KHYBER AGENCY - The tribal leaders have opposed the merger of Federally Administered Tribal Areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and demanded a separate province for the people.

A grand jirga of tribal elders was held in Jamrud Bazaar on Thursday which was attended by dozens of elites from the seven tribal agencies and six Frontier Regions across the tribal belt.

Malik Attaullah, Malik Waris Khan Afridi, Malik Khan Marjan, Malik Abdur Razaq, Ameer Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Haji Baz Gul, Subedar Major of Khasadar Abdul Jalil Dawar and coordinator FATA Supreme Council, Col (retd) Inamullah, while addressing on the occasion, threatened of self-immolation if the merger decision was imposed against their will.

They criticized the ‘Thana and Patwar Culture’ and said it is not only against the tribal traditions but would leave more than 27,000 Khasadar unemployed.

The speakers added that for the last one decade hundreds of Khasadar have sacrificed their lives for the restoration of peace in FATA.

They lauded Maulana Fazlur Rahman for supporting their stance and urged him to raise voice for their rights in the parliament and play an active role to block what they called demand of handful of tribal people.

The grand jirga also announced a sit-in on 23 December in Islamabad against the merger of FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

They asked the tribesmen to join it for conveying a message to the authorities that they are representing the majority in FATA.

The tribal jirga along with Khasadar force also took out a protest rally at Bab-e-Khyber against the imposition of Thana Culture in the tribal belt.