PESHAWAR, 17 November: The people of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) who staged a sit-in at D-Chowk in Islamabad for their rights on Monday dispersed peacefully in the evening.
The sit-in was arranged by different political parties of FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA Lawyers Forum which was attended by people from different walks of life. Participants of the sit-in were demanding abolishment of the British-era Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) law from FATA, merger of tribal areas with KP and basic rights of the tribal people.
Participants of the rally, who belonged to different political parties, were holding banners and placards inscribed with slogans in favour of their demands. Some of the placards read ‘Go FCR GO’ and ‘Merge FATA with KP’.
The Haqooq-e-Qabail (rights of FATA people) rally was addressed by the Awami National Party (ANP) leaders Mian Iftikhar Hussain, Afrasiab Khattak, Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) chief Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) ameer Sirajul Haq, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders Asad Umar, Naeemul Haq, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Akhunzada Chattan, Khyber Agency MNA Shah Ge Gul Afridi and other political leaders. The speakers warned that tens of thousands of tribal people will stage sit-in in front of the Parliament House if the committee formed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for reforms in FATA delayed reforms in tribal areas.
Earlier, Sirajul Haq said in his speech that only the tribal people have the right to decide their future. “The future of FATA will be decided by the tribal people, not by Islamabad. We don’t want to impose any kind of recommendations on our tribal brothers,” he said.
Mr Siraj lamented that due to existence of black laws in the tribal region, the FATA people have no access to rights like other parts of the country.
Aftab Sherpao said in his address that abolishment of FCR is mandatory for creating durable peace in FATA.
Asad Umar said the PTI will support the FATA people whether they want a separate province or merger with KP. He also called for abolishment of the FCR.
Akhunzada Chattan said during his speech that the tribal people suffered a lot due to law and order issues and now they deserve access to all facilities and rights. He said it is not possible for a governor to control seven agencies of FATA, adding that FATA should be merged with KP.