PESHAWAR  -    Various political parties on Sunday unanimously demanded of the government to announce the elections schedule of provincial assembly seats for merged tribal districts in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly immediately.

“We welcome giving representation to the people of merged tribal districts in KP Assembly. This is the right time to announce elections schedule for the provincial assembly seats for tribal districts. The government should not only increase provincial assembly seats for tribal districts but also give one third representation to tribal lawmakers in the provincial cabinet.”

This was the crux of a day-long All Parties Tribal Conference held under the auspices of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Prominent among the speakers were the ANP’s Sardar Babak, PPP provincial president Humayun Khan, ex-MNA Faisal Karim Kundi and Akhunzad Chittan, PML-N’s Ikhtiar Wali, QWP’s Hashim Babar, JAH’s Fazlur Rehman Madani, IT’s Hameed Hussain, Daud Afridi and Ejaz Mohmand. The moot was held at Almarkaz-e-Islami.

Criticising the PTI governments in the centre and province, they said that the country’s economy is at the verge of collapse. Besides, law and order situation was deteriorating day-by-day. It seemed that government was directionless as it had so far failed on all fronts.

Issuing a 34-point joint declaration, it was stated that accommodating all frontier regions in a single seat of provincial assembly was unacceptable, thus it would be better if FRs adjacent to any tribal district be made part of that provincial assembly constituency. 

In order to educate tribesmen on the importance of vote, the government must run awareness campaigns through print, electronic media and social media for the purpose.

The APC strongly condemned elements creating hurdles in implementation and extension of judicial and policing system into former tribal areas, adding protests would be staged jointly by political parties if such attempts were not stopped in future.

Army should be gradually sent back. Local police, Levis and Khasadar forces be given charge to maintain law and order situation in erstwhile Fata, the speakers said adding that all perks and privileges being given to police should also be ensured to the personnel of Levis and Khasadar.

The 30,000 vacant posts be filled by recruiting tribal youth only, they said. The government should hold local bodies elections in erstwhile Fata so as to fill the political vacuum there forthwith.  Not only this, the government should ensure compensating tribesmen who had suffered there, besides launching mega development projects and specifying 3 percent share in the NFC awards for tribal districts.

The missing persons should be recovered, and those involved in any crime be produced before courts. The speakers called upon government adding that landmines laid in former tribal areas be cleared to avoid any casualty in future.

In addition, industrial estates be setup and mining of minerals should also be regularised in tribal districts, and tribesmen be exempted from all kind of taxes for next 20 years.

Through the joint declaration, it was also demanded that a proper share should be given to former Fata in the billions-dollar CPEC projects.