ISLAMABAD: Jamiat Ulema-e Islam (Fazl) President Fazl-ur-Rehman said the tribal citizens should not be pressurised for the merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
“The tribes have their own identity and only tribal leaders, no one else, should make a decision about their land,” Rehman said while addressing the FATA Supreme Council’s protest in the federal capital.
“They [tribal citizens] should not be pressured over the KP-FATA merger,” he said. “We stand in solidarity with the citizens of FATA, and we shall continue to struggle for their rights.”
He further said that the 2001-decision of “US slavery” was wrong.
“I remained resolute at that time, and now too, I am ready to go to jail for my stance.”
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had earlier today said he supports FATA Youth Jirga and its movement to merge the tribal areas with KP.
The PPP scion had added, in a video released, that his party has always struggled for the rights of the people from the tribal areas.
“Pakistan Peoples Party has always struggled for the rights of the people from the tribal areas and I support the movement to merge FATA with KP and stand with the FATA Youth Jirga and always will,” said the PPP chairman.
In the video, Bilawal further says that Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto made sincere efforts to merge the tribals areas and Benazir Bhutto made PPP’s special FATA committee.
“She even went to the Supreme court to get the tribal people their rights.”
Earlier in December, the FATA Supreme Council held a meeting with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and presented its stance to maintain a separate identity.
The matter of FATA’s merger with KP was left unresolved after the meeting. However, the tribal areas’ supreme council and the government agreed to continue deliberations on the matter.
The issue of FATA’s merger with KP is one of the pending matters for the incumbent government and has dominated the political discourse of the country in recent weeks.