Secretary General of Jamaat e Islami, Liaqat Baloch and leading tribal elders have called upon the government to immediately present a bill for FATA’s merger in the National Assembly in the light of the Sartaj Aziz committee report. Addressing a joint press conference at Mansoora on Sunday, they held the government responsible for the delay in FATA’s merger. Tribal elders known s Tribal Mishran, present at the press conference included Zarnoor Afridi, Dr Munsif Khan, Maulana Wahid Gul, Soofi Hamid, Taj Muhammad Wazeer, Raj Muhammad Orakzai, Hikmatyar and JI chief from tribal areas, Sardar Khan.
Liaqat Baloch said that the Parliament was the supreme institution and there was no constitutional requirement for referendum or public opinion on the issue. Liaqat Baloch said that the PML(N) government itself was hesitant on the issue and was adopting a hostile attitude instead of being a supporter. He said that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi himself was undecided due to the divergent opinion within the ruling party. He said that the ruling junta had always created obstacles for the country only to protect its interests.
He demanded of the government to announce FATA’s merger with Khyber P. before the elections and grant the right of representation in provincial assembly and local bodies. He said that the FCR should be abolished from FATA and the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the Peshawar High Court be extended to the tribal areas. A special package must be announced for the development of infrastructure in FATA and a reasonable share should be given in the NFC Award in order to bring FATA at par with other parts of the country. Liaqat Baloch said that US defeat in Afghanistan was quite visible and it was advisable to merge FATA with Khyber P at the earliest.—INP