Historic step taken on FATA merger with KP

Historic step taken on FATA merger with KP
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PESHAWAR: The federal government has finally managed to develop consensus on the major points of reforms in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) as all lawmakers from the tribal regions have agreed to the merger with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).

This consensus was developed during a meeting held in Islamabad on Friday evening.  The meeting was chaired by Minister for States and Frontier Regions (Safron) Lt-Gen (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch and attended by most of Fata lawmakers as well as State Minister Ghalib Khan Wazir.

All participants of the meeting agreed on three points – merger of Fata with K-P; extension of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) jurisdiction to Fata; and the representation of Fata members in the K-P Assembly in the next general election.

It was agreed that an alternate dispute resolution (ADR) mechanism i.e. jirga be given legitimacy under the court’s patronage. The members agreed that a jirga be formed if both parties agree on it but its decision may not be accepted if it is against fundamental human rights.

“It’s a historic consensus but right now we are not calling off the strike [that was earlier announced to force the government to implement Fata reforms],” said Shahjee Gul Afridi, lawmaker from Khyber Agency.

He said some issues still needed to be seen through before the civil society, political parties and people from the tribal areas decided to abandon their plan to march towards the capital.

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