FATA merger: Govt given Dec 31 deadline

FATA merger: Govt given Dec 31 deadline

ISLAMABAD: The Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and the parliamentarians from Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have on Sunday warned of staging sit-in in the federal capital if the government failed to merge FATA with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) has expressed support for the demand of JI and parliamentarians, who gave December 31 deadline to the government, pertaining to tribal areas merger with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

On the other hand, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Moulana Fazlur Rehman said that a referendum should be conducted in the tribal areas to decide the future status of FATA.

Referendum should be conducted on whether the people of tribal areas wanted merger with KP or a separate province, he added.

The PPP, JI and FATA parliamentarians were of the view that the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) should be abolished and the tribal areas should merged in the KP.

Earlier, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had reiterated that the merger of tribal areas issue would be resolved sooner adding certain political elements were trying to politicize the matter for their personal gains.

The delay in the merger is causing unrest in the region, but the stakeholders have remained unsuccessful in developing consensus on the issue and the matter is lingering on since March when FATA Reforms Package was approved by the cabinet and then PM Nawaz Sharif.

Opposition parties repeatedly staged a walkout of the National Assembly session for dropping out of FATA Reforms Bill from the agenda and made it clear that till the tabling of the bill in the National Assembly they would continue their boycott.