1
FATA Reforms News Summary
November 2013 - February 2014
TABLE OF CONTENTS
FATA Status .....................................
2
Local Bodies for FATA .....................................................................................................
3
FATA Status
SAFRON minister wants more power for
FATA MNAs
“We are thinking of designating legislative and
administrativ...
4
12 parliamentarians from Fata are in the lower
house and eight are in the upper house,” he said.
The senator added under...
5
Responding to the demand put forward by FATA
Siyasi Etihad regarding repeal of Article 247 and
empowering the parliament...
6
Tribal Areas, protect the basic rights of the tribesmen
and ensure redress of their grievances within the
shortest possi...
7
the weak areas” Asghar Ali said, adding that more
training of the similar nature will make the picture
more clearly abou...
8
elected judges or officers, keeping the opinion of
tribesmen into account.
Afridi insisted the residents of tribal areas...
9
to the next hearing and told the lawyers to argue
on the extension of the jurisdiction.
The tribunal consists of two mem...
10
decision was made so far.”No hearing of case took
place in last six months despite giving new date for
next hearing,” h...
11
opposition parties, including Pakistan Muslim
League-Nawaz, Pakistan People’s Party,
Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, Pakistan ...
12
After cosmetic changes, the same draconian laws
are enforced in the lawless tribal areas bordering
Afghanistan. Two fem...
13
Journalists condemn abuse by FATA
officials
Tribal journalists feel unsafe in Khyber Agency.
Political Moharars disgrac...
14
The agreed-upon reform agenda proposes
instituting local bodies’ elections, broad
infrastructure development, and speci...
15
Agency level political parties unite for
FATA reforms
The Alliance sought that Local Government polls,
FCR reforms and ...
16
Article 247
Youth call for extending constitutional
rights to FATA
“Lawyers from the tribal area said that the
governme...
17
Senators want FATA people accorded
legislative rights
ISLAMABAD: Senators from opposition parties in
the upper house of...
18
JI chief Munawar Hasan said since the people of
FATA had given sacrifices for Pakistan and
Kashmir, they must be includ...
19
Is there any place in the globe where such law
administers justice? Obviously, the answer is in
negative, and no one ha...
20
decrease the miseries of them, he said and adding
an era of development would be begun and people
would be empowered at...
21
help in bringing positive changes in the lives of
tribesmen”, he added.
By Anwarullah Khan
Source: http://frc.com.pk/ne...
22
2013 to 2016 and other officer bearers also took
oath on the occasion.
Provincial Ameer in his address applauded tribal...
23
The speakers highlighted that Frontier Crimes
Regulation, absence of fundamental rights and a
proper social justice sys...
24
By Parvez Jabri
Source: http://brecorder.com/pakistan/general-
news/152421-lb-elections-to-bring-positive-
change-in-fa...
FATA Reforms News Update (Nov 2013-Feb 2014)
FATA Reforms News Update (Nov 2013-Feb 2014)
FATA Reforms News Update (Nov 2013-Feb 2014)
FATA Reforms News Update (Nov 2013-Feb 2014)
FATA Reforms News Update (Nov 2013-Feb 2014)
FATA Reforms News Update (Nov 2013-Feb 2014)
FATA Reforms News Update (Nov 2013-Feb 2014)
FATA Reforms News Update (Nov 2013-Feb 2014)
FATA Reforms News Update (Nov 2013-Feb 2014)
FATA Reforms News Update (Nov 2013-Feb 2014)
FATA Reforms News Update (Nov 2013-Feb 2014)
FATA Reforms News Update (Nov 2013-Feb 2014)
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FATA Reforms News Update (Nov 2013-Feb 2014)

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The FATA Reforms news update below is a 36-page document containing a selection of opinion and news articles regarding recommendations for further reforms in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The summary document contains articles from November 2013 to February 2014.

The reforms priorities in the document include abolishing the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR), many calls for extending a local government system to FATA, amending Article 247 of the Constitution of Pakistan, competing calls for future FATA status, commentary on development in FATA, calls for greater transparency in the tribal areas and others.

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FATA Reforms News Update (Nov 2013-Feb 2014)

  1. 1. 1 FATA Reforms News Summary November 2013 - February 2014 TABLE OF CONTENTS FATA Status .............................................................................................................................. 3 SAFRON minister wants more power for FATA MNAs......................................................................3 FATA MPs divided on SAFRON call for de facto province status.......................................................3 President announces new cell for FATA problems...............................................................................4 Khyber Union demands elected FATA Council ...................................................................................4 Justice for FATA ....................................................................................................................... 5 Governor for strengthening FATA Tribunal.........................................................................................5 Governor okays steps to streamline FATA justice system....................................................................5 Training arranged for FATA judicial officers.......................................................................................6 FATA sceptical of new judicial agents.................................................................................................7 High Court warns against ignoring FATA rights..................................................................................8 High Court debates extending authority to FATA ................................................................................8 PPP leader Babar Awan seeks extension of court jurisdiction to FATA...............................................9 Time for reform in FATA justice system..............................................................................................9 FATA demands extension of court jurisdiction ....................................................................................9 MNAs to table resolution for extension of superior courts to FATA ..................................................10 Senate told Citizenship Act does not apply to FATA .........................................................................11 High Court reserves judgment on Federal Investigation Agency jurisdiction in FATA......................12 Journalists condemn abuse by FATA officials ...................................................................................12 Mainstreaming FATA .............................................................................................................. 13 Pakistani political parties aim to bring FATA into mainstream..........................................................13 Government to bring FATA into mainstream .....................................................................................14 Agency level political parties unite for FATA reforms ......................................................................15 FATA parties work together for peace and reforms............................................................................15 Article 247 ............................................................................................................................... 16 Youth call for extending constitutional rights to FATA .....................................................................16 Senators want FATA people accorded legislative rights ....................................................................16 Political parties stress restructuring of FATA.....................................................................................17 Citizen petition to abolish FCR and extend constitution.....................................................................18 CGPA demands abolition of Article 247 ............................................................................................19 Amend Article 247 to provide basic rights to tribesmen.....................................................................19 Parties and lawyers denounce FATA rights violations .......................................................................20 Protection of fundamental human rights demanded in FATA.............................................................20 Tribal jirga demands reforms for sustainable peace............................................................................21 Provision of basic rights for FATA people demanded........................................................................21
  2. 2. 2 Local Bodies for FATA ........................................................................................................... 22 FATA left out as provinces plan local elections .................................................................................22 Government asked to announce schedule for local bodies polls in FATA ..........................................22 Experts demand local elections in Pakistan tribal areas......................................................................23 Governor says local elections to bring positive change in FATA .......................................................23 Sherpao for local bodies polls in FATA .............................................................................................24 FATA parties alliance demands local bodies elections.......................................................................24 FATA political parties demand local elections...................................................................................24 Bajaur Alliance to move court for local government in FATA...........................................................25 Jirga urges government to hold local elections in FATA....................................................................25 Tribal parties urge government to hold local elections in FATA........................................................25 FATA Democratic Movement demands local elections......................................................................26 Development ........................................................................................................................... 26 President says Pakistan development linked with FATA uplift ..........................................................27 Increase in educational expenditure fails to boost female literacy in FATA.......................................27 Public representation in monitoring FATA development ...................................................................28 New ban on NGO registration violates constitution ...........................................................................28 Officials stress judicious spending on FATA .....................................................................................29 Proposed FATA youth policy in conflict with ground reality.............................................................29 Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) ......................................................................................... 30 Governor wants seminar to propose FCR changes .............................................................................31 FATA students arrested under FCR....................................................................................................31 FCR amendments urged for betterment of tribal people .....................................................................32 Civil society and tribesmen call for FCR abolishment........................................................................33 Seminar calls FCR main hurdle in FATA development......................................................................33 FATA political parties demand repeal of Frontier Crimes Regulation................................................34 Right to Information................................................................................................................ 34 Legal problem stops right to information law for FATA ....................................................................35 Journalists demand right to information in FATA ..............................................................................35 Coalition demands Right to Information Law for FATA....................................................................36
