Govt to bring Fata into mainstream: PM

JAMRUD – Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Monday said the government was determined to uplift the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and bring it at par with other parts of the country to fulfil the commitment made by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

Addressing the opening ceremony of Third Governor’s Fata Youth Festival at Jamrud Sports Complex in Khyber Agency, the prime minister said the government was in the process of enacting legislation to replace Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) with the laws of Pakistan.

Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, Minister for Interior Ahsan Iqbal, Deputy Speaker National Assembly Murtaza Javed Abbasi, Adviser to PM Amir Muqam and Chairperson Benazir Income Support Programme Marvi Memon, accompanied the prime minister.

The prime minister told the gathering that the legislation was in final phase as the government desired to accomplish the process with consensus. “This is not politics. This is a need of the hour. This is the commitment made by Qauid-e-Azam which needs to be fulfilled,” the prime minister remarked.

He said the expertise demonstrated by Fata youth at the festival were that they were in no way lesser than youths from other parts of the country.

He said the peace being enjoyed today in Fata was in consequent to the sacrifices by the security forces personnel, civil administration and the people of the tribal areas.

He said at one time, the elimination of terrorism from Fata looked to be an impossible task but the government achieved the objective by bringing all stakeholders together to purge the area of the scourge.

Prime Minister Abbasi said the tribal people always served Pakistan and their sacrifices for the country were unprecedented. He said Quaid-e-Azam had personally visited Fata and made commitment with the people that needed to be fulfilled.

He said everyone was agreed to replace the FCR with Pakistani laws as it had been formulated by the British rulers to achieve their objectives.

He said it was unfortunate that the people of Fata remained bereft of the facilities they deserved but now the government had decided to uplift them at par with other major cities of the country.

He said besides replacing Fata, the provision of required resources was essential and assured the people that the government would provide as much resources as required for the development of the area.

The prime minister said a university had already been established in Fata but the government would extend the facility in all tribal agencies.

He said the government would also make arrangements for girls’ education adding that roads, hospitals and other facilities were the rights of Fata people.

The prime minister said both Islam and Pakistan were peace-loving having no room for extremism. He said holding of festival proved that the sacrifices of the martyrs had come to fruition.

In his address, KPK Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra also mentioned the unprecedented sacrifices by the people of Fata at the time when the anti-state elements were poised to threaten the national security.

“Now we can claim that Fata is even safer than our cities and the credit goes to the government, which launched operations Zarb-e-Azb and Raddul Fasaad by brining all stakeholders together.”

He said the government was striving to create awareness among the people through the promotion of sports and cultural activities. Attributing the festival to the martyrs of the war against terrorism, the governor was confident to say that the government had broken the back of terrorists. He also declared Jamrud as town besides announcing to build an indoor gymnasium there.

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