ISLAMABAD – Political Parties Joint Action Committee on FATA Reforms expressed concern over the complete overlooking of their recommendations for holding free and fair elections in FATA by Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and feared that in the given circumstances even after the extension of Political Parties Order to the Tribal Areas the real objective of public participation in these elections could not be achieved.

Political Parties Joint Action Committee on FATA Reforms, a conglomeration of 10 political parties, has sent a working paper, containing reforms proposals and reservations over the extension of Political Parties Order to the Tribal Areas, to Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Fakharruddin G Ibrahim on December 27, 2012, but unfortunately the Election Commission of Pakistan had paid no heed to their submissions, said Senior Vice-President of Pakistan Muslim League(Quaid) Ajmal Khan Wazir while talking to TheNation here on Monday.

Giving brief details of their recommendations, which they had submitted to Election Commission of Pakistan, Ajmal Khan Wazir said that they had requested Election Commission as well as NADRA to constitute special teams to issue National Identity Card to the people in tribal areas, particularly to womenfolk, majority of them are not having the CNICs. But no attention was paid to their demand neither by Election Commission nor NADRA had taken any steps to expeditiously issue CNICs to the FATA people resultantly majority of people, particularly womenfolk, could not be issued with CNICs even now, he regretted.

Ajmal Khan Wazir said that without CNICs the extension of Political Parties Order to these areas would be of no use for the common people who could not play any role in the electoral process, hence the manipulators who had been winning the elections from these areas with the power of the money and influence would once again come into power.

He further said that they had also given the proposal of providing with voting facility to the internally displaced people (IDPs) who right now are residing in various camps but no practical step was taken in this regard as well by the Election Commission of Pakistan.

Ajmal Khan Wazir demanded of the Election Commission to facilitate the IDPs in Togh Serai Camp, New Durrani Camp, Jalozai Camp, D.I.Khan, Hangu, Kohat, Peshawar and Tank voting facility to cast vote to the candidates of their respective area while remaining in these camps.

Similarly the 10 parties alliance demanded holding of the upcoming elections under the supervision of judicial officers like in the rest of the country instead of Political Agents to ensure transparency in these elections.

As at present the judicial officers are not available in the Tribal Areas the services of judicial officers of nearby districts of settled areas could be hired as it is the only way to maintain transparency in these elections.

Ajmal Khan Wazir said that instead of the central leaders of various political parties Election Commission of Pakistan should engage in direct interaction with the political leaders from Tribal Areas as in this way they could have clear view of the problems being faced by the people living in these remote areas which are coming under the direct party-based elections for the first time in the country’s history.

The 10 parties conglomeration comprised Awami National Party, Jamiat-I-Ulema-I-Islam(Fazl), Qaumi Watan Party, Pakistan People’s Party,  Jamaat-I-Islami, Muttahida Qoumi Movement, National Party, Pakhtunkhawa Milli Awami Party, Pakistan Muslim League(Nawaz) and Pakistan Muslim League(Quaid-I-Azam).