Last year, the parliamentarians form FATA submitted a bill in the Nation Assembly and demanded the merging with KP and the extension of the jurisdiction of the courts to the area. On November 8, 2015, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif formed a five-member committee to finalise reforms in the tribal areas. The committee, under the supervision of Sartaj Aziz, presented the FATA Reforms Report to PM Nawaz Sharif and the National Assembly. The committee report consisted of practical recommendations the most important being, the merger with KP within the transition period of ten years, however, the ten-year period is too long and can have negative effects on the implantation of the bill. 

However, there are some political parties and their leaders like JUI (F) and PMAP rejected the report of the committee and demanded referendum in the Tribal Areas. Both these parties and their leaders call themselves the true representatives of Pashtuns. I think in the current circumstances a referendum is a waste of time and money. This is because half of the population of FATA is living outside FATA in IDP camps in different parts of the country. Secondly, more than 20% of the population has been living outside the country that has left for earning bread for their families. In the absence of half of the population of the area, a referendum is meaningless and a wastage of time. 

First, without taking on board all the communities of the area, particularly the women who are the second largest class in the region, all reforms and changes will be meaningless. Second, without the presence of local population in the areas all reforms are a waste of time and to make the reforms practicable all the IDPs should be returned before their implementation. Third, an agenda should be prepared for the local body election and steps should be taken so that in the upcoming 2018 general election the local people elect their representative for the KP assembly. Last but not the least Fata should be included in the CPEC project so that the people of Fata will get the same benefits form the project as the rest of the country. 

RAFI UDDIN MEHSUD,  

Fata, December 5.