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FATA Committee Letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (March 19, 2013)
FATA Committee Letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (March 19, 2013)
FATA Committee Letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (March 19, 2013)
FATA Committee Letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (March 19, 2013)
FATA Committee Letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (March 19, 2013)
FATA Committee Letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (March 19, 2013)
FATA Committee Letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (March 19, 2013)
FATA Committee Letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (March 19, 2013)
FATA Committee Letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (March 19, 2013)
FATA Committee Letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (March 19, 2013)
FATA Committee Letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (March 19, 2013)
FATA Committee Letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (March 19, 2013)
FATA Committee Letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (March 19, 2013)
FATA Committee Letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (March 19, 2013)
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FATA Committee Letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (March 19, 2013)

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Submitted on March 19, 2013, this letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) contains urgent recommendations from the FATA Committee and also from 54 tribal political leaders from all seven …

Submitted on March 19, 2013, this letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) contains urgent recommendations from the FATA Committee and also from 54 tribal political leaders from all seven agences and the frontier regions of FATA. The letter is also being delivered to the President of Pakistan, the KP governor, the FATA Secretariat, the SAFRON Ministry and NADRA. Copies will be received by the leaders of all 11 political parties on the FATA Committee (ANP, JI, JUI-F, MQM, NP, PkMAP, PML-N, PML, PPP, PTI and QWP) as well as the members of the Senate Special Committee on Election Issues and the outgoing National Assembly Sub-committee on Electoral Laws. --- Political Parties Campaign in Historic FATA Elections. URDU version of the full statement of the FATA Committee is available here: http://www.slideshare.net/FATAparties/fata-committee-news-release-14-march-2013-urdu ---- For a Microsoft Word version of the press release, visit the following link: http://goo.gl/sJvaw

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  • 1. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASESunday, March 17, 2013Contact: fataparties@gmail.com – Telephone contact below PARTIES UNITED TO ECP: FATA ELECTIONS REFORMS NEEDED NOWISLAMABAD, Pakistan — As the tribal areas began preparing for elections this week, 11mainstream political parties highlighted poor implementation of the Political Parties Orderextension to FATA. 54 tribal party leaders also agreed that the security establishment, politicalagents and militants are all responsible for restricting their ability to operate freely in FATA. Triballeaders stated that intelligence agencies regularly intimidate them and their political workers andprevent movement in their areas.The FATA Committee also protested that the ECP has not responded adequately to electionsrecommendations submitted on December 27 and urged swift action to address their five keyconcerns. Emphasizing that reforms are needed to ensure free and fair elections in FATA, the groupasked for assurances that all IDPs from FATA would be provided with access to vote. Displaced byviolent conflict, IDPs are entitled the same voting rights as all Pakistanis and the more than 600,000displaced citizens from FATA should be provided with polling stations in camps as well as in hostcommunities where they now live, stated a committee spokesperson.As analysis of the voter list shows, NADRA and the Election Commission have also failed toincrease voter registration efforts and provide adequate access to CNIC registration facilities inFATA. Citing a severe lack of mobile NADRA van campaigns and the poor accessibility andoperation of tribal ECP offices, party leaders lamented the de facto disenfranchisement of manyFATA voters.Denouncing corruption in the political administration, tribal political leaders reiterated their viewthat judicial officers from neighboring settled districts should serve as returning officers in FATAagencies. This recommendation has thus far been ignored as the ECP recently designated politicalagents as returning officers for upcoming general elections. The body also noted that thisshortcoming will adversely impact women voters in