MNAs support Fata reforms ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Monday saw more voices emerging in support of merging the Federally Administered Tribal Areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as discussion continued on the Fata reforms proposed by a government committee. In its report, the committee has suggested completing the merger by 2021.
The proposal was endorsed by two MNAs while one cautioned against haste.
“It is difficult to understand why the Fata population still has to suffer from the rules made by our colonial masters whereas the rest of the countrymen enjoy constitutional protection for their basic rights,” said Naveed Qamar of the Pakistan Peoples Party.
He said that in the past as many as 15 different attempts had been made to streamline the Fata region, but unfortunately each time people at the helm of affairs backed out when it came to implementation. “I hope this time the government will take this process to its logical conclusion.”
The PPP leader was of the opinion that the present government was fully empowered to take whatever measures it wanted for the betterment of Fata people, and “it must do it forthwith, why wait for 2021?”
Qaumi Watan Party chief Aftab Ahmad Sherpao also spoke in favour of the committee’s recommendations, though he confessed to harbouring reservations initially over its constitution. “To my utter surprise, the committee has come up with pretty rational suggestions and recommendations which I personally believe make sense,” said Mr Sherpao.
He rejected assertions made last week by Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazalur Rehman and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai that Fata could not merge with KP.
Mr Sherpao said most of the people of these agencies were already living in major cities of the province and it was only a matter of formalising their merger.
However, Abdul Waseem of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement warned against what he termed ‘haste’ in bringing Fata under the control of the KP government. He said that when calls were already being made for the creation of more provinces, why should Fata be merged with KP.