PESHAWAR - FATA Political Alliance (FPA) Tuesday demanded merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, extend them basic human rights and give proper representation to tribesmen in the provincial assembly.

The protesters led by the FPA President Iqbal Afridi, a large number of tribesmen participated in the protest camp set-up here outside Peshawar press club. The demonstrators rejected the FATA Reforms Committee (FRC) and urged upon the federal government that time has come to abolish Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR), a British era draconian law immediately, and ensure provision of basic human rights to tribesmen.

In the protest camp besides others leaders of almost all main political parties including Awami National Party Central General Secretary Mian Iftikhar, Sardar Hussain Babal, Pakistan Peoples’ Party central leader Akhunzada Chatan, Provincial General Secretary Humayun Khan, Jamaat-e-Islami leader and the Political Alliance General Secretary Zarnoor Afridi, Ejaz Afridi, FATA Lawyers Forum President Rahim Shah, Pakistan Falahi Tehreek Youth President Shah Hussain and Pakhtun Students Federation central leader Taj Wazir were among the participants.

While speaking on the occasion, the tribal elders and politicians said that they have been enforced to live enslave under the black FCR law, despite a fact that tribal people did rendered a lot of sacrifices for the sake of the country, they added. They alleged that the tribesmen have not been accepted wholeheartedly, which is regrettable.

They also said that why the government wasn’t starting formal work on merging FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, adding if there is any hurdle, the people of tribal areas should be consulted in this regard.

From day first tribal people had been kept deprived of their due rights as compared to rest of the federating units, they lamented adding today the government had a golden opportunity to work on all that reforms by implementing that progress and development is ensured in militancy hit-tribal belt.

They informed that FATA Political Alliance was formed aimed to ensure due rights of tribesmen, and it would try its level best for FATA merge with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and abolish FCR forever, the speakers said.

“We time and again asked the government not to wait anymore implementing these two much important points, but to no avail,” they said.

The tribal people should also be given proper representation in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, extend domain of the Superior Courts into tribal belt, which according to them would ensure protecting the fundamental rights of tribesmen, had ever been denied under the FCR.

They urged the government to take practical steps for bringing durable peace and stability in tribal belt by eliminating militancy, provide employments to tribal youth and compensate the tribesmen whose homes and properties were damaged in the recent earthquake in FATA, they maintained.