Merger of FATA with KPK: PHCBA recommendations
PESHAWAR: (APP) Peshawar High Court Bar Association (PHCBA) General Secretary, Yousaf Ali Advocate here Wednesday lauded the recommendations of Fata Reforms Committee (FRC) and called for its implementation within five years to end poverty, backwardness and long neglectedness of tribal areas.
In an exclusive interview to APP, Yousaf Ali said merger of FATA with Khyber Pakthunkhwa was the best available solution keeping in view its geographic location, commonality in social, cultural, linguistic and historical traditions of tribesmen and people of KP.
Keeping in view the close horizontal linkages of tribal agencies, frontier regions and Khyber Pakthunkhwa, he said the merger of FATA with KP would not affect tribal people and would bring Fata at par with developed regions of the country.
The PHCBA General Secretary hailed the recommendations about replacement of the existing draconian law of Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR), saying it would give tribesmen an opportunity to file an appeal against the decision of Political Agent in Apex Court and Peshawar High Court.
The noted lawyer also welcomed the recommendations regarding extension of the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and Peshawar High Court to FATA, saying it would provide speedy and inexpensive justice to litigants.
While referring to the Committee's recommendations regarding five years for transition phase and 10 years for achievement of development targets, the PHCBA leader said people of FATA had rendered matchless sacrifices for the country since creation of Pakistan and huge funds were required for rebuilding of its damaged infrastructure and restoration of civil facilities.
He said FATA required immediate development plan and suggested five years for completion of transition phase viz a viz achievement of development target.
Asked about the recommendation about holding local government election in FATA next year, the noted lawyer said this would help make tribal people master of their own destiny besides expediting pace of development at the grass root level in all tribal agencies and Frontier Regions.
Yousaf said these reforms would help increase tax base of the country besides increasing the revenue of KP and FATA.
He suggested of getting support of tribal elders and maliks for successful implementation of the reforms.
Ali said recruitment of 20,000 Levies personnel for FATA which would work as agencies' police would help improve the overall law and order situation in tribal areas besides expediting pace of development.
The successful implementation of these reforms would help main streaming FATA besides ending poverty, illiteracy and years of neglect. The Committee had recommended to the government for allocation of 3 per cent funds in the National Finance Commission award for FATA and if do so the region would get an additional Rs. 90 billion against the present allocation of Rs 20 billion, he added.
This huge amount would be used for rebuilding of the damaged infrastructure in addition to setting up new educational, water, communication, livestock, forestry, agriculture, and health facilities for Temporarily Displaced People (TDPs).