Creating FATA separate province difficult: Sartaj

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Reforms Committee recommends merger with KP; Rs 500b plan to develop FATA

Staff Reporter

Islamabad—The Committee on FATA Reforms, 2016, has recommended that the Federally Administered Tribal Area should be merged with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as creation of new province is difficult.
This was stated by Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Friday after he tabled the report of the committee in the National Assembly.
Explaining the salient features of the report, Sartaj Aziz said comprehensive proposals have been prepared by the committee formed by the Prime Minister to address the problems of FATA residents.
He said report was prepared after holding detailed consultations with all the stakeholders including elected representatives of FATA, traders, journalists and civil society members of the area.
The Adviser said the committee recommended that FATA should be merged with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as creation of new province is difficult. However, he said the process will take time.
On the other hand, Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch told the House that TDPs will be fully rehabilitated within first five years and in the second phase mega development projects will be implemented in the area.
He said that local bodies’ elections have been proposed to be held in FATA next year.
Speaking in the National Assembly, Minister for States and Frontier Regions Lt.Gen (Retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch on Friday said FATA Reforms Committee recommended enforcement of Rewaj Act by abolishing colonial era black law FCR and merging of tribal areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in next five years.
He said the committee also recommended holding of local government elections in 2017 and repatriation of internally displaced people to their native areas by December, next.
The minister said hefty amount of Rs 500 billion would be spent on the development of Federal Administrated Tribal Areas in next five years before its merger with KPK.
He said it was also proposed to set up an advisory committee comprising FATA parliamentarians (both Senators and MNAs) to give their recommendations to the governor KP for development of FATA.
The minister said that century old black law FCR was being repealed by introducing new law which would be in accordance with tribal traditions, customs and culture.
He said unfortunately FATA has been deprived of various facilities since its inception in Pakistan. The people of FATA rendered supreme sacrifices for the country, he added.
Abdul Qadir said administrative structure of FATA had been badly affected due to killing of around 1500-2000 “Maliks” and elders of the areas. Mostly, people of FATA have to dislocate due to law and order situation and operation against the militants to purge the areas from terrorists,
he said.
He said the committee proposed four basic options for reforms including maintaining status quo but introduce judicial/administrative reforms and increase focus on development activities, create FATA council on the pattern of Gilgit Baltistan, create a separate province of FATA and integrate FATA with KPK.

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