PESHAWAR: The prevailing uncertainty over implementation of Fata Reforms and growing sense of deprivation after the merger of tribal areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been deepening disappointment among tribal people.
Recently, hundreds of students under the aegis of Tribal Youth Movement organized a march from Peshawar Sports Complex to Governor House for acceptance of demands.
They had demanded of the government to hold local government elections, extension of judiciary, handing over of Fata Secretariat and Fata Disaster Management, inquiry in embezzlement of uplift funds.
They also demanded resumption of mobile phone and internet services, recruitment of tribal youth, increase in quota seats at educational institutions and awarding of contracts to local contractors.
Social and political circles in tribal areas have their own point of views regarding youth’s demands. Jamaat-e-Islami Bajaur throws its weight behind tribal youth however it was not happy over pace of implementation of reforms.
“Prime Minister Imran Khan used to blame the government for its insincerity to implement Fata Reforms and now when he is voted to power he never shown interest to implement the reforms,” said Farmanullah, an office-bearer of JI.
He accused PTI led federal and provincial governments have included anti-merger people in task forces with alleged intentions to roll back the reforms.
The tribesmen were unhappy as it bears no fruit thus far, said Sajjjad Ali, a resident of Kurram district. He said that mainstreaming of the tribal areas and its benefits seems a distant dream.
“The government can neither organized local government elections nor elections for provincial assembly,” he said.
He added that they would receive many perks and privileges before merger. “The government seems reneged on all its promises including extension of the Supreme Court and Peshawar High Court jurisdiction as well as local government elections in tribal areas,” said Asfandyar Afridi, a resident of Khyber.
“Tribal youth are in haste to reap fruit of Fata Reforms,” said senior lawyer Asad Aziz, a resident of South Waziristan.
He said that implementation of reforms would take time as it was a long and exhausting process, advising the government to take every step with utmost caution.
“This process is not that sample as it seems,” he said, adding that before extending Police Act to Waziristan, the government will first acquire land to construct police stations and then make recruitment and training them.
He urged tribal youth to show patience and assured them that government was sincere in implementing the reforms.
“This was what we feared and we reminded the government hasty decision would create many problems in future,” commented anti-merger tribal elder from Khyber Malik Abdur Raziq.
He said that they were aware that the government wanted to deceive tribal people again but no one was ready to hear us. “They now realized but cannot do anything,” he said.