  3. 3. 3 FATA Status SAFRON minister wants more power for FATA MNAs “We are thinking of designating legislative and administrative powers to the tribal parliamentarians to enable them to govern FATA according to the wishes of local people.” BARA: Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) Lieutenant General (r) Abdul Qadir Baloch has said unlike elected representative from the rest of the country, tribal parliamentarians have no institutionalised role in legislation and budget preparation for FATA, saying they should have big say in running the affairs of the tribal region. “We are thinking of designating legislative and administrative powers to the tribal parliamentarians to enable them to govern Fata according to the wishes of local people,” he said while talking to media persons during his visit to Shakas Levies Centre at the Jamrud in the Khyber Agency on Wednesday. Without referring to the formation of a province or council, the minister said, “We want the elected representatives of FATA to exercise the same powers as enjoyed by their fellow parliamentarians from across the country and a proposal for their empowerment would be sent to the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif very soon.” The minister said negotiations and terror activities could not go side by side, saying militants should observe a ceasefire for making environment conducive for the peace talks. He said peace parleys had been started with all groups associated with Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Fata as well as in Khyber Agency. He said peace would be restored by using all means and Bara Bazaar reopen for commercial activities soon. As incentives, the minister announced to award 100 lungis or perks to the tribal elders of Khyber Agency. The Safron minister was accompanied by Members of National Assembly Haji Nasir Khan, Shaji Gul, Senator Haji Khan, tribal maliks, Additional Secretary Fata Arbab Muhammad Arif, Acting Secretary Safron Tariq Hayat, Khyber Agency Political Agent Shahab Ali Shah and others. Earlier, the FATA officials briefed Abdul Qadir Baloch about the upgrading plan of Shakas Levis Center which would cost Rs 158 million. Funded by Anti-Narcotics Section of the US embassy and Government of Pakistan, the officials said the centre would be used for the initial trainings of Levies recruits from Khyber Agency, Frontier Regions Peshawar and Kohat. The FATA officials said the centre would also be used for imparting specialised training to Levies recruits from all the tribal agencies. They said one Levies training centre would be established in each agency of the Fata which would cost Rs 281 million. Later, the federal minister also called on Governor Shaukatullah at the Governor’s House Peshawar and discussed with him law and order situation in Fata. The governor said rehabilitation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) is a challenging task and the government is trying its level best to accomplish it. The minister was also briefed on the law and order situation in Fata while performance of the Fata Secretariat about development work was also reviewed. Source: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News- 7-233823-Minister-favours-more-say-for-Fata-MPs- in-governance FATA MPs divided on SAFRON call for de facto province status SHABQADAR: Parliamentarians from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) have expressed mixed reaction to the SAFRON minister’s suggestion that Fata should be made a de facto province. Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) Minister Lieutenant General (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch told media on Friday in Islamabad that in a meeting of the National Assembly’s standing committee on SAFRON he suggested that FATA be made a de facto province just like Gilgit- Baltistan (G-B). According to Baloch, the move will enable parliamentarians from Fata to have a greater role in development projects in the region. The chairman of the standing committee on SAFRON, Senator Saleh Shah, who hails from South Waziristan, told The Express Tribune he would be in favour of any such move. “It would not be difficult to implement the suggestion because
  4. 4. 4 12 parliamentarians from Fata are in the lower house and eight are in the upper house,” he said. The senator added under the Frontier Crimes Regulation, the Constitution of Pakistan does not extend to Fata and no act can be implemented in the region without the prior permission of the President of Pakistan. “Until this hurdle is removed, the problems of Fata cannot be resolved,” said Shah. MNA Jamaluddin of Jamiat UIema-e-Islam-Fazl, however, said he was not in support of Baloch’s suggestion because according to him, Fata needs peace to be restored before other issues can be addressed. He was also of the opinion that parliamentarians from Fata have no role in development projects and there are no checks on them, nor are they made accountable. Ijaz Mohmand of the FATA Lawyers Forum said instead of making FATA a de facto province it should be merged with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa as the provincial assembly had adopted a resolution in May 2012 regarding the matter. “Leaders from Fata should be given the right to make their own laws,” said Mohmand. By Mureeb Mohmand Source: http://tribune.com.pk/story/671872/de- facto-province-status-fata-mps-divided-over- safron-ministers-statements/ President announces new cell for FATA problems President Mamnoon Hussain on Saturday announced to set up a cell at Aiwan-e-Sadr Islamabad to coordinate with government departments to resolve problems of Tribal Areas. He stated while addressing a grand tribal jirga in Peshawar. The President lauded the sacrifices rendered by security forces and the people of FATA in the war against terrorism. He issued directives to the Finance Division to release one hundred million rupees each for Shuhda package and for rehabilitation of FATA IDPs at the earliest. He assured the tribal elders that allocated budget for development of FATA will not be curtailed. Responding to demands presented by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Engineer Shaukatullah‚ the President announced giving natural gas facility to the FATA and all Frontier Regions and directed the SNGPL authorities to evolve a comprehensive strategy in this regard. The President also directed the OPF authorities to establish quality educational institutions in all the tribal agencies and said that in first phase these institutions will be established in Bajaur‚ Kurram and Khyber agencies. He also ordered for launching of housing project for the people of FATA through OPF and release of required funds for the establishment of already approved grid stations at Khaar and Jamrud. Similarly‚ the President announced a main general hospital in FATA‚ provision of skilled training to 300 youths‚ awarding scholarship to 10 students in four federal universities. Earlier‚ in his welcome address‚ Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Engineer Shaukatullah said that 18.5 billion rupees have been allocated in current FATA ADP for socio- economic uplift of the area. He said that return of IDPs belonging to South‚ North Waziristan‚ Kurram and Bara Khyber Agency to their native areas is in progress. He said that the government has taken for setting of university‚ medical college and IT university in FATA besides a cadet college in each tribal agency. Source: http://www.nation.com.pk/national/11-Jan- 2014/president-announces-to-set-up-a-cell-in- islamabad-for-addressing-fata-problems Khyber Union demands elected FATA Council “We want that Article 247 should be amended in such a manner that the President will have to seek consent of an elected FATA Council.” LANDI KOTAL: A jirga of Kukikhel elders in Jamrud on Monday refused to assist the security forces in apprehending a militant commander. The jirga was held at the hujra of Malik Attaullah Jan Kukikhel after Commandant Khyber Rifles Col Mansur Janjua asked the tribe to help the security forces in arresting Taliban commander Ababeel. Meanwhile, Khyber Union, a Bara-based political organisation, has opposed the repeal of Article 247 of Constitution and demanded formation of an elected council to recommend any change in the existing status of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
  5. 5. 5 Responding to the demand put forward by FATA Siyasi Etihad regarding repeal of Article 247 and empowering the parliament to enact and amend laws for FATA, Khyber Union in its meeting on Monday cautioned that any such step would jeopardise the present status of FATA as tribal jirga would lose its credibility. FATA Siyasi Etihad, a conglomerate of eight mainstream political parties, had on Sunday lamented that FATA parliamentarians in National Assembly and Senate were not empowered to enact any law for the tribal areas. “We want that Article 247 should be amended in such a manner that the President will have to seek consent of an elected FATA Council alongside a representative jirga of tribal elders for bringing about any change in the existing system in FATA,” Hamidullah Jan Afridi, a former MNA from Bara, told the meeting. He said that most of the laws enacted for the tribal areas were proposed by non-tribal members, who had little or no knowledge of tribal areas. “We want the elected FATA Council and tribal elders to recommend changes in our laws to the President under the amended Article 247,” Mr Afridi said. Bazaar Gul Afridi, chairman of KU, said that no political party was sincere in addressing the problems faced by tribal people. The KU leader said that political leaders were interested in promoting their own party manifestoes rather than addressing issues of FATA. Ikramullah Jan Kokikhel said that FATA should be awarded status of a separate province and it should be given full authority and control over its resources. The meeting demanded of the federal government to hold local bodies’ elections in FATA and implement FCR reforms. By Ibrahim Shinwari Source: http://dawn.com/news/1076024/kukikhels- refuse-to-help-forces-in-capturing-militant Justice for FATA Governor for strengthening FATA Tribunal PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Eng Shaukatullah has said that only authoritative FATA Tribunal with effective rule can provide justice to tribal people. He said that prompt steps would be taken to empower FATA Tribunal for expeditious justice. He added that the credibility of ineffective institutions became a question mark. The governor said that all the relevant authorities should play effective role and adopt austerity measures to strengthen and empower FATA Tribunal so that tribal people could get timely justice. He was chairing a meeting regarding the reforms and amendments in Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) at Governor’s House here on Thursday, said a handout. The governor was briefed by the officials of FATA Secretariat. Besides FATA Law and Order Secretary Jamal Nasir, AI&C Secretary Syed Ameerud Din, Additional Secretary Ahmad Khan, FATA Tribunal Chairman Shah Wali Khan and Additional Secretary to Governor Mohamamd Dawood, other officials also attended the meeting. The governor was also briefed on possible amendments in FCR while performance of FATA Tribunal was also reviewed in the meeting. The officials informed the governor that FATA Tribunal was not facilitated and provided financial assistance since its inception and it was also facing impediments and constraints in its way of smooth working for the betterment of tribal people. The governor was told that lack of funds, staff and proper infrastructure badly affected the performance of the tribunal. Source: http://www.dawn.com/news/1085478/governor-for- strengthening-fata-tribunal Governor okays steps to streamline FATA justice system PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Engineer Shaukatullah on Monday approved concrete measures to streamline the judicial system in the
