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Mohmand Agency elders oppose Fata merger with KP

National

May 8, 2018

GHALLANAI: The elders of various tribes on Monday rejected the statement of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi about the merger of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and asked for consulting the representatives of tribespeople before making any decision about the future of the areas.

The prime minister has vowed mainstreaming Fata in the remaining tenure of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government a few days ago. Speaking at a press conference tribal elders of Tarakzai, Halimzai, Baizai, Khwezai, Safi and Utmankhel tribes including Malik Fayyaz, Malik Ahmad, Malik Ayaz and others said that the government had not consulted the tribal elders in this regard.

They said that the merger decision was being imposed on the tribespeople from Islamabad, adding the five-member Fata Reforms Committee formed by the then premier did not have any representation of tribespeople. The speakers said the tribal elders were not taken into confidence about the decision and the decision was made on the opinion of a few parliamentarians from Fata.

The elders said majority of the tribespeople were against the merger and asked the government to decide the future of Fata as per the aspirations of tribespeople. They also announced to convene a grand jirga of all the tribes of Mohmand Agency to develop consensus and chalk out a joint strategy in this regard.

The former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had formed a five-member committee in supervision of the then Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz to consult the tribespeople, politicians, elders and people from other walks of life.

Its other members included State Minister of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) Lt-Gen(R) Abdul Qadir Baloch, Advisor to Prime on National Security Lt-Gen (R) Nasir Khan Janjua, KP former governor Sardar Mahtab Ahmed Khan and Member National Assembly Zahid Hamid. The committee had submitted its report to the then premier Nawaz Sharif. The report had recommended the government to merger Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

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