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FATA Reform to be presented to cabinet for approval

22 November, 2016

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ISLAMABAD: Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Monday claimed that FATA Reform would be present to cabinet for approval once the parliamentarians completed a draft after consultation with the stakeholder for the second time. Winding up the discussion over the FATA Reforms, the Advisor said the government was committed for the development and welfare of the people of FATA. He said the committee on FATA Reforms, during its visit to every tribal agency, consulted all the stakeholders including tribal elders and members of civil society.

He said majority of the people supported FATA's integration into Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. However, there was a suggestion to reduce the transition period for complete merger of the tribal areas from five years and the committee would further discuss the matter. Aziz said rehabilitation of Temporarily Dislocated Persons (TDPs) and reconstruction of infrastructure, houses and shops had been recommended before the merger of FATA. He said initiating a major program of socio-economic development and capacity building of FC was pre-requisites for the integration.

He said Tribal Areas Riwaj Act would be introduced while mainstreaming of the FATA enabling residents of the area to opt any system of their choice for the settlements of disputes and issues. Efforts were also made to complete all arrangements before generation election in 2018.

Earlier, taking part in the debate, Shahabuddin said reforms should expeditiously be approved for the betterment of the people of tribal areas. He regretted that some people for their personal gains opposed the FATA reforms. He demanded the government to make arrangements for earlier holding local bodies' election in tribal areas.

JI Legislator Sahibzada Tariqullah said FATA should be merged into a Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa before the general elections of 2018. He said status of Provincially Administered Tribal Areas should also be made clear after FATA's merger into KP. Muhammad Jamaluddin said FATA should be given provincial status instead of merging it into KP. Shah Jee Gul Afridi said tribal areas merger into Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa would certainly bring progress, development prosperity to the area.

He said FATA should be given representation in KP Assembly as a result of next general elections. The FATA was not included in mainstream, which had created bad image of FATA across the country as well as internationally in relation to militancy. If the government unable to provide education, health and other basic facilities of life then the people of those areas would produce militants instead of good Pakistanis.

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