  6. 6. 6 Tribal Areas, protect the basic rights of the tribesmen and ensure redress of their grievances within the shortest possible time. To make this possible, the governor sanctioned creation of a new post of assistant political agent (judicial) in each Tehsil, and ordered immediate measures for constitution of a team of 10 to 20 Levy personnel in each tribal agency for provision of forensic training. Presiding over a meeting at the Governor’s House, the governor said that solid measures were must for making the reforms process in FATA visible and practicable. “All officers of the level of assistant political agent should be well-versed in the FCR law, and for this purpose, a crash training programme should also be launched,” he said. Indeed, the government had already adopted some useful measures to protect the basic rights of the people of FATA, address their issues through the reforms process, Shaukatullah said, and noted that due to the lack of administrative support, difficulties were being faced in realising the desired objectives. Meanwhile, the elders of Mandal tribe in Bajaur Agency on Monday assured the local administration of their full support in maintaining the writ of the government in the region. During a jirga with senior officials of the local administration, the tribal elders and members vowed to expel strangers from their areas. A number of tribal elders and members of several village defense committees attended the jirga. Political Agent Abdul Jabar Shah and other senior officials were also present. Speaking on the occasion, the political agent said that peace had been established in the region after elimination of terrorists but durable peace was still a tough task as there had been threats from the militants. The political agent urged the tribal elders to realise the situation and be alert for any challenges in the area because protection of the area from anti-state elements was the responsibilities of every citizen of the region. He also asked the elders to speed up their anti-militant activities and fulfill their collective responsibility with honesty and commitment. “Joint efforts are very essential for maintaining peace and a complete elimination of the militants from the area,” he added. Shah lauded the tribal elders for their efforts and contribution in the restoration of peace in the area, saying they had always rendered great sacrifices for the protection of the frontiers. The jirga was also addressed by tribal elders and leaders of peace committees, Mian Masood Jan, Malik Noshea Rwan Khan, Malik Rahat, Malik Mohammad Rahman, and Malik Zahir Shah. The elders said the tribesmen were fully alert to meet any challenges and that no one would be allowed to interrupt the law and order situation in the agency. “We are ready to face any challenges,” they said. The jirga unanimously imposed ban on providing shelter to suspected elements, foreigners and non- local people in their area. The jirga also decided to impose a fine of Rs2 million on any local if he was found guilty of providing shelter to suspected elements in the area within the limits of Mandal tribe. The elders demanded the administration and the federal government to provide special development package to Mandal tribe. They said that the tribesmen of Mandal tribe were peace-living citizens of the agency that had always rendered great sacrifices for restoration of peace in the area. Source: http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news- newspaper-daily-english-online/national/15-Oct- 2013/governor-okays-steps-to-streamline-judicial- system-in-fata Training arranged for FATA judicial officers PESHAWAR: Five day training was held in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Judicial Academy under the Governance Support Program of FATA Secretariat for the improving of judicial competence of judicial officers working in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). As 21 officers including Assistant Political Agents, Political Tehsildars and Naib Tehsildars were participating in the course and it was started from 10 February up to 14th February. The training was focusing on three areas, Court Management, Case Management and Judgment writing. In-charge Mediation Center Judicial Academy, Asghar Ali while explaining objectives of the training said generally Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) is considered to be a black law but the fact is that there are some positive points as well in the FCR, which can be of great relief, if implemented in true letter and spirit. “Before designing the course, we engaged practicing lawyers of FATA Tribunal and identified
  7. 7. 7 the weak areas” Asghar Ali said, adding that more training of the similar nature will make the picture more clearly about gaps and weaknesses. On the occasion Javedullah Mehsood, Assistant Political Agent FR Bannu while sharing his experience said that the participants are getting acquainted with new approaches and techniques. He said “though a judicial set up is there in FATA but not classy and systematized like the one in down districts of the country”. Javedullah hoped that the training will enable them to deal with litigants politely and follow the procedure in the best possible manner. Another participant Zeeshan Abdullah, Assistant Political Agent Baizai, Uppar Mohmand said that the training was of immense significance for them as they had to learn a lot of new things. “We are being taught how to bring grace and agility in framing issues and judgment writing” said Zeeshan Abdullah. He added that a well-versed and elegant judicial officer not only will deal the complainants properly but will also help to avoid wastage of time in the lower as well as upper judicial form. Terming the course very useful, he suggested that such trainings should be continuously arranged for judicial officers, working in FATA. It is worth mentioning that the establishment of FATA Tribunal in the recent years surfaced the growing need for making the system more judicial in nature, mechanism and outcomes. Responding to this need, the Post Crisis Needs Assessment, FATA Secretariat, approached the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Judicial Academy to design a course for the judicial officers of FATA, focusing on three areas of Judgment writing, case management and court management. During this five-day training course the participants will be imparted training on judicial temperament and code of conduct, jurisdiction, extended laws, Jirga, bail & temporary injunction, transparency, consistency & accountability of public record, legal & linguistic requirements of decision making, plaint, complaint, reply & determination of controversial points, incorporation of date of hearing in a diary, determination of quantum of sentence according to law, critical analysis of relevant law & Current practice on judgment writing, right to opportunity of hearing , superdari, framing of charges & Challan,implementation of the decree and sensitization to human considerations. By Farid Shinwari Source: http://thefrontierpost.com/article/74930/5- days-training-arranged-for-judicial-officers-FATA/ FATA sceptical of new judicial agents PESHAWAR: Politicians and officials from the tribal areas are divided over the governor’s decision to create the posts of judicial assistant political agents (APAs) to streamline the legal system of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). On October 14, Governor Shaukatullah Khan approved the creation of the APA judicial posts and the formation of a team of 10 to 20 levies officials in each tribal agency to acquire forensic training. The move is meant to provide swift resolution to problems. The governor had said a judicial APA would be appointed in every tehsil of all tribal agencies. The designated person will be independent in all his decisions. Under this system, jirgas will continue to listen to and resolve people’s grievances and disputes, but the main authority to hand punishments would rest with the judicial APA. However, a senior official from Fata told The Express Tribune there was a dire need for proper prosecution of cases and evidence gathering in the region, but the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) is the biggest hindrance to the process as it arrives at a verdict through a jirga. The official explained the FCR needs to be amended to make it compulsory for a jirga to consider the collected evidence before it passes a verdict. “The previous reforms to the FCR in 2011 were never implemented and the ones being attempted now will see the same fate.” (Former MNA Akhunzada Chitan) He added the FCR does not include capital punishment even for crimes like murder. How will they (judicial APAs) enforce such punishments to people who have never been given such penalties?” he questioned. “A lot of procedural changes are required too. It is also questionable whether the FATA Secretariat and political agents would let the new system be a success,” he said. Iqbal Afridi, an elder and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf central executive committee member, said all political parties have rejected the governor’s decision, labelling it a move to eliminate the jirga system from the tribal areas. Afridi said the decision would have been acceptable if the government planned to appoint independent
  8. 8. 