PESHAWAR, 7 December: The Senate Committee of Whole on Tuesday initiated debate on the report of the government team about reforms in FATA.

The report was presented by Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, who is head of the FATA Reforms Committee, at the Senate Committee of the Whole for discussion.

Senator Taj Muhammad said the reforms process in FATA has been complicated further with the proposals presented by the government committee. He criticised the suggested reforms on land and judicial issues and said it will further increase the problems of FATA people.

Senator Orangzeb Khan said population census should be carried out in FATA before implementation of the reforms package. He also expressed concern over inadequate healthcare and education facilities in FATA.

Some senators, including Senator Hafiz Hamdullah of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), opposed the merger of FATA with KP, arguing that many tribal people want a separate province and no attention has been paid to their demands.

The Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani said the senators should keep in mind while making comments on the FATA reforms that the officials of FATA Secretariat and Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) have vested interest in the existing system in FATA. He said the reforms process cannot move forward unless people think beyond their personal interests.

Raza Rabbani said the government should wait for the Senate proposals before implementation of the reforms package in FATA. He said the proposals put before the Senate committee will also be approved by the Upper House of the Parliament.