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JI seeks immediate reforms, census in Fata

PESHAWAR: Jamaat-i-Islami chief Sirajul Haq demanded on Friday that the federal government immediately implement reforms in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and conduct census there.

He rejected the government’s plan to merge Fata into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 10 years and said the merger should be initiated as soon as possible. The 10-year reform process seems to be fiction, he said.

The idea of reforms might be changed with the change of governments, he said, adding that the proposed reforms should be implemented immediately.

Speaking at a press conference after a meeting with representatives of the Fata Political Alliance (FPA), Mr Haq demanded census in the tribal areas forthwith, saying development was not possible without census.

Provincial chief of the Jamaat-i-Islami Mushtaq Ahmed Khan, Fata chief Sahibzada Haroon Rasheed and general secretary Dr Munsif Khan, FPA president Nisar Mohmand, the Awami National Party’s Shah Hussain Shinwari and PPP’s Hazrat Wali Afridi attended the meeting.

The Jamaat chief demanded Fata’s merger into KP prior to the 2018 general elections so that the region has its seats in the provincial assembly.

He said the tribal people were not satisfied with the plan of Fata’s merger into KP in 10 years and they wanted the step to be taken immediately.

The JI chief said universities and colleges for women should be set up in Fata, adding that without education development was not possible in the tribal areas.

He said leaders of all political parties had reached a consensus that quota for the students of the tribal areas should be increased across the country.

He said that unrest had prevailed in Fata for years as the area had been used as a shield before and after the creation of Pakistan.

He said the people of the tribal areas had bravely defended the motherland whenever it was attacked by foreign forces.

He said millions of tribal people had been suffering as the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) had blocked their national identity cards. He asked the Nadra authorities to unblock the identity cards of the people living in Fata.

Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2016

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