8 elected judges or officers, keeping the opinion of tribesmen into account. Afridi insisted the residents of tribal areas already felt disconnected to political agents and APAs and it would be unfair to take away the jirga’s powers and give them to these officers. Meanwhile, Fata Lawyers Forum (FLF) President Muhammad Ijaz Mohmand welcomed the appointment of judicial APAs and said “it is a historic step towards an independent judicial system in Fata”. Mohmand said the FLF had forwarded a three-point agenda to Governor Shaukatullah which included the separation of judiciary from the executive, the extension of the jurisdiction of superior courts to Fata and an independent Fata tribunal. He added the federal government had introduced some reforms in the FCR in 2011 whereby tribesmen were given the right to appeal in courts against any verdict. Minor changes were made to the FCR’s collective responsibility clause and the Auditor General of Pakistan was allowed to audit income and expenditure of political agents, but this did not bring any significant changes in the lives of tribesmen. However, Mohmand insisted the new system would yield better results. Former MNA Akhunzada Chitan expressed reservations over the new system. He said the previous reforms to the FCR were never implemented and the ones being attempted now will see the same fate. He stressed on the need for an implementing body, claiming the FATA Secretariat and agencies’ administrators do not want the judicial system in place. By Asad Zia and Muneeb Mohmand Source: http://tribune.com.pk/story/620518/casting- doubts-fata-sceptic-of-judicial-apas-in-tribal-areas/ High Court warns against ignoring FATA rights “FATA has not been given due rights, says Peshawar High Court Chief Justice.” PESHAWAR: Chief Justice of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) Justice Dost Mohammad Khan on Saturday said Fata had been ignored for the past 66 years and if resources had been provided to its people, the area would not have been producing suicide bombers and masterminds of bombings. Addressing a function at the Judicial Academy here, Justice Dost Mohammad said no university could be set up in Fata even after 66 years. He said Fata had not been given its due rights and resources and that is why the situation worsened there and gripped the entire country. He further added that our enemies always tried to make the situation worse for us. By setting up more universities, the sense of deprivation of tribesmen could be removed. He said the Constitution must govern all affairs, and all institutions and members of society must play their role in improving the country’s situation. He said the president and army chief will have to ensure equitable justice for all. Source: http://thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13- 28182-Ignored-Fata-producing-bombers-PHC-CJ High Court debates extending authority to FATA PESHAWAR: To determine the authority of the court, the Peshawar High Court (PHC) ordered lawyers to argue on extending the jurisdiction of the high court to the tribal areas at the next hearing of the petition on the appointment of members of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) tribunal. The tribunal consists of two members and a chairman who hears the review petitions of cases from the tribal areas. On Thursday, a two-member bench comprising Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Malik Manzoor Hussain were informed by lawyers that the current members of the FATA Tribunal were not familiar with the customs of the tribal areas. The lawyers told the court that in the petition filed by Advocate Ijaz Mohmand under Section 55-A of the Frontier Crimes Regulation it was necessary to appoint those people as members who are familiar with the customs. The current members and chairman were appointed by the governor and do not fall in that category. Petition says it was necessary to appoint those people as members who were familiar with the customs. The court said that as the orders of the tribunal cannot be challenged in the PHC, they first need to determine if the court can hear the case proceedings or not. The bench adjourned the case
  9. 9. 9 to the next hearing and told the lawyers to argue on the extension of the jurisdiction. The tribunal consists of two members – Pir Fida Muhammad and Akbar Khan, and a chairman, Shah Wali Khan, who hears the review petitions of cases from the tribal areas. Source: http://tribune.com.pk/story/656995/tribal- lines-phc-invites-debate-on-extending-authority-to- fata/ PPP leader Babar Awan seeks extension of court jurisdiction to FATA “A separate services tribunal should be set up for the employees from the tribal areas so that their grievances may be easily addressed”, says Babar Awan. PESHAWAR: Senior leader of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Babar Awan on Tuesday said the government should introduce the 21st amendment in the Constitution to bring the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) within the jurisdiction of the Peshawar High Court (PHC). Talking to journalists at the PHC premises, Awan said a separate services tribunal should be set up for the employees from the tribal areas so that their grievances may be easily addressed. He added the PHC should hear appeals against any decision of the federal and provincial services tribunals. Source: http://tribune.com.pk/story/624336/ppp- leader-babar-awan-seeks-extension-of-courts- jurisdiction-to-fata/ Time for reform in FATA justice system PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has issued notices to secretaries of State and Frontier Regions, Law and Parliamentary Division, and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Home and Tribal Affairs Department over the sentencing of a tribesman, who was arrested under one charge, but later convicted in another case. A two-member bench comprising Justice Mazhar Alam and Justice Yahya Khan Afridi issued the notices when it was informed by Advocate Samiullah Afridi that his client Nizam was arrested under sections 365 and 11 of the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR). The bench was further informed Nizam was later tried in other cases and the assistant political agent of Bara, Khyber Agency sentenced him to 10 years in prison under sections 121 and 122 of the Pakistan Penal Code and Section 11 of the FCR. During his arguments, Samiullah Afridi said tribal people are also residents of Pakistan, but are treated differently compared to other citizens of settled areas. He maintained the decades-old FCR should be abolished so residents of this backward region can enjoy their liberty as other citizens do. “The current law is against basic human rights and local residents want it abolished from their areas,” said the advocate. He added the current sentence given to Nizam must be declared null and void. The current law is against basic human rights and local residents want it abolished from their areas. (Advocate Samiullah Afridi) After hearing the arguments, the bench issued notices to the secretaries to explain their position. The FCR dates back to the time of the British Raj and is generally regarded as a draconian law by the local tribesmen of Fata who say they are denied the fundamental right of a lawyer during prosecution. One of the much-criticised aspects of the FCR is the collective responsibility clause which holds tribesmen accountable for the crime of one clan member. Source: http://tribune.com.pk/story/632684/time- for-reform-phc-issues-notices-over-sentencing-of- tribesman/ FATA demands extension of court jurisdiction PESHAWAR: Tribal people have demanded President of Pakistan to extend jurisdiction of High Court and Supreme Court to tribal belt like other parts of the country, as the recent FATA Tribunal established to resolve their issues could not provide speedy justice. It is pertinent to mention here that FATA Tribunal had been established in 1997 consisting of two on service members of federal law and home department while after amendments took place in 2011in Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) the tribunal is consisting of three retired members. One of the tribesmen, Shah Mohammad of Landikotal Khyber Agency told this scribe that Khugkhel tribe of Shinwari was receiving around one million losses due to closure of Torkham general stand as the final decision was not made by members of FATA Tribunal in last six months. He informed that they had been attending the court proceeding for last six months; however no final
  10. 10. 10 decision was made so far.”No hearing of case took place in last six months despite giving new date for next hearing,” he added. Final decision should be made in order to avoid daily losses, Shah said and demanding that they want High Court and Supreme Court to extend its jurisdiction to tribal areas in order to provide swiftly justice to tribesmen. Shah Pasand another tribesman of Mohmand Agency said he had land dispute with rival group in Ghalanai area of Mohmand Agency and selected official Jirga by political agent gave verdict in favor of opposition party which I challenged in tribunal. However he regretted and saying he was not provided justice in last eight years despite appealing in tribunal against the verdict being given. Aggrieved person demanded justice from members of tribunal in order to get rid of the disputed matter as he is unable to afford the expenditures of lawyer being hired for fighting the case. FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa lawyers have different opinions about FATA Tribunal as Qubais Shinwari, who performed his duty in high court as a lawyer commented on Saturday that lawyers’ community applauded the step towards amendments being made in (FCR) by former President Asif Ali Zardari, though amendments were not made on wishes of tribal people. “The tribunal was not fully empowered as expected, Shinwari said and adding it works for solving the issues of official departments despite local tribesmen”. The tribal people, lawyer said are equal citizens as compared to other citizen of the country in light of 1973 constitution while they have been deprived of fundamental rights in their respective areas. He informed that there is difference between Court and Tribunal while still it does not meet requirements of a tribunal because merit and competency is considered must while appointing a judge or member of tribunal. The sitting members of tribunal, according to Shinwari have been appointed on political basis despite merit. Farooq Mehsud a lawyer, who compared the performance of previous FATA Tribunal with recent one saying that the current tribunal, is conducting hearing of cases a full week while earlier was conducting once in a week. Its trial as compared to previous tribunal is speedy and it provides justice as quick as possible, Mahsud added. On service secretaries of federal home and law department used to conduct hearing of various nature of cases in past while the recent tribunal consisting of retired bureaucrats of 21 rank, he informed. The role of current tribunal was highly- appreciated by Mahsud as it would help solve minor issues in no time. However the 2011 amendments brought the court out from under the direct administration of federal government and placed two retired bureaucrats and one lawyer in the FATA Tribunal. The reforms further explains that membership of FATA Tribunal must consist of a Chairman and two other members. The Chairman must be a civil servant of not less than BPS 21 rank and have adequate experience of tribal administration. While the other two members must be retired civil servants of not less than BPS 20 grade and have enough experience of tribal belt. The third member must qualify to be appointed as a judge of high court and must be familiar with tribal customs and traditions. Contrary to the comments of abovementioned lawyer and tribesmen, Chairman of FATA Tribunal, Shah Wali Khan Orakzai in his exclusive interview with The Frontier Post said the tribunal deals both civil and criminal cases. Chairman however shared the statistics saying that verdicts of around 500 cases have been made by members of tribunal while 89 cases are still in pending which will be solved soon. By Farid Shinwari Source: http://www.thefrontierpost.com/article/5206 8/ MNAs to table resolution for extension of superior courts to FATA PESHAWAR: The parliamentarians from the tribal areas would table a resolution in the National Assembly and Senate to seek the extension of jurisdiction of the superior courts to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) to check the violation of fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Fata Lawyers Forum (FLF) President Mohammad Ijaz Mohmand told The News on Sunday that the forum with the help of Fata parliamentarians had sensitized about 300 MNAs of the ruling and
