Army wants mainstreaming of FATA: Senate told

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ISLAMABAD, July 20 (APP): Minister of States and Frontier
Regions (SAFRON) Lt Gen (R) Abdul Qadir Baloch on Thursday
clarified that army was not against the FATA Reforms rather
called for expediting the reforms in the tribal regions.
Winding up debate on a motion regarding the inaction on the
FATA Reforms Project approved by the Cabinet on March 2,
2017, the minister said, “Like other political parties and the
parliament, the Army is also keen to bring FATA reforms.”
Qadir Baloch said he had never asked that military was against
the FATA reforms. He said he had only said that the military
wants main streaming of tribal areas before its merger.
He said the FATA Reforms Committee had visited all the seven
agencies and Frontier Regions and held consultation sessions with
the people of the area before giving shape to the reforms.
He said the deliberation took around one year and all stakeholders
were taken on board to reach any conclusion.
He said that viewpoint of political parties, business
community, Ulema and students from FATA were taken by the
FATA reforms committee. He said majority of them were in favour
of FATA’s merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
He said all these recommendations about the reforms were shared
with media and parliamentarians. The Reforms Committee
had also received over 4,000 recommendations from tribal
peoples, he added.
He said all political parties were taken on board and
shared the recommendations with them.
He said the government was committed to implement FATA
reforms and there was no disagreement in that regard.
Senator from the FATA Hidayat Ullah said without repealing
Article 247, it would not be not justified to present FATA
Reforms bill in the parliament.
He said FCR had been ended. He said the people of the committee
were not aware of the custom and culture of the FATA.
The senator urged all the political parties to think about the
party line and give top priority to welfare of the FATA people.
Saleh Shah said they have reservations over FATA
reforms adding that they had repeatedly made requests to
include people from FATA into the committee.
He called for abolishing Article of 247 and then gave chance to the
tribal people whether they wanted a separate province or
merger into Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
Farhatullah Babar said the cabinet had approved the reforms on
March 2. Despite various reservations, all the political parties
welcomed the reforms.
He said all the political parties were much in favor to extend the
jurisdiction of high court and Supreme Court immediately with
introducing the FATA reforms in the parliament.
However, he criticized the government for delaying the FATA
Reforms bill and not allocating funds for it in the current budget.
Ilyas Bilour said it was a time to give their due rights to the tribal
people. Why the tribal people were being constantly ignored, he
questioned.
Sardar Azam Musa Khel said sense of deprivation of FATA should
be removed.
Sajjid Hussain Turi lauded the FATA Reforms committee for
preparing a comprehensive report. However, it should be
implemented immediately to address FATA people’s longstanding
issues.
He said share should also be given to FATA in National Finance
Commission besides bringing the FCR at par with the rest of the
country’s laws.
Usman Khan Kakar said the combination of members in FATA
Reforms were not balanced. All political parties were in favor to
Abolish century old FCR, he said.
He said FATA should be given its due share in NFC as per their
population.
Rehman Malik said the whole country should support the people
of FATA and they should decide which system they wanted.
Brig (Retd) John Kenneth Willaims said FATA should be merged with
KP.
Daud Achakzai said a meeting of the committee of the whole
should be convened so that proper suggestions should be given in
that regard.