the workers of all political and religious parties, lawmakers, students, and tribesmen who had been struggling for the cause since along. 

Muslim Students Federation (MSF) President at Government Post-Graduate College Khar Bajaur Abdullah Jan thanked the members of National Assembly for approving the bill with great majority, adding that passing of the bill with huge majority have shown that lawmakers of both the treasury and opposition benches were on the same page to extend the fundamental rights to the tribesmen. 

He said that the PML-N government was committed to bringing positive changes in the tribal areas and the people would soon feel some visible changes.