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Elders seek rehabilitation of IDPs before Fata reforms

Elders seek rehabilitation of IDPs before Fata reforms

PESHAWAR: The elders from different tribal regions have demanded of the government to take pragmatic steps for reconstruction and rehabilitation of damaged infrastructure and restoration of sustainable peace in tribal areas before enforcement of Fata reforms.

Addressing a news conference at Peshawar Press Club on Wednesday, Malik Haji Marjan Wazir, chief patron of All Fata Grand Alliance, said that government should focus on return of temporary displaced people (TDPs) to their respective localities in a dignified manner.

He asked government to rehabilitate the displaced tribal families before bringing any change in Fata through reforms. He said that work on development projects should be expedited along with ensuring restoration of peace in the tribal areas.

Mr Wazir said that government should take concrete steps to form an independent Fata legislative council or agency council. The process of reforms should be initiated to ensure development of Fata, he added.

The tribal elder said that the proposed council should be empowered to legislate for future of Fata. He said that political agents and Fata Secretariat should be made accountable to the proposed council.

Flanked by Malik Waris Khan, Malik Nadir Manan, Malik Attaullah and several other tribal elders from various agencies of Fata, Mr Wazir said that elimination of corruption could only be ensured in Fata with curtailing the powers of governor. He also demanded construction of university, medical and engineering colleges and postgraduate college in each tribal agency.

The tribal elder said that Fata should be given six per cent share in National Finance Commission (NFC) award and equal development schemes under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). “If government fails to resolve the issues of tribal people, then a referendum should be held to decide the future of Fata,” he added.

Commenting on a bill moved by Fata parliamentarians in National Assembly regarding merger of Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mr Wazir alleged that the lawmakers were opportunists.

He said that there was no representation of tribal people in Fata Reforms Committee. He added that the committee members visited all tribal agencies and frontier regions but remained inconclusive about future of Fata and proposed merger of the area with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The tribal elder said that future of millions of tribal people could not be put on stake owing to the recommendations of a group of four parliamentarians. He asked government to expedite development work, rehabilitation of TDPs and restoration of peace in Fata before the bringing any change in the region.

Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2016

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