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December 15, 2016

Resolution calling for KP, Fata merger passed


December 15, 2016

JUI-F opposes move in KP Assembly

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Wednesday passed a resolution calling for the merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) into the province amid opposition by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F).

Dr Haider Ali of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) presented the resolution signed by members of various political parties in the House. The resolution reads, "This Assembly demands the federal government to merge Fata into KP so that the tribal areas could be developed by bringing them into mainstream."

Mufti Janan of the JUI-F said his party would not support the merger of Fata with KP without taking the tribespeople into confidence. He said that Fata should be declared a separate province as KP didn't have the capacity and resources to govern such a large area.

Defending the resolution, Senior Minister Sikandar Sherpao, who belongs to the Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) said there should not be two laws for the people of a country.

He said the tribal people had remained deprived of their due rights owing to the negligence of successive governments. He maintained that the federal government deserved praise for taking steps to bring Fata into the mainstream. Sikandar Sherpao said recommendations of the Fata Reforms Committee should be implemented in letter and spirit.

He said the provincial assembly passed a resolution in 2012 in favour of the merger of Fata with the province. The assembly once again protested against the federal government for not issuing 'no-objection certificate' to a delegation of the British High Commission to visit the provincial capital.

The members of the assembly wore black armbands as a mark of protest. Dr Haider Ali said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was underdeveloped and foreign donors and agencies were visiting the province in connection with development projects, but the federal government didn't allow them to enter the province.

He said it was breach of privilege of this august House as first the delegation of the DFID and now the team of the British High Commission was stopped from entering KP. Mufti Fazal Ghafoor of JUI-F and Muhammad Ali Shah Bacha of PPP supported the protest but said the provincial government was also responsible for it.

They said that such issues should be taken up at the Council of Common Interests (CCI) and National Economic Council, but the chief minister and ministers were least bothered to attend the assembly session let alone other meetings.

Muhammad Ali Shah complained that the provincial Finance Ministry didn't release the 10 percent share of hydel net profit from Malakand-III powerhouse to Malakand district.Amjad Afridi, a dissident member of PTI from Kohat, also lashed out at the government, saying the amount on account of royalty on natural gas and oil to Kohat was not released for the last two years.

He also staged a protest sit-in in front of the Speaker's dais. "Rs 17 million was released to the Member of the National Assembly, but the MPAs from Kohat and Hangu have yet to get the royalty amount for undertaking development work in the two districts.

Speaker Asad Qaiser ruled that the Finance Department should ensure the release of these funds within 10 days. The House also unanimously adopted a resolution moved by Mufti Fazal Ghafoor of JUI-F asking the federal government and the Foreign Office to raise the issue of massacre of Muslims in Myanmar and Syria at the international level. Sardar Aurangzeb Nalotha of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) through a question raised the issue of financial assistance and job quota of the people with disabilities.



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