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December 15, 2016

Elders seek practical steps for reconstruction in Fata


December 15, 2016

PESHAWAR: The elders belonging to different tribal regions Wednesday demanded the government to take practical steps for reconstruction of the damaged infrastructure and restoration of peace in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) ahead of the implementation of Fata reforms.

Speaking at a press conference at the Peshawar Press Club on Wednesday, Malik Marjan Wazir, chief patron of Fata Grand Alliance, said that the government should focus its attention on return of temporary displaced people (TDPs) to respective areas in a dignified manner.

He stressed the need for early rehabilitation of the displaced families in their respective tribal agencies, prior to bringing any change in Fata through reforms. Besides, he said, the pace of development projects should be accelerated along with ensuring restoration of peace in the tribal regions.

Suggesting concrete steps for an independent Fata legislative council or Agency Council, he said that reforms process should be initiated to ensure development of Fata.

Flanked by Malik Waris Khan, Malik Nadir Manan, and Malik Attaullah along with tribal elders from various tribal regions of Fata, he stated that elimination of corruption in Fata was linked to shelving of powers of the governor.

He also asked for construction of a university, medical and engineering colleges, and postgraduate college in each tribal agency.

In addition, the tribal elder demanded that Fata should be given six percent share in the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award and equal distribution of development schemes under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

However, he said that if the government failed in resolution of tribal people’s issues, a referendum should be held to decide the future of Fata.

Haji Marjan said that the Fata Reforms Committee had not given representation to Fata, saying that it had visited entire tribal agencies and Frontier Regions, which remained inconclusive about future of tribal regions and immediately proposed merger of Fata into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The grand alliance chief said that Sartaj Aziz-led Fata Reforms Committee had become controversial.

He said the future of millions of tribesmen could not be put at stake on the recommendation of a group of four MPs and asked the government to expedite development work, rehabilitation of TDPs, and restoration of peace in Fata, before bringing any change or reforms.


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