ISLAMABAD - Expressing their resentment over policies of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government vis-à-vis Pakhtoons especially in Punjab, at least eight senators belonging to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have formally asked the Senate chairman to allocate them seats on the opposition benches.

The eight senators belonging to the “Independent Group” headed by their parliamentary leader Senator Hidayat Ullah Khan have submitted an application to the Senate Secretariat for allotment of seats on the opposition benches.

Senator Khan while talking to The Nation said that the decision has been taken because of the government's “lacklustre attitude” towards the development of the tribal region and the “maltreatment” being meted out to FATA residents in the Punjab in the aftermath of recent blasts in the country.

“FATA residents working in Punjab are being arrested and sent behind bars labelling them as terrorists. They (Fata people) are facing problems to work in the province being ruled by the PML-N,” he said.

"Moreover, the federal government is least interested in the development of FATA while it has launched metro bus service projects and other key development projects in other parts of the country," he said

“The government has not initiated any major development programme in the region in the last four years,” the senator said adding that FATA senators were the third biggest group in the Senate.

"Neither have we been taken on board on the FATA reforms nor on the new draft law “Rawaj Act” being prepared by the government to replace the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR), " he said.

The federal secretary SAFRON at a parliamentary committee had admitted that the Rawaj Act contained some provisions which may be questioned by human rights activists but the government has not yet shared the draft law with the FATA senators, he said.

The FATA legislator said that the federal government has not built a single primary school in his constituency during the last more than three years of its tenure.