KHYBER AGENCY - Fata Political Alliance on Sunday demanded merging the tribal belt with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and holding local bodies’ elections in the areas.

The alliance leaders were addressing a press conference in Landi Kotal Press Club. The leaders included Jamaat-e-Islami (JI)’s Murad Hussein and Said Hakeem, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s Malik Khurshid and Imran Shinwari, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)’s Zer Hussain, Khyber Youth Forum (KYF)’s Inayat Shah Afridi and others. The leaders said atmosphere for a separate province was unfavourable; therefore, merging Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) was the most suitable demand of the tribal people that need to be materialised.

The leaders enumerated potential benefits of Fata’s merger into Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP), saying the tribal people would get representation in the provincial assembly in addition to receiving enough budgets to be utilised for the uplift of the tribesmen. They further added that immediate initiation of local bodies’ elections in Fata would provide a smooth way to transfer powers to grass roots to improve living standards of the tribesmen.

The leaders claimed those who opposed the merger were not sincere with the people of Fata and were indirectly supporting the draconian law, Frontier Crimes Law (FCR).