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Tuesday Jan 23 2018

Imran demands immediate merger of FATA with KP


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf Chairman Imran Khan on Tuesday said demanded the immediate merger of FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. 

The PTI chairman said a vacuum exists in FATA, which if not filled, will again lead to a resurgence of terrorism in tribal areas. 

"There is now a vacuum in the tribal areas as the old system has been done away with. We feel there is a danger that if the vacuum remains than terrorism will again take root in the region."

Elaborating further, Imran said the country, the people of the tribal areas and the armed forces have rendered great sacrifices in the fight against terrorism and a resurgence of terrorism will hurt the entire country. 

"Hence, we are demanding the immediate merger of FATA with KP. Extending the jurisdiction of the court by itself is not enough. There is no longer a structure present there. They are hurting the people of the tribal areas and Pakistan," added the PTI chairman. 

"We feel Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman is playing a very dangerous game. The government and Fazl-ur-Rehman are scared as they think if FATA is merged with KP than it will benefit Tehreek-e-Insaaf," said Imran. 

Corruption in Sindh and Punjab

Speaking in regards to alleged corruption in Punjab and Sindh, the PTI chairman said the party will be forming committees of experts to collect data.

He alleged that there are "huge kickbacks involved in construction projects in Punjab" and questioned the contract of Orange Line Train Project regarding its confidential nature. 

Imran further alleged that the incumbent leaders make billions through such large-scale construction projects. 

"Similarly, why is the contract for LNG confidential? This is mega corruption. They build mega projects and mint money from them," alleged the PTI chairman.   

Explaining the role of the committees, Imran said they would be responsible for collecting data regarding corruption in public sector projects. 

Police reforms

Giving the reference of child abuse cases in Kasur and the extrajudicial killing of Naqeebullah in Karachi, the PTI chairman said that police reforms are the need of the hour. 

"The way Najeebullah was killed extrajudicially in Karachi, the way Kasur cases have come to the forefront, it is evident that police reforms are sorely needed." 

"The police has been politicized and is corrupt. When you promote police officers without merit, the police becomes incompetent." 

He said the PTI government in KP has passed a Police Act, which allows only the IG can do transfers and postings and there is no interference."

Imran added that the people of KP have confidence in their police force. 

In regards to the regular firing by Indian forces on the Line of Control (LoC), Imran claimed that entire villages in the Narowal area have been emptied and significant casualties have been sustained by the civilian population residing along the border with India.  

"Our delegates ask us what is the reason behind the firing, as whenever Nawaz Sharif gets into trouble such incidents increase." 

Imran, on the occasion, also condemned the US move to move its embassy to Jerusalem. 

The issue of FATA's merger with KP is one of the pending matters for the incumbent government and has dominated the political discourse of the country in recent weeks.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman had earlier conditionally agreed to support the proposal of FATA's merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and said that further consultations for the FATA Reforms Bill will continue to be held.

“We will continue to hold discussions with the government over FATA Reforms Bill,” Rehman had said, adding that additional meetings with the military leadership will not be required.

"We presented our stance to them which was to gain the approval of the FATA supreme council," he said. "Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi agreed to our request to meet the supreme council and try to get them to agree on the matter."

More than 500 tribal elders had held a grand jirga on December 14 and rejected the possible merger of FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The elders, hailing from the tribal areas, were of the opinion that FATA should be given the status of a separate province.

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa had also recently assured delegations from FATA that the Pakistan Army fully supports mainstreaming of the region in line with aspirations of tribal brothers.

General Bajwa had said he valued the views of the tribal delegations regarding the future of FATA. He added that achievements through sacrifices of brave residents of FATA are being consolidated while the country transitions from relative stability to enduring peace.

The recommendations to bring the tribal areas at par with the rest of the country were approved by the federal cabinet on March 2 but the matter has been delayed since then.

The KP Assembly had adopted a resolution on December 14, 2016 in favour of merging FATA with KP with the aim of rehabilitating and reconstructing the infrastructure including roads, communications, power lines, water supply, education and health facilities.