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November 27, 2016

Referendum option on Fata’s status rejected


November 27, 2016

PESHAWAR: The Pakhtunkhwa Ulasi Tehrik (PUT) and certain tribal elders on Saturday rejected a proposal floated by a former governor to hold a referendum to decide the future of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).

Speaking at a press conference, Pakhtunkhwa Ulasi Tehrik convener Dr Said Alam Mehsud dismissed the suggestion made by former governor Sardar Mahtab Ahmad Khan.

He was flanked by tribal elders Gul Rehman from Mohmand Agency, Ghalib Afridi from Khyber Agency, Malik Ghulam Hussain Bangash, and Yousaf Anwar of Pakistan Mazdoor Kissan Party.

Terming the proposal illogical, he alleged that the former governor didn’t want to bring the militancy-hit people of the tribal region into the mainstream of life. 

Dr Said Alam Mehsud maintained that Sardar Mahtab wanted to divide the Pakhtuns. 

He believed that the merger of Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would help unite the Pakhtuns. 

He also accused Punjab of conspiring to usurp the resources of the Pakhtuns. “We will not tolerate injustice anymore and will snatch our rights,” he declared.

He said the federal government had formed the Fata Reforms Committee which in its report stating that majority of the tribespeople wanted Fata to be absorbed into KP. 

“The former governor is demanding referendum, but this is unacceptable to the Pakhtuns,” he asserted. He argued that all federating units should be treated equally and given equal representation in the Parliament, the armed forces, the Federal Public Service Commission and the Foreign Office.

Dr Said Alam Mehsud said that a letter would be written to the political parties striving for the rights of the Pakhtuns to take a unified stance on this issue.

“We will also write a letter to Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party leader Mahmood Khan Achakzai to convene a meeting of the political parties to evolve consensus on the issue,” he added. He also demanded the formation of a unified Pakhtunkhwa province from Chitral to Bolan and from the Margalla Hills to Waziristan.

“We ask the federal government to hold a referendum to know about the opinion of the Pakhtuns for the establishment of a united province,” he said.

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