the tribal areas.The committee emphasized the need to keep polling stations within 2 kilometres from voter homesin compliance with the Supreme Court order, and local party presidents added that voters should notbe assigned to polling stations outside their villages. Tribal leaders also noted that ECP provincialand local officials have not opened direct communications with political parties in FATA as theFATA Committee requested last year.Some additional pressing consensus recommendations from local leaders included abolishing therequirement for parties to inform political agents about all party gatherings, an effective ban on“selling” party tickets for MNA seats, and an end to the practice by some maliks of selling the votesof their people. Likewise, leaders called on the FATA elite to stop collaborating with the State toprevent political party activity.March 17, 2013: Parties United to ECP: FATA Elections Reforms Needed Now 1
  • 2. Calling on the ECP to monitor and enforce these regulations, FATA parties warned of thedangerous election environment in NA-42 in South Waziristan and also asked for reassurance fromthe ECP that all registration forms submitted before elections are announced will be included in thevoter list. Finally, FATA parties clearly indicated that the immediate extension of PEMRAjurisdiction to FATA is essential for ensuring free and transparent elections in the tribal areas.As they prepare to participate in the first party-based elections in FATA history, national and tribalpolitical party leaders emphasized the urgent need for elections reforms in FATA. Following theextension of the Political Parties Order, political parties are seeking election in the tribal areas forthe first time in history. As general elections approach, political party candidates are activelypreparing their campaigns for MNA seats to represent FATA voters in the National Assembly ofPakistan.With complete support from political party leadership, 11 political parties are represented on theFATA Committee: Awami National Party (ANP), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam F(JUI-F), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), National Party (NP), Pashtoonkhwa Milli AwamiParty (PkMAP), Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Muslim League Quaid-e-Azam (PML), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Qaumi WatanParty (QWP).In 2010, the Political Parties Joint Committee on FATA Reforms began working together todemonstrate their shared commitment to promoting debate throughout Pakistan and to call for theimplementation of reforms in the tribal areas. Today, the 11 member parties of the FATACommittee continue to engage in discussions with stakeholders from FATA to build consensus,increase awareness and promote dialogue on existing and future reforms. ###Full Statement: March 14, 2013 December 27, 2012 Recommendations to ECPMedia Briefing and Recommendations to ECP English: http://goo.gl/ObTUDEnglish: http://goo.gl/K0FCJ Urdu: http://goo.gl/QhAA1Urdu: http://goo.gl/R2SxcPhotos (high resolution): Media Briefing and FATA Party Leaders Conference (March 2013)http://goo.gl/JgLM1FATA Committee Party Spokesperson ContactsANP: Arbab Tahir, General Secretary, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 0333-939-3223, arbab@anp.orgJI: Mohammad Ibrahim, Professor and Provincial Ameer, muhammadibrahimk5@gmail.comJUI-F: Abdul Jalil Jan, Information Secretary, KP, 0333-910-7831, abduljalil_jan@yahoo.comMQM: Syed Asif Hasnain, MNA, 0300-927-7831, asifhasnain_255@yahoo.comNP: Mukhtar Bacha, Provincial President, KP, 0333-910-7133, mukhtarbacha@gmail.comPkMAP: Akram Shah Khan, Central Secretary GeneralPML: Ajmal Khan Wazir, Central Senior Vice President, 0300-579-1779, ajmalkwazir@gmail.comPML-N: Rehmat Salam Khattak, General Secretary, KP, 0300-589-3705, pmlnkpk@gmail.comPPP: Mirza M. Jihadi, Advisor SAFRON, 0300-598-4198, mirzamohdjihad@hotmail.comPTI: Barrister Salman Afridi, Political Strategy Committee KP, 0345-888-6994, salmanafridi@hotmail.comQWP: Asad Afridi, President, FATA, 0333-937-5165, asadafridi18@yahoo.comComplete FATA Committee member list: http://goo.gl/K0FCJ (scroll down)March 17, 2013: Parties United to ECP: FATA Elections Reforms Needed Now 2
  • 3. 53 political party leaders from 9 political parties from 7 agencies and frontier regions present 40 FATAelections reforms recommendations for immediate implementationLink for high resolution photo: http://goo.gl/9eUM611 political parties united calling on the Election Commission for further FATA elections reforms, citingpreviously ignored recommendations and calls for greater freedoms by tribal party leadersLink for high resolution photo: http://goo.gl/GwomjMarch 17, 2013: Parties United to ECP: FATA Elections Reforms Needed Now 3
