March will culminate in front of Parliament House after which relevant bill will be submitted
KHAR / PESHAWAR / JAMRUD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf activists from Khyber Agency while supporting the merger of Federally Administered Tribal Areas with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa announced their participation in a rally scheduled to be held outside Parliament House in Islamabad on November 16. This decision was made in a meeting held in Jamrud, Khyber Agency on Friday.
Aminzada Afridi, Jamal Khan, Aamir Afridi, Nisbat Khan, Bashir Afridi and Haji Mohammad Afridi and a few others addressed the meeting. PTI stalwarts from Khyber Agency said it was impossible for tribespeople to live like slaves under laws inherited from the British colonial era. They called upon leaders of all political parties to support them in their struggle for the merger of Fata with K-P. To ensure full participation in the rally scheduled for November 16, duties were assigned to workers at different levels.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Khyber Agency Awami National Party Senior Vice President Manzoor Afridi said FATA Political Alliance members planned to hold a rally outside Parliament House in Islamabad on November 16. The political alliance is headed by Pakistan Peoples Party leader and former MNA from Bajaur, Akhunzada Chattan.
The FATA Political Alliance held a meeting in Peshawar on Thursday night where representatives of all its components were directed to mobilise workers from settled and tribal regions. All parties were urged to arrange gatherings at the regional level. On the day of the rally, Fata MNAs will formally submit a bill for an amendment in the national constitution, paving the way for the merger of Fata with K-P, said Manzoor. “The proposed bill had already been submitted by a group of Fata parliamentarians headed by MNA Haji Shah Jee Gul Afridi,” he added.
According to Manzoor, the alliance held detailed meetings with leaders of various political parties including ANP, JI, JUI-F, PTI, PML-N and PPP. “All these political forces were in favour of the merger,” he said.
He added certain individuals from political parties, civil and military establishments were against the idea of merging Fata with K-P since they believe it will fuel uncertainty in the tribal belt.
Rejection of merger
Jirga members of Utmankhel and Tharkani tribes in Bajaur Agency rejected the proposed 22nd amendment that seeks the abolishment of Frontier Crimes Regulation, and calls for the merger of FATA into PATA.
The jirga, which was held at Khar, Bajaur Agency on Friday, threatened to protest outside Parliament House if FCR was abolished and said people would not give up tribal customs even if FCR is abolished.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 24th, 2015.