ISLAMABAD - Chairman Executive Committee of Pakistan Bar Council on Thursday urged the Election Commission of Pakistan and caretaker government to take all steps necessary to ensure general elections in erstwhile FATA along with rest of the country.

A press release issued by the PBC’s Secretary stated that Chairman of the Executive Committee Shabbir Shar, PBC’s former vice chairman Mohammad Ahsan Bhoon and former Chairman Executive Committee Hafeezur Rehman Chaudhry appreciated the decision of the federal government to merge FATA into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by way of amendment in the Constitution.

They urged the ECP and government to ensure the right of franchise to people of erstwhile FATA in the general elections scheduled for July 25 enabling them also to choose and elect their representatives to the national and provincial assemblies.

“Any delay of election in the area till after assuming charge of the new government in KP after election may frustrate and impair the process of free and fair elections thus depriving the people of FATA to elect representatives of their own choice in a transparent manner,” the press release stated.

“They demanded of the Election Commission of Pakistan and caretaker federal government to ensure and make all possible steps for holding fair and free election in former FATA on July 25, 2018,” the statement said.

Former Chairman PBC Advocate Azam Nazir Tarrar told The Nation that any demand in this regard should have been come after consultation of Council as a whole.

He, however, supports the merger of FATA into KP and the right of vote to people of the area.

Another active member of the Council Advocate Raheel Kamran Sheikh told The Nation that demand of individuals cannot be termed demand of the PBC.

He further stated that no meeting of the Executive Committee has been held so far in this regard.

He said that he supported the right of vote to people of FATA, however, “the demand for holding elections there (FATA) on 25th July seems practically impossible to meet given that rest of the country is already halfway through the electoral process as per schedule.”

“Such statements raise apprehension that the same may have been made to please ‘certain powers’ who want postponement of the general elections 2018 on one or the other pretext,” he added.

He further said that appropriate resolution of PBC is necessary on such important issues.

“Merger of FATA into KP and elections there (FATA) are most important matters calling for an urgent meeting of the Council within a week so that it could pass an appropriate resolution,” he added.