  11. 11. 11 opposition parties, including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Pakistan People’s Party, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Awami National Party to support the resolution seeking the extension of jurisdiction of superior courts to Fata, which is being governed under the British-era Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR). He said the FLF held a meeting with Fata parliamentarians on August 21 to persuade them to move a resolution at the National Assembly and Senate to make amendments to the Article 247 (7) of the Constitution. Ijaz Mohmand said the senators and MNAs from Fata had assured the FLF to draft the amendment and get it passed with the help of the ruling party. “We have drafted the resolution and it will soon be tabled in the National Assembly and Senate,” the FLF president said. Ijaz Mohmand said though constitutionally the parliamentarians from Fata were barred from legislating for Fata, they were presenting the resolution with the help of other parliamentarians to make amendments to Article 247 of the Constitution to extend the jurisdiction of the superior courts to Fata as the tribes-persons were deprived of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution. He said the extension of the jurisdiction of the superior courts would restrain the political administration from violating the fundamental rights of the tribal people under the FCR. The FLF has forwarded the draft of the resolution to Fata parliamentarians for its passage from both the houses the Parliament. It states: “Article 1 of the Constitution has defined the territories of Pakistan, which includes Fata. Despite being an integral part of Pakistan, more than 10 million inhabitants do not enjoy the protection of their fundamental rights as guaranteed by the Constitution.” The proposed draft stated that the inhabitants of Fata are governed by a draconian law called the FCR and the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and Peshawar High Court has been ousted through Article 247 of the Constitution, unless the Parliament provides otherwise, through legislation and certain laws are extended to Fata. “Since the people of Fata are citizens of Pakistan and are entitled to be treated equally under the Constitution and their fundamental rights also to be protected under the Constitution. We the members of the National Assembly do hereby resolve and recommend the necessary amendments be made immediately in Article 247 of the Constitution regarding extension of the superior courts in Fata,” said the proposed draft of the resolution. On 22 August, the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan also passed a unanimous resolution on the request of the FLF. The contents of the resolution were enforcement of fundamental rights in Fata, extension of jurisdiction of high courts and Supreme Court to Fata and rule of law in Fata. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly has also passed a resolution demanding representation of people of Fata in the provincial assembly and extension of superior courts’ jurisdiction to the tribal areas. Former minister for Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Human Rights Arshad Abdullah had moved the resolution asking the government to abolish the newly constituted Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) Tribunal and establish a proper judicial forum. The resolution demanded deletion of clause (7) of Article 247 of the Constitution for being in violation of fundamental rights of tribal people and called for extension of the jurisdiction of the higher courts to Fata. By Akhtar Amin Source: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News- 2-219122-KP-MPs-to-table-resolution-for- extension-of-superior-courts-to-Fata Senate told Citizenship Act does not apply to FATA ISLAMABAD: The century-old Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) act which governs the troubled Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) not only denies the basic human rights of religious minorities, but also denies residents citizen rights, it emerged on Thursday. These startling revelations came to the fore in the Senate when ministers highlighted that minorities’ rights in Fata are severely lacking. For the first time, it was pointed out in parliament that Christians living in Fata since 1914 cannot get a domicile under the prevailing colonial era law (FCR) enforced by British rulers in 1901.
  12. 12. 12 After cosmetic changes, the same draconian laws are enforced in the lawless tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. Two female lawmakers, PPP Senator Farhat Abbass and ANP Senator Farah Aqil, raised the matter of non-issuance of domicile certificates to the Christian community residing in Fata. Aqil who was present in the House when the issue was taken up, claimed that the Christian community residing in Fata for several decades has not been issued domicile certificates. The domicile is one of the very basic pre-requisites for applying for a job or a seat in college and university under the quota system. The ANP legislator further claimed that many Christian communities had been living in Fata for generations, with most residence records showing that they had settled there since 1914. Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab responded that domicile in Fata is issued only to local residents under the 1901 FCR Act. He said the Christian community came there for jobs after the enforcement of the act and that they are given a CNIC and they can purchase property, but the law does not permit the issuance of a domicile to them. Instead, however, they are issued a Permanent Resident Certificate. The minister’s startling revelation that the Citizenship Act of Pakistan is not applicable to Fata areas created a stir in the House. Leader of the Opposition Aitzaz Ahsan questioned how the Citizenship Act is not applicable to Fata if the region is part of Pakistan. The chair also expressed his concerns over the issue and referred the matter to the relevant standing committee for further deliberation. By Irfan Ghauri Source: http://tribune.com.pk/story/671607/senate- told-citizenship-act-does-not-apply-to-fata/ High Court reserves judgment on Federal Investigation Agency jurisdiction in FATA PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Monday reserved its decision on the extension of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) jurisdiction to investigate cases in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. PHC Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan also questioned which anti-corruption body would be responsible to probe allegations of misappropriation, if any, in the tribal areas. He was hearing a revision application filed by Fata additional chief secretary wherein the FIA asked the political agent (PA) of Khyber Agency to clear his position in a corruption case. The petitioner’s counsel, Advocate Qazi Muhammad Anwer informed the court a few months earlier FIA had asked the PA to clear his position, but under the FIA Act, 1974, its jurisdiction did not extend to the tribal areas. Advocate Anwer added they had first contacted a civil judge who had disposed of the application saying the FIA could carry out investigations throughout the country. He, however, contested the civil judge’s decision, saying even several presidential regulations have not made it clear if Fata falls under the ambit of FIA. Justice Khan then inquired which agency could probe cases of corruption in tribal areas, questioning why the area was exempted even though the PA himself draws his salary from the national exchequer. Standing counsel Jamil Warsak told the court there is no written stipulation in the FIA Act 1974 stating it cannot carry out investigation against employees working in Fata, adding the agency should initiate its probe as there were many complaints of corruption. “Article 1, Section 2 of the FIA Act 1974 says it extends to the whole of Pakistan and also applies to all citizens and public servants of Pakistan, wherever they may be.” Warsak also brought up an earlier case pertaining to Mosa Neka Public School in South Waziristan which was investigated by both FIA and National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The PHC had given a verdict of corruption in the case, reminded Warsak. After hearing arguments from both sides, the chief justice reserved his decision over the extension of FIA’s jurisdiction to Fata which will be divulged at a later date. Source: http://tribune.com.pk/story/627100/transpa rency-concerns-phc-reserves-judgment-on-fias- jurisdiction-in-fata/
  13. 13. 13 Journalists condemn abuse by FATA officials Tribal journalists feel unsafe in Khyber Agency. Political Moharars disgraced a local tribal journalist at Landikotal for his bold and independent reporting. Tribal journalists, hailing from Landikotal sub- division of Khyber Agency, have been facing discrimination and harassment by the political administration of Landikotal and Khyber Agency. Tribal journalist Shahid Shinwari was insulted at Michni check post at Landikotal after media reported widespread corruption at the post. A political moharar known as Saifur Rehman dealt with a local journalist Shahid Shinwari in a very disgraceful and humiliating manner, arguing that if local journalists are making public and highlighting their corruption, they would not be patiently tolerated to visit their offices and check posts. “I was forced to get out of his office at Michni post in Landikotal in a disgraceful way” Shinwari complained in Landikotal press club. It was also learnt that local administration had reportedly issued instructions to the lower staff and officials of Khasadar Force to keep away from journalists and don’t cooperate with them in any way, a source from Michni check post informed, advising the local journalists to confine their activities and don’t interact with administration or its staff directly, which is an alarming situation for local media persons. Political Agent Khyber and APA Landikotal have allegedly adopted a very negative and discriminative behaviour to divide journalists and harass them through various tactics by resorting to the policy of sticks and carrots. The local journalists have also communicated with local administration regarding threats through text messages from unknown numbers but the administration pushed the very serious issue under the rug, which created further suspensions in the minds of the local journalists. The authorities ignore to comment when their version is sought regarding any issue, which is meant to keep media in darkness. The gulf and misunderstanding between the local mediapersons and political authorities get deep and wide with the passage of time. The basic fact is that political agent and Landikotal administration wished to keep mums in the mouths of journalists to keep them silent to remain indifferent to the situation and don’t expose any wrongdoing, but the journalists have kept adherent to the principles of free and fair reporting to let the world know the ground realities. The local journalists while condemning the rude and aggressive misbehavior of the clerical staff at Landikotal have warned to resort to a protest movement if immediate and strict action was not taken against the accused clerical staff at Michni check post. By Sudhir Source: http://allvoices.com/contributed- news/16288380-journalists-condemn-high- handedness-of-administration-officials Mainstreaming FATA Pakistani political parties aim to bring FATA into mainstream ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have enjoyed unprecedented political freedoms for more than two years, and a committee comprised of the country’s 10 key political parties is touring the country to gain support for more reforms that would empower the long-neglected region. Parliamentary approval of the proposed reforms is necessary if they are to become law. The parties, united under the banner of the Political Parties Joint Committee on FATA Reforms, include the Awami National Party, Qaumi Watan Party, Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam (Fazl), the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), Jammat- e-Islami (JI), the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, the National Party and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Committee’s activities The parties on January 13 agreed on a list of reforms to try to promote a stable peace in FATA, a region that has been afflicted by terrorism since about 2007. The FATA reform committee, which was formed in late 2010, is fighting to help the tribesmen enjoy “access to the judicial system, constitutional guarantees and all fundamental rights like other citizens of Pakistan,” Ajmal Khan Wazir, central vice-president of PML-Q and member of the FATA committee, said.
