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Party-based LG elections in Fata demanded

By Our Correspondent 2013-10-13
LANDI KOTAL, Oct 12: Qaumi Watan Party, Fata Chairman Asad Afridi on Saturday demanded local government elections in tribal areas on party basis and said it would help integrate Fata into the national mainstream politics.

Mr Afridi told a news conference here that the party-based local government election would also help bring about new leadership in Fata to fill the vacuum created by the killing of hundreds of tribal elders by militants in recent years.

He said Fata faced a serious shortage of honest and sincere leadership to steer it out of the prevailing security and socioeconomic crises.

`The time-tested institution of jirga has lost credibility due to the growing influence of corrupt and inefficient political administration on it,` he said.

The QWP leader said it was due to the inefficiency of the political administration and weaknesses of tribal elders that militant groups had established a parallel administration and judicial system.

He said the situation could deteriorate after withdrawal of Nato forces from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

Mr Afridi said free and fair local government elections would help restore the confidence of Fata residents in the political system.

He said his party would not accept nomination of agency councilors in Fata as it was the democratic right of the Fata people to decide own fate through a fair electoral process.

The QWP leader suggested that a referendum be held in Fata on the region`s status.

He said his party wanted integration of all Pakhtun areas.

Mr Afridi said QWP believed in making efforts with other political parties to overcome the leadership crisis and resolve problems faced by tribal people.