KHYBER AGENCY - The tribesmen initiated protest demonstration against possible decision of merging of the tribal belt into Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa at Hamza Baba Chowk in Charwazgai area of Tehsil Landi Kotal on Tuesday.

In this connection, a rally was jointly organised by Jamiat-e-Ulama-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and Khyber Union and was attended by a number of political workers, tribal elders and representatives of the youth. The protesters were carrying banners and placards inscribed with writings in favour of their demands. They were chanting full-throat slogans like including “go FCR go”, “merger unacceptable”.

Addressing on the occasion, the protest leaders including JUI-F Fata Secretary General Mufti Ijaz, Fata Grand Alliance leader Malik Khan Marjan, President Khyber Union Bazaar Gul Afridi, President Qabail Youth Movement Saeed Khan and others rejected proposal of merging the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas into Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and said that the decision made without consultation with the tribesmen would be resisted at every forum.

Instead of becoming part of underdeveloped KP province, we will prefer to have our own province, they said. They maintained that they wanted to abolish Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) but merging Fata with KP was foreign agenda and they would utilise all their energies to foil it and forcibly imposition of it would be unacceptable.

They said that the infrastructure was destroyed in the tribal belt that needed to be rehabilitated, adding that the tribesmen wanted peace and development so that they could lead their lives as per their rites and traditions. They threatened that if the rulers imposed the merger decision by force prior to consent of tribal people, they would shut the motorway, GT Road and Pak-Afghan Highway for all kind of traffic.

Due to protest, the Pak-Afghan Highway at Charwazgai area remained closed for traffic for 2 hours that added to the problems of transporters and travellers.