Friday, September 08, 2017

FATA reforms to improve conditions of tribal areas: PM

PM chaired a national committee session on the implementation of FATA reforms on Friday


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Friday said the FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas) reforms seek to improve the conditions of the tribal areas and its people.

The premier was chairing a national committee session on the implementation of FATA reforms. 

Abbasi also said that the prolonged war in the region has had a negative impact on the area residents.

It was decided during the meeting to appoint achief operating officer for FATA. The COO will be appointed on a temporary basis, informed the committee.

Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, also in attendance, said that the government has achieved huge success in establishing its writ in FATA and added the Army will play its part in ensuring peace and a stable border security system in the region. 

Peace has been established after four years of efforts in FATA, said the army chief.

It was also decided that police and FC personnel will be trained and deployed in FATA. and a comprehensive administrative mechanism will also be created for the war-torn region.

It was decided to take all legal steps to ensure implementation of FATA reforms.

The parliament and people living in tribal areas have positively responded to the reforms, the committee members were informed.

Steps are being taken for the implementation of the FATA reforms package, the committee said, adding that the package was approved by the federal cabinet on March 2, this year.

During the meeting, PM advised the law minister to take steps to bring FATA into the national mainstream.

The meeting was attended by Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, KP Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak, Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch, Federal Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid and Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Sartaj Aziz among other civil and military leaders. 

The recommendations to bring FATA at par with the rest of the country were approved at the Cabinet meeting on FATA reforms on March 2.

Once FATA is made part of KP, the province's share in the National Finance Commission will increase, as 3% will be for the former.

Currently, FATA is being governed by the British-era law called FCR Act that legal experts say is a violation of universal human rights and contradicts the 1973 Constitution. 

Sources said the merger of FATA with KP would extend the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the high court to the tribal areas by amending the Article 247 and other relevant laws so that those who want to protect their fundamental rights can do so like any other citizen of Pakistan.

The KP Assembly had adopted a resolution on December 14, 2016, in favour of merging Fata with KP that would help rehabilitate and reconstruct the infrastructure including roads, communications, power lines, water supply, education and health facilities.