  14. 14. 14 The agreed-upon reform agenda proposes instituting local bodies’ elections, broad infrastructure development, and special funds for health and education, Wazir said. During its nationwide tour, the committee will confer with the leaders of its member political parties and will hold media briefings in provincial capitals, Wazir told Central Asia Online. The delegation January 11 visited Quetta to meet with Balochistan Chief Minister and National Party Central President Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch and discussed proposed reforms for FATA. “We support the endeavors of the FATA Reforms Committee as it is a must for FATA residents to enjoy the same rights that has been enshrined in the constitution for every Pakistani national,” Baloch said during a January 11 press conference about the meeting. Besides Quetta, the committee’s itinerary in January includes Karachi and Peshawar. It earlier visited Lahore in December, meeting with JI chief Syed Munawar Hassan and other leaders. 1st party-based elections ever in FATA The committee’s work comes on the foundation of historic reforms in 2011 that enabled FATA residents to fully participate in the country’s political life last year. In August 2011, then-President Asif Ali Zardari amended the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR), a British-era law curtailing FATA residents’ rights, and extended the Political Parties Act (PPA) 2002 to the tribal areas. The change allowed political parties to operate there as they do elsewhere in Pakistan and compete for votes in the May 11 general election. Prior to the extension, FATA’s 12 assemblymen and 8 senators had to run as independents. Now, tribal candidates may stand for general elections as standard-bearers of political parties. Political leaders and civil society activists hail the extension of the PPA, saying that more such reforms could help defeat militancy in the region. “Tribal people are very thankful to … Zardari, who lifted a 64-year-old ban in August 2011 on the activities of political parties in the seven tribal agencies,” Akhundzada Chattan, a former parliamentarian from Bajaur Agency and a leader of the PPP, said. The participation of political parties in the tribal areas in last May’s general election had a positive impact, Islamabad-based political analyst Kahar Zalmay said. “There is no concept of basic democracy without the operation of political parties,” Zalmay told Central Asia Online. “FATA is no exception. When you allow people to vote and to campaign, you’re making them stakeholders.” “Political parties carried out their campaigns, and a large number of the tribal people cast their votes in the first party-based elections,” Abdullah Afridi, a PTI supporter in Khyber Agency, said, suggesting that FATA residents have become frustrated with the militancy and have faith in democratic governance. Even though terrorists issued threats and committed outright violence, FATA voter turnout in the 2013 general election was 36%, compared to 31% in 2008. By Zia-ur-Rehman Source: http://centralasiaonline.com/en_GB/article s/caii/features/pakistan/main/2014/01/14/feature- 01 Government to bring FATA into mainstream ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain has said that government is keen to undertake all possible measures to remove the sense of deprivation of people of tribal areas and bring them into the mainstream of national life in terms of socio- economic development. He stated this while talking to a delegation of FATA Senators led by Senator Abbas Khan Afridi who called on him at Aiwan-e-Sadr on Tuesday. During the meeting important issues including law and order situation in FATA and developmental matters in different constituencies of the tribal areas came under discussion. He said that government has planned various development projects for FATA which will not only facilitate the tribesmen but will also create employment opportunities for them. Other members of the delegation included Senator Abbas Khan Afridi, Senator Muhammad Idrees Khan Safi, Senator Malik Najam ul Hassan, Senator Muhammad Saleh Shah, Senator Haji Khan Afridi and Senator Hidayat Ullah. Source: http://fata.thefrontierpost.com.pk/?p=282
  15. 15. 15 Agency level political parties unite for FATA reforms The Alliance sought that Local Government polls, FCR reforms and inclusion of FATA people in the reforms debate process must be ensured. The All Bajaur Political Parties Alliance has agreed to a four-point agenda for the tribal areas: 1) identify issues FATA people face; 2) suggest possible solutions; 3) define a more interactive and leading role for political parties; and 4) design strategic plans. The war, militancy and chaos along with drone strikes were termed as military/militancy problems faced by FATA people. The Alliance demanded peace and cessation of drone strikes at the earliest and sought representation of FATA people in dialogue with the Taliban. Although amendments to FCR were announced and enacted in August 2011, they have not been implemented till this time. The Alliance also discussed that FATA parliamentarians are deprived of legislative rights for FATA in any constitutional forum. It was also again pledged that a FATA elected council should be established having power to enact reforms for FATA. FATA must be included in Pakistan and in the Prime Minister’s six-point development program. Economic depression in FATA due to militancy was also discussed and highlighted in the meeting. The Alliance sought that a special package be announced for FATA economic uplift. The Alliance took notice of irregularities in the development activities of NGOs in FATA. Some projects were termed as wastage of resources. An effective monitoring cell for monitoring and vetting the NGOs implementation and recruitment processes was urged in the meeting. The Alliance discussed and drew up a strategy for political parties that includes the Alliance and that unity among parties will be maintained. The All Parties Conferences will be continued and political alliances will be set up in every FATA agency. A protest and staging of a sit-in in Islamabad was planned. Source: http://www.slideshare.net/fatanews/agenda- bajaur-political-parties-allaince-v4-2013-1007 FATA parties work together for peace and reforms PESHAWAR: Naib Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami FATA, Zarnoor Afridi has said an agenda with consultation of all religious and political parties of tribal belt have been finalized for forthcoming Loya Qabaili Jirga scheduled to be held on 22 December at Nishtar Hall Peshawar. Peace to be restored in tribal region and military operation should be ended and federal government to initiate peace talks with Taliban and stop CIA operated drone attacks, Afridi while sharing one of the points of agenda devised for coming Loya Qabaili Jirga. Local bodies elections to be held in tribal regions like other parts of the country and date should instantly be announced, a full fledge financial package of 200 Arab to be released for restoration of FATA, an amendment to be made in 247 section of constitution and Presidential authority over FATA to be given to elected parliament, he further shared. Restriction over journalism to be lifted and PEMRA laws should be extended to tribal belt, Political Agent to be held responsible to judiciary and legislature, judiciary and administration to be separated while high court judges instead of bureaucrats in FATA Tribunal and session judge despite Additional Political Agent to be nominated, he informed. Zarnoor Afridi, a member of reforms committee of All FATA Political Alliance while addressing at a news conference said tribal region has become a hub of problems including potable water, health, education, infrastructure and IDPs. He further added that on one side tribal belt if affected owing to US war against terrorism while on the other side, a legal and constitutional space is still vacant since 1947, Afridi said. To take out a unanimous resolution of problems, all tribal political and religious party leaders decided to hold a Qaumi Jirga on 22 December in Peshawar. People belong to all thoughts of school including elders, maliks, clerics, journalists and leaders of JI, JUI-F, PTI, PPP, PML-N, PML-Q, ANP and QWP will participate in the Jirga. Source: http://thefrontierpost.com/article/62506/Fat a-political-alliance-all-set-to-hold-Jirga-on-Dec-22/
