PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtun-khwa Governor Masood Kausar Wednesday said extension of the Political Parties Act and other reforms to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) would not only create awareness amongst the tribesmen but also help establish peace in the crisis-stricken region.
Speaking as chief guest at the consultative jirga on ‘Political reforms in Fata’ at Governor’s House on Wednesday, he said the formation of Frontier Crimes Regulation Tribunal, Extension of the Political Parties Act and removal of draconian sections from the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) were the historic steps taken by the present government which, he said, would take time for true implementation. “These reforms must have been introduced earlier but the successive governments deprived the tribesmen of their political, constitutional, human and legal rights,” he added.
Chairman of Shaheed Bhutto Foundation and President Asif Ali Zardari’s spokesman Senator Farhatullah Babar, Jamaat-e-Islami provincial chief Prof Mohammad Ibrahim, Awami National Party (ANP) provincial general secretary Arbab Tahir Khalil, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) provincial president Senator Sardar Ali Khan, provincial president of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Pir Sabir Shah, provincial chief of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl Maulana Amanullah, Peshawar High Court Bar Association President Abdul Latif Afridi, Shah Farman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, Fata parliamentary leader Munir Orakzai, members of National Assembly and tribal elders attended the day-long consultative meeting.
Senator Farhatullah Babar said there must be a proper mechanism for implementation of the reforms as civil and military bureaucracies were creating hurdles, particularly in way of the political parties activities in Fata.
He said the Action-in-Aid of (Civil Power) Regulations were basically meant for producing missing persons or those illegally detained by security agencies before the court of law and if the regulations were misused, then it should be reformed or taken back.
The senator said the tribesmen should be taken into confidence about implementation of the reforms which, he hoped, must be ensured for the economic, political and economic development of the tribesmen. “These reforms itself are essential for a durable peace in the tribal areas,” he added.
Abdul Latif Afridi said though the government had extended Political Parties Act to tribal areas, the military and the political authorities were not allowing politicians to carry out political activities there. “Though insufficient, these reforms are a milestone in the history of tribal belt which will yield positive results if sincerely implemented,” he added.
Prof Mohammad Ibrahim termed the Action-in-Aid of (Civil Power) Regulations against interest of the tribal people.Arbab Tahir Khalil said the tribesmen were peaceful and law-abiding citizens but unfortunately some vested interest and foreign terrorists had turned the tribal areas into a battlefield, asking the tribesmen to oust the foreign terrorists from their soil. He said his party would honour the tribal people decision about the future status of Fata.
However, some of the tribal elders and chieftains opposed the extension of Political Parties Act and proposed merger of Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, saying they wanted to live with century-old customs and traditions in the tribal belt.