Govt to repeal FCR in week’s time: Minister

Islamabad –  Minister of States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch said on Friday that the government was planning to repeal the draconian Frontier Crimes Regulation in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas within a week’s time.

Addressing a press conference along with Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Sartaj Aziz, who was head of Fata Reforms Committee, the minister said the FCR was a black law and it was necessary to rid ourselves of it. “The FCR would be eliminated within a week’s time,” he said.

He said the government was committed to abolish the black law of Frontier Crimes Regulations of Fata on priority which denied the residents the right to appeal any court for change in conviction, the right to legal representation and the right to present reasoned evidence.

He said that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor will send a summary to President Mamnoon Hussain to repeal the FCR shortly. He, however, made it clear that there was no set date for a merger of Fata with the KP province.

The minister said preparations for Federally Administrative Tribal Areas (Fata) merger were going on fast track and announcement of the merger could take a year or two. “Merger is not possible without complete preparation, however the government is trying hard to complete the preparation and announce the merger during its tenure because it had work hard on the process so it wanted to take credit of this historical decision,” the minister said.

He said presently there were not any administrative, financial or political hurdles in way of the merger and the government was fully implementing all the recommendations made by the Fata Reforms Committee in January 2017.

Sartaj Aziz said that work was underway to bring Fata into the mainstream. He said the Supreme Court would extend the jurisdiction of the high court to Fata. He said that a bill related to this development could not be passed in the Lower House on Friday due to the lack of quorum.

He said the government was now presenting the bill in this regard in the National Assembly on December 11 which was likely to be approved by the NA and then it would be finally approved by the Senate later next week.

A Rs1,000 billion Fata Development Fund will be created, he said, adding that many schemes were in the pipeline to help bring Fata into the economic mainstream.

Additionally, the government will be contacted in order to bring Fata into the mainstream administratively and Levies forces will be deployed there in order to bring it into the security mainstream.

“Once Fata is brought into the mainstream on the legal, administrative, economic and security fronts, then it will be merged with the KP,” Aziz said. A monthly briefing will be given on the Fata reforms, he said.

He said the process of recruiting additional 20,000 personnel in Levy force would be finalised within 2-3 months and the recruitment process was being held under Frontier Corps.

Abdul Qadir Baloch informed that the Rahdari system in Fata was also being abolished from January 1, 2018. He said under this system heavy taxes were imposed on any commodity being transported from other parts of the country to Fata.

He said a Council of Advisory had been formed comprising of members of Fata in National Assembly and Senate and Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would be bound to implement the advice of this committee.

Furthermore, he added that from today Additional Chief Secretary of Fata had been assigned the role of Fata Chief Operating Officer to control the issues of the area.

He said in health and education sectors of Fata, there were 2,293 vacant posts out of which 1,440 posts had been sanctioned while the remaining would be sanctioned within 15 days.

The minister said the government was not delaying any project as it had sufficient funds of Rs 80 billion for the current fiscal year.

 

 

Our Staff Reporter/APP

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