  16. 16. 16 Article 247 Youth call for extending constitutional rights to FATA “Lawyers from the tribal area said that the government should separate executive from the judiciary and extend jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to FATA.” PESHAWAR: Youths from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) have called for provision of fundamental human rights to the tribal people and abolition of the colonial era laws blatantly violating these rights. Attending a one-day consultative seminar on the new FATA Youth Policy here on Tuesday, they said that they wanted abolition of discriminatory sections of Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR), amendment to Article 247 of the Constitution and extension of fundamental rights incorporated in the Constitution to Fata. Lawyers from the tribal area said that the government should separate executive from the judiciary and extend jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to Fata. The seminar brought differences of opinion on core issues between the youths and policymakers to the limelight. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Engineer Shaukatullah inaugurated the seminar, which was attended by students, professionals, academicians and officials of the Fata Secretariat. Later, the participants were divided into four groups to include their input in the proposed policy that would be approved soon. Mohammad Asif, who was heading the political group, said that the policy draft extensively discussed human values and fundamental human rights, but was silent on the FCR. Mohammad Asif, who was heading the political group, said that the policy draft extensively discussed human values and fundamental human rights, but was silent on the FCR. He said that such policies would be futile until the government extended all constitutional rights to the tribal area. He demanded that the government should abolish all draconian laws and executive orders which are repugnant to the Constitution. The policy draft called for respect for human rights as adopted in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 and mentioned in the fundamental rights endorsed by the Constitution. The policy draft called for respect for human rights as adopted in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 and mentioned in the fundamental rights endorsed by the Constitution. An official said that the federal government had extended about 136 laws to the tribal area, but it could not be implemented because of absence of mechanism and infrastructure in Fata. Fata Lawyers Forum president Ijaz Mohmand called for the separation of judiciary and executive in tribal area and amendment to Article 247 of the Constitution. He complained that political reforms announced for Fata in 2011 had not been fully introduced. Fata Lawyers Forum president Ijaz Mohmand called for the separation of judiciary and executive in tribal area and amendment to Article 247 of the Constitution. He complained that political reforms announced for Fata in 2011 had not been fully introduced. He said that fundamental rights could not be protected without extension of the jurisdiction of parliament and superior courts. Dr Ziarat Shah, representing the panel on social empowerment of tribal youth, observed that restoration of peace was prerequisite for the social empowerment of tribal society. He said that the government should ensure provision of basic amenities, including health and education. Prof Bashir Ahmad hailing from Mohmand Agency observed that efficient local government system was need of the hour otherwise political empowerment of tribal society would be impossible. The governor appreciated the efforts of Fata Secretariat for the consultation for the first youth policy for Fata. He said that the government was providing opportunities to tribal people to prepare policies for themselves. He, however, said that professionals, including specialist doctors, did not go to tribal area despite opportunities and incentives. Source: http://www.dawn.com/news/1085030/youth -call-for-extending-constitutional-rights-to-fata
  17. 17. 17 Senators want FATA people accorded legislative rights ISLAMABAD: Senators from opposition parties in the upper house of Parliament gave voice to the rights of those living in the country’s tribal region, saying their fundamental rights were being violated. Taking part in a debate on the law and order situation in the tribal areas during the last sitting of the 99th senate session, PPP and ANP senators commented on the inability of those living in the tribal region to create legislation for their rights or to hold a local body election. ANP senator Afrasiab Khattak said the rights enjoyed by people in other parts of the country are not available to those in the tribal region. “There is no parliament in the area and FATA parliamentarians cannot push for legislations for their respective area,” he noted. He added that during the last few days, those killed or injured in clashes with the armed forces were unable to access medical facilities due to a continuous curfew in the area. The president must take steps to improve the living conditions of those in the region, as it comes under his control, the senator added. He also sought an impartial inquiry into the killing of innocent people and children during the military operation in Mirali and Miran Shah. Khattak emphasized the need for comprehensive reforms and regulation in FATA. There is no parliament in the area and FATA parliamentarians can not push for legislation for their respective area. (ANP Senator Afrasiab Khattak) He alleged that some local agencies were involved in creating unrest in Balochistan while some foreign agencies are also operating in the area. Khattak demanded an end to the disappearances taking place in the area. PPP senator Raza Rabbani stated that according to the constitution, the president could take notice of the law and order situation in FATA and take steps to bring reform in the area. Leader of the House Raja Zafar ul Haq said that reforms should be introduced in FATA to maintain law and order. He added that the issue was discussed many times in the senate but no resolution had been offered by former governments. “I will personally meet the president and inform him about the sentiments of the Senate,” Haq assured the house. The PPP’s Maula Bakhsh Chandio claimed that the incumbent government has totally failed to honour promises made during the election campaign. By Peer Muhammad http://tribune.com.pk/story/648577/call-for-reforms- senators-want-fata-people-accorded-legislative- rights/ Political parties stress restructuring of FATA LAHORE: The Political Parties’ Joint Committee on FATA Reforms has sought implementation of the proposed restructuring of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas by amending the Article 247 of the Constitution and holding the local elections there. Speaking to reporters after getting support of the Jamaat-i-Islami on Thursday, the committee members said FATA people offered unprecedented sacrifices for the creation of Pakistan and also fought for the Kashmir cause. Earlier, the committee members held a meeting with the JI leadership at Mansoora. Jamaat-i-Islami’s Prof Ibrahim said the FATA reforms proposed by the committee after thorough deliberations included guarantee of peace, amendment to Article 247 of the Constitution, holding of local elections, comprehensive package for infrastructure with special focus on health, education and employment, future decisions of FATA by its people, extension of Pemra jurisdiction, formation of Jirga System as democratic and independent, abolition of actions in aid of civil power regulation, separation of executive and judicial powers, and ensuring safeguarding life and property of the citizens. Asked whether the JI (along with the committee members) planned to be a mediator for talks between the government and the Taliban, Prof Ibrahim said since it was not the mandate of the committee, it didn’t want to intervene. “It’s the job of the government and we are just here to put our reforms/recommendations before the media,” he added. He said the MQM was also member of the committee but couldn’t attend the briefing in Lahore.
