JI announces march on Islamabad for Fata-KP merger

Islamabad: The Jamaat-e-Islami, Fata chapter, on Monday has announced to march on Islamabad on Dec 10 against the delay in the merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

JI Fata president Sardar Khan told a news conference at the Jamrud  Press Club that the Dec 10 ‘long march’ would begin at the historic Bab-i-Khyber in Jamrud and end outside the Parliament House in Islamabad.

He said besides the Jamaat’s top leadership, scores of tribesmen would also participate in the long march to express anger at the delay in the implementation of the Fata reforms.

The JI leader said delay in the Fata-KP merger was tantamount to continuing denial of due rights to the tribal people.

“We twice held protest sit-ins outside the Governor’s House in Peshawar and on both occasions, the governor assured protesters that he would ensure expedition of the merger process but the federal government is not serious about implementing the recommendations of the Fata reforms committee.

The ruling PML-N is deliberately using delaying tactics on the matter to please its coalition partners, JUI-F and PkMAP,” he said.

Accompanied by party leaders Hassan Shinwari, Sultan Akbar and others, the JI Fata chief said the federal government should stop treating the tribal people unfairly.

He criticised the elected representatives of Fata for failing to effectively raise voice for the rights of tribal people.

The JI leader said terrorism had badly affected life in Fata as where majority of the residents didn’t have even the basic facilities.

“Tribal regions have been ignored in the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award further increasing the sense of deprivation among the militancy-affected locals,” he said.

Mr Sardar Khan said an end to the Frontier Crimes Regulation was inevitable to ensure provision of all fundamental rights to the people.

He said the long march would be led by JI provincial chief Mushtaq Ahmad Khan and other tribal leaders.

“Our workers will join the rally in Pabbi, Nowshera and Jehangira, while rallies will be taken out in different places including Attock and Faizabad. Later, the demonstrators will proceed to the federal capital to hold a sit-in at D-Chowk,” he said.

Meanwhile Jamaat-e-Islami leaders on Monday declared the merger of Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa crucial for durable peace and socio-economic progress of the country.

They said they would use all-out efforts to force the government into merging tribal areas with KP without delay.

They were speaking during a Seeratun Nabi conference organised by the party at Al-Markaz-i-Islami in Inayat Kalley here.

The speakers, including JI provincial deputy chief Dr Iqbal Khalil, JI Fata deputy chief Munsif Khan, JI local chapter emir Qari Abdul Majeed, Al-Khidmat Foundation Fata president Maulana Waheed Gul and others, said the merger of Fata with KP was necessary not only for the development of the tribal region but also for durable peace in the entire country. They lashed out at the federal government for delaying Fata reforms.

The speakers said thousands of people from across Fata would participate in the Dec 10 JI ‘long march’ on Islamabad on the merger issue.

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