ISLAMABAD  - Pakistan People's Party (PPP) will approach other political parties to launch a massive campaign for setting up local governments in the tribal agencies.

"Local governments are being set up this year throughout the country including more than 40 cantonments and there is no reason why the people of tribal areas should be kept deprived of their right to self-governance," said Former President Asif Ali Zardari in a meeting with 40-member delegation of Bajaur Political Alliance, comprising representatives of all political parties, here at Zardari House before leaving for Karachi.

Describing briefly the reforms introduced by the PPP government, Zardari said, "The door for reforms was flung open for the first time in a century by making changes in the Frontier Crimes Regulation, lifting ban on political activities in FATA and introducing judicial reforms by setting up of FATA Tribunals."

Spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar said that separately the former President also asked the relevant party officials to undertake ground work for bringing all political parties on one platform for further political reforms in FATA.

He said that the Senate committee on law and justice had already approved a constitutional amendment bill seeking to amend article 247 of the constitution so as to extend the jurisdiction of Supreme Court to the tribal areas besides a resolution adopted unanimously by the Senate on the same subject.

As a first step the PPP Co-Chairman will take up with the Prime Minister and other political parties the Senate initiative and seek to develop consensus on extending jurisdiction of superior courts to tribal areas to protect its peoples' fundamental rights, he said.

The former president also called for early return of the internally displaced persons to their homes. Now that the area is said to have been cleared those in the camps must be safely repatriated to their homes, he said.

He revealed that the PPP initiative to allow political activities in FATA was opposed by some people under various pretexts.

However, the party believed that political reforms and peoples participation in governance strengthened security and not undermined it and called for early measures to set up local governments in the tribal areas.

The multi party Bajaur Political Alliance led by its President Rahat Yousuf of PML-N included former MNA Haroon Rashid of JI, Syed Badshah of PML-Q, Malik Ataullah of ANP, Guldad Khan of PTI and former MNA Akhunzada Chattan of PPP, besides the presidents and general secretaries of the chapters of PPP in various tribal agencies.