Asif Ali Zardari warns government

Asif Ali Zardari warns government

Asif Ali Zardari has expressed grave concern over reports that the government has shelved FATA reforms proposals and called for early implementation political reforms to give its people their legitimate rights as equal citizens of the country.

“Delaying reforms any longer in FATA will not avoid a problem; it will only invite a crisis” the former President warned in a statement today ahead of his return to Pakistan this week.

For far too long the patriotic people of tribal areas have been mistreated under the vestige of colonial rule and denied their basic rights. It is a grave anomaly that the Constitution describes tribal areas as part of Pakistan territory but the same Constitution denies them their basic political rights.

This anomaly must end if the tribal areas have to be mainstreamed and its people treated as equal citizens of the state, he said.

Zardari said that in view of historical, economic, cultural and political reasons the merger of tribal areas with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and extending jurisdiction of superior courts to it are rational and logical steps forward that must be taken without delay.

On a number of occasions in the past the people of tribal areas have spoken their mind about these vital reforms through local jirgas, in the Parliament through their chosen representatives as well as on the platform of political parties. One such grand jiga was also held in the Presidency when I was the President he said.

“Calls for referendum in tribal areas will achieve nothing but delay and possible reverse the reforms process,” he said.

“There is no provision in the Constitution for referendum in tribal areas which provides for ascertaining the wishes of people for structural changes through jirgas only.