Bajwa supports FATA’s merger

ADDRESSING a select group of elders in Khyber Agency on Friday, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa threw his weight behind the merger of tribal areas with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa but also added that any change in the status of the region would be made with the consent of all stakeholders. He also said that the Army will also arrange a meeting of pro and anti-merger elements from the tribal areas in near future.
Indeed, Pakistan Army has made strenuous efforts not only for restoring peace in the restive areas of FATA but also spent millions of rupees there from its own funds to reconstruct the damaged infrastructure and provide necessary facilities such as education and healthcare to conflict ridden people. This is the reason that the tribal people see the personnel of armed forces with great respect and admiration. Interaction with the tribal elders is also proving to be important to address their concerns and misperceptions. As per the FATA Reforms Committee, majority of tribal people support merger with the KP given their close proximity but the Army Chief’s offer to arrange a meeting with the anti-merger elements indeed is the right way to go in order to build an across-the-board consensus on an important issue to foil the conspiracies of the enemy who is bent upon making the reforms process in FATA a controversial one. Whilst the National Assembly has passed a Bill extending the jurisdiction of Supreme Court and Peshawar High Court to FATA, we expect that other recommendations of FATA Reforms Committee that also envisages massive development program for the militancy-hit region will also be put in practical mode at the earliest in order to bring these areas at par with other areas of the country. Indeed along with the security personnel, the tribal people have given unmatched sacrifices to win the war on terror, it is now time to rebuild their lives and bring them into the national mainstream without any delay or taking into account political expediency.

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