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JUI-F asks for referendum on Fata status

Bureau Report 2017-05-24
PESH AWAR: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl Fat a chief Muf ti Abdul Shakoor on Tuesday opposed the merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and said the demand was against the wishes of tribal people.

The JUI-F leader told a news conference at the Peshawar Press Club that his party would not accept any solution to Fata problems than the holding of a referendum to decide thefuture status of the region.

He said those demanding the Fata-KP merger actually wanted to divert the people`s attention from basic and real problems of tribal people.

`We will effectively foil any attempt for the Fata-KP merger, he said. Mr Shakoor alleged that the move for Fata-KP merger was a conspiracy hatched against Fata and KP people.

He added that his party would not accept any move in that respect against the aspirations of tribal people and that it would continue struggle for the separate provincial status for Fata. The JUI-F leader claimed that around 80 per cent Fata people were opposed to the merger of their region with KP but some political parties were trying to project the merger as the local people`s demand.

He said the opinion of the tribal people should be respected, while there shouldn`t be any unilateral decision on thefuture oftribalregion.

Mr Shakoor said his party had already challenged the recommendations of Fata reforms committee led by adviser to the prime minister, Sartaj Aziz, in parliament.

He demanded the early repatriation of displaced tribal families under the reforms process.

The JUI-F leader also demanded the implementation of Islamic laws in Fata and said instead of introducing Rewaj Act, the federal government should immediately conduct local body elections in the tribal region.

He urged the PML-N leadership and federal government to increase Fata`s share in the National Finance Commission award from three per cent to five per cent and extend the apex courts` jurisdiction to tribal areas.

Mr Shal(oor claimed that it was his party`s chief, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who raised voice of Fata people and blocked Fata reforms bill in the National Assembly in the best interests of the region.

He alleged that MNA Shahji Gul Afridi and his colleagues were serving own interests by raising the voice for merger.