  • 4. 40 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FATA ELECTIONS REFORMS From FATA Agency and Frontier Region Political Party Leaders March 14, 2013After recently welcoming PTI to the FATA Committee, the reforms body convened this week 54political party leaders from the seven agencies and frontier regions of FATA to discuss the realitiesof campaigning in FATA. 90 percent of these tribal leaders also indicated that the 2011 reforms tothe Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) are not being implemented in their areas.FATA political parties are currently not able to operate freely in many agencies and frontierregions, due to the law and order situation as well as obstacles put in place by the State, includingintelligence agencies, political agents, the army, some FATA elite, as well as national andinternational terrorist groups. All of these elements are working against the political participation ofFATA citizens and restrict political parties from visiting their voters.Following deliberations in Islamabad, tribal leaders from nine of the committee’s eleven politicalparties1 agreed on 40 additional consensus recommendations for free and fair elections in FATAand the effective implementation of previously enacted FATA reforms. These recommendationsrequire immediate consideration and tribal party leaders demanded that many of them be enactedbefore general elections. The recommendations were consensus points, approved by all tribalpolitical party leaders in attendance.FOR IMMEDIATE IMPLEMENTATIONHighlighted and Urgent Recommendations 1) Political parties should be permitted to hold corner meetings without restrictions or advance notice. The requirement of asking permission or notifying the PA for all meetings in advance is not realistic and puts political parties at risk of attack. Large public gatherings or rallies should be notified one week in advance. No permission should be required. 2) Political parties must not “sell” tickets for MNA seats. The Election Commission should implement and enforce a ban on this anti-democratic activity. 3) Many maliks continue to sell the votes of their people for money. This practice should be prohibited by the Election Commission and any “vote buying” activities should be punishable by law, including the disqualification of candidates violating the regulation. 4) No political activity is taking place so far in the NA-42 constituency in South Waziristan. The government should take swift action to ensure that free and fair elections may take place in this constituency.1 MQM and PTI party leaders from the agencies and frontier regions could not attend due to scheduling conflicts. Their party leadership, however, did meet with the FATA Committee this week.March 17, 2013: Parties United to ECP: FATA Elections Reforms Needed Now 4
  • 5. 5) PEMRA jurisdiction should be extended to FATA. Access and security should also be provided to media so that they can enter FATA freely and better cover elections and political parties. 6) FATA elite should be stopped from working together with the State to prevent the free operation of political activity in FATA. 7) All voter registration forms submitted prior to the announcement of elections must be accepted and added to the voter list. 8) Public funds allocated to sitting MNAs must not be utilized for their election campaigns. The Election Commission must enforce a ban on the use of these funds for campaign purposes. FATA MNA and Senator funds should be used only for development schemes and should not be misused for corrupt purposes.FOR IMMEDIATE IMPLEMENTATIONElections Recommendations for ECP and Government 9) The 2011 Political Parties Order extension and Frontier Crimes Regulation amendments are not being implemented properly by the political administration and the security establishment. Implementation should be monitored and enforced by the government. 10) Political parties should be given free and open access and also necessary security to travel to and operate in FATA. 11) To ensure increased women’s participation in elections, women’s polling stations should be provided in all agencies and frontier regions. 12) Polling stations should be no more than 2km from voters’ homes to increase political participation in FATA. 13) Security should be ensured at all polling stations and no polling station should be shifted after being previously established or announced. 14) FATA voters should have access to polling stations in their own village and not be forced to travel to another village to participate in elections. 15) The political parties Code of Conduct published by the Election Commission of Pakistan must also apply to elections in FATA. 16) The Election Commission must monitor the free and fair administration of elections in FATA. 17) The ECP should make regulations specifically for free and fair elections in FATA. 18) Judicial officers should be deployed as returning officers in general elections. 19) The political agent should support the participation of all FATA society in political activity and the upcoming general elections.March 17, 2013: Parties United to ECP: FATA Elections Reforms Needed Now 5
