PESHAWAR, 31 October: The FATA Grand Alliance leader Malik Khan Marjan has said there is no truth in the statement of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra that he has convinced the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) ameer Maulana Fazlur Rehman on merger of FATA with KP.

In a statement, Malik Khan Marjan said the governor should avoid issuing misleading statements. He said he is in contact with Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chairman Mahmood Khan Achakzai and both the leaders are against the merger.

Malik Khan Marjan said he respects the governor, but at least a referendum should be held to ascertain whether the people of tribal areas want merger with KP or not. He said the elders and other people of FATA should also be consulted before introducing reforms in the tribal areas. He said the FATA people have offered countless sacrifices for Pakistan and now they should be given their rights. He said the merger will not be in the interest of the country.

The political alliance leader said the President of Pakistan should call a Jirga of tribal elders at the Governor House to discuss the issue of FATA reforms in detail.

Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra said at the University of Peshawar on Monday that he recently held a meeting with Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Mahmood Khan Achakzai during which he convinced the JUI-F chief on merger of FATA with KP. However, the JUI-F FATA ameer had rejected the claim of the governor.