  • 6. 20) All FATA IDPs should be provided the right to vote in the location of their displacement, regardless if they are living in camps or in host communities. 21) IDPs from all frontier regions should be officially recognized by the government and also given the right to vote in the location of their displacement. 22) FATA should also be represented in the federal cabinet of the caretaker government set-up. 23) International observers should be given permission to monitor elections in FATA. 24) The political agent must not show favoritism toward any political party candidate or any independent candidate. 25) The governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa must not interfere in or influence elections in FATA. 26) All of these recommendations should be implemented and enforced immediately, prior to the day of general elections 2013.FOR IMMEDIATE IMPLEMENTATIONElections Recommendations for Parties, Civil Society, Media and International Community 27) Political parties should include FATA democracy and FATA reforms in their national party manifestoes for general elections. 28) Political awareness remains low throughout FATA. Government, political parties, civil society and the international community should work together to educate FATA citizens about the political process. 29) Many journalists are “for sale”, intimidated and pressured by the State and security establishment. To decrease this corruption and biased reporting, more private media should be given increased access and security in FATA. 30) The government and the Election Commission should investigate journalists who are blackmailing political agents and/or political parties. 31) National and international media should send their own independent journalists to FATA and ensure that they report accurately and in-depth on local problems and news in FATA. 32) The United Nations and other international organizations should make public statements about the lack of human and political rights in FATA.FOR IMPLEMENTATION AFTER ELECTIONSRecommendations for the President, new National Assembly and Political Administration 33) Further amendments to the Frontier Crimes Regulation are needed. 34) Reserved MNA seats for FATA women should be established, giving them the same special representation as in the rest of Pakistan.March 17, 2013: Parties United to ECP: FATA Elections Reforms Needed Now 6
  • 7. 35) The frontier regions constituency NA-47 is too large and too spread out for effective representation. The constituency should be divided on the basis of population. 36) Increased CNIC and voter registration efforts are sorely needed in FATA. NADRA should deploy mobile registration vans: as many and as soon as possible. 37) Blocked CNICs of FATA citizens should be unblocked with the approval of tribal elders. 38) Corruption by political agents must be investigated and stopped. Political agent appointments are “for sale” in FATA and this practice must be stopped. 39) Political agents should expedite the issuance of birth, death, marriage and disability certificates to FATA citizens. These services are very poorly administered and must be improved. 40) The army is part of the problem, not part of the solution. The security establishment should stop its involvement with terrorist and militant organizations.These recommendations will be submitted for immediate consideration and action to the newcaretaker government as well as the President of Pakistan, the Election Commission, NADRA, theSAFRON Ministry, the governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the FATA Secretariat.Unlike the rest of Pakistan, FATA voters do not enjoy the same legislative representation oraccountability as other Pakistani citizens. This is true because Article 247 of the Constitution of theIslamic Republic of Pakistan prevents FATA MNAs (and all members of the National Assembly)from legislating for FATA. Despite this restriction on political rights and until the situation iscorrected, FATA citizens still deserve MNAs that represent their needs and desires for democraticdevelopment and an improved standard of living.Contactfataparties@gmail.comhttp://twitter.com/FATApartieshttp://facebook.com/FATApartiesFull Statement: March 14, 2013 Media Briefing and Recommendations to ECPEnglish: http://goo.gl/K0FCJUrdu: http://goo.gl/R2SxcDecember 27, 2012 Recommendations to ECPEnglish: http://goo.gl/ObTUDUrdu: http://goo.gl/QhAA1Photos (high resolution): Media Briefing and FATA Party Leaders Conference (March 2013)http://goo.gl/JgLM1 ###March 17, 2013: Parties United to ECP: FATA Elections Reforms Needed Now 7

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