  18. 18. 18 JI chief Munawar Hasan said since the people of FATA had given sacrifices for Pakistan and Kashmir, they must be included in the constitutional framework of the country. The committee stressed that the political parties must unite to ensure legal reforms for tribal people. They said the committee planned to meet the president, the prime minister and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor to discuss the reform agenda. Source: http://www.dawn.com/news/1072196/restr ucturing-of-fata-stressed Citizen petition to abolish FCR and extend constitution The people of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) are deprived of the basic human rights enumerated in the constitution of Pakistan. We demand extension of constitution to FATA which is governed under the colonial law -Frontier Crime Regulation (FCR) for centuries. This colonial law denies basic human rights in the 21st century to millions of people of FATA. The Pakistani government should abolish FCR and extend constitution to this lawless region and the people should be freed from the clinches of the prevailing draconian law. FATA consist of Seven Agencies namely South Waziristan, North Waziristan, Kurram, Orakzai, Khyber, Mohmond and Bajaur and six Frontier Regions, FR Tank, FR Dera Ismail Khan, FR Bannu, FR Lakky, FR Kuhat and FR Peshawar, inhabiting millions of people. The constitution of Pakistan does not guarantee liberty and social justice to the people of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) as it has been administered by a century old administrative system introduced by the British government in 1901. Under Article 1 of the 1973 Constitution, FATA is a part of Pakistan but constitution is not extended to this border region of Pakistan. Article 247 of 1973 Constitution deals with exercise of power in FATA. The President of Pakistan is the executive head of FATA and exercises his power through his agent, Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Under the Governor, there is a Political Agent in each agency who commands political, executive, legislative and administrative authority in the agency. He is the judge, juror, police chief, prison official, local administrator and prosecutor. The Political Agent is the supreme head of the Agency with ultimate power and can be called an emperor without a crown. Constitutionally, no law of parliament is applicable to FATA until the President of Pakistan desires to implement it. FATA is represented in both the upper and the lower houses of the Pakistani Parliament but FATA parliamentarians cannot legislate for their region. The denial of political and civil rights and liberty not only grounds for the backwardness of FATA but is the major cause of pushing the region into the present turmoil and violence. The denial of political and civil rights and liberty not only grounds for the backwardness of FATA but is the major cause of pushing the region into the present turmoil and violence. In a democratic setup it is the utmost responsibility of the state to provide basic rights and guarantee security to its citizens. It is high time that the government should opt for political process and encourage political activities in FATA rather than military operation. The prevailing system of justice under the FCR in FATA is miserably failed to protect life, property and liberty of individuals and tribes. The FCR provisions include confiscation of property, demolishing of houses, baring individual or tribe to enter the settle areas of Pakistan, expelling a person from his residency, imposition of fine on entire tribe of the accused or criminal, and no right to go to any court in the country against the inhuman and ultra-constitutional decision of Political Agents. FCR articles include “seizure of property and arrest and detention of an individual without due process, barring a person in the tribal areas from entering the settled districts (Section 21); removing a person from his residence/locality (Section 36); imposition of fine on the entire community for crimes of an individual (sections 22, 23); prohibition on erecting village, walled enclosures and their demolition (sections 31-33); demolition of a house or building on suspicion of being used or populated by thieves or dacoits (Section 34); fines on relatives of a criminal and realization of fines by selling his property (Section 56); and, no right to go to courts against the Political Agent’s decision (Section 60)”.
  19. 19. 19 Is there any place in the globe where such law administers justice? Obviously, the answer is in negative, and no one has heard about such a brutal law where law may enslave individual and tribe in 21st century contrarily human dignity. Is there any state where constitution bows before the ordinary law? Again, Pakistan is an exceptional case, where the FCR is more powerful in FATA than the constitution of the country. We demand the abolishment of the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) and the extension of the constitution of Pakistan to FATA. Source: http://www.change.org/petitions/govt-of- pakistan-abolish-fcr-extend-constitution-to-fata CGPA demands abolition of Article 247 Centre for Governance and Public Accountability (CGPA) demanded the abolishment of Article 247 of Constitution of Pakistan, as the Article awards non-representative and undemocratic status to Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA). The CGPA further said the Article negates basic fundamental rights of the residents of tribal areas, and proved to be a main bottleneck in mainstreaming FATA. It claimed that without changing governance paradigms in trial areas for ensuring basic human rights peace and stability in tribal areas can’t be guaranteed. According to Article 247, it is sole discretion of the President and the Governor of respective province while acting as an agent of the President to direct the extension of any law to FATA and PATA, respectively. This provision takes away the basic democratic rights of the citizens of tribal areas to be represented by their elected representatives in National Assembly and provincial assemblies. CGPA lamented the fact that members of National Assembly from FATA can participate in legislation for the whole Pakistan but not for FATA. The Article 247 further states that ‘neither the Supreme Court nor a High Court shall exercise any jurisdiction under the Constitution in relation to a Tribal Area.’ This provision violates Article 25 of the constitution of Pakistan, which states that ‘all citizens are equal before law.’ This provision deprives residence of tribal areas to have basic right of fair trial and equality before law. CGPA lamented that due to Article 247 tribal areas are deprived of many important laws. While Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province has right to information law now, citizens from tribal areas have strong feelings of deprivation and disenfranchisement for not having right to information law. Residents of FATA have no representation in any provincial assembly and are deprived of have their voices articulated at local level. The organisation demanded that Right to Information and Local Government Regulations should immediately be notified for FATA. CGPA further demanded Federal Government to abolish Article 247 of the Constitution of Pakistan and start mainstreaming tribal areas as per aspirations of residence of tribal areas. Source: http://www.brecorder.com/general- news/172:pakistan/1263091:cgpa-demands- abolition-of-article-247/ Amend Article 247 to provide basic rights to tribesmen PESHAWAR: Naib Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami FATA, Zarnoor Afridi has said that by making amendments in article 247 of the constitution of Pakistan, it would help restore all basic rights of tribesmen; they were being deprived from in their respective areas. Local bodies election is the need of hours and the government should promptly announce holding elections in tribal regions like other part of country in order to empower them at lower level, Afridi remarked and saying government to announce special financial package for tribesmen being affected in war against terrorism in order to stand by their own feet. In a news statement issued from provincial office of Almarkaz-e-Islami on Wednesday by Zarnoor Afridi saying that rights of tribal people would be restored after amendments in 247 article of Pakistani constitution. Elected representatives of FATA deliberately pushed people towards wall after they kept mum in a time when 18th amendment was passed unanimously, he accused. He informed that Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) has deprived people from political, civil, financial and democratic rights and due to it people in tribal belt are compelled to reside in caves like stone ages. Bureaucrats are sucking the blood of tribesmen under the FCR and they have prevailed like mafia on them, Mr Zarnoor remarked. erming the holding of LG polls in war hit areas of FATA as a ray of hope and it would greatly
  20. 20. 20 decrease the miseries of them, he said and adding an era of development would be begun and people would be empowered at lower level. He remarked that democracy would reach to grass root level in tribal regions if LG polls announced. During the dilapidated law in order condition in FATA, education institutions, infrastructure, hospitals and roads were utterly destroyed in one way or other and a well equipped financial package by federal government would help solve these issues. By Farid Shinwari Source: http://www.thefrontierpost.com/article/5292 5/ Parties and lawyers denounce FATA rights violations GHALANAI: All FATA Political Parties Alliance (AFPPA) and FATA Lawyers Forum (FLF) urged the National Assembly to approve amendments in Article 247 of the constitution of Pakistan. This was said in a joint conference of AFPPA and FLF chaired by the president of AFPPA Nisar Mohmand and FLF president Ijaz Mohmand, at Mohmand press club. In the event Dr Farooq Afzal, Malik Daud Khan, Naveed Ahmad, Sajid Khan Mohmand, Malik Nisar Haleem zai, Haji Shamroz Khan, Zard Ali Khan, Malik Azmat Khan, Fazal Hadi, Arshad Khan and Advocate Rasheed including others participated. During the conference, article 247 of the constitution of Pakistan was claimed to be contradictory with human rights. It was also observed that the bill for amendments in article 247 is now pending for National Assembly after it is approved by Peshawar High Court and Supreme Court. The members urged FATA parliamentarians to take effective measures for approval of amendments from the National Assembly. They also stressed on the need for provision of relief for the people of FATA who are affected by the ongoing war on terror. Innocent people are imprisoned for collective crimes responsibility and are released after payment of heavy penalties. The members also demanded for abolishing this system. Both the AFPPA and FLF showed their determination for collective efforts to stop excesses with innocent people with in their legal limitations. Source: http://www.dailymashriq.com.pk/uploads/a ttachments/1388383565_11.gif Protection of fundamental human rights demanded in FATA BAJAUR AGENCY: Speakers at a seminar held here in connection with “International Human Rights Day” on Tuesday termed Frontier Crimes Regulation, absence of fundamental rights and a proper social justice system as main hurdles in the development of Federally Administered Tribal Areas and urged the government to take speedy efforts for the provisions of basic constitutional rights to tribesmen. All Bajaur Political Parties Alliance (ABPA) organized the seminar, where leaders of various political and religious parties, tribal elders, tribesmen and a number of social activists were in attendance. All Bajaur political parties Alliance president Gull Dad Khan, Pakistan Muslim League- N member National Assembly Shahab ud Din Khan, PML-N leader Haji Rahat Yousaf, Dr Mohammad Gull Pechawal, Society for the protection of Rights of children Agency Coordinator Hanifullah Jan and Haji Sultan Khan Umary of PTI addressed the seminar. They said that provision of basic human rights to the tribal areas is the long standing demand of tribesmen because it’s necessary for the sustainable development and progress of the region. “The tribesmen are the citizen of Pakistan but we don’t know why the government has deprived them of fundamental rights as we believe that tribal people can’t make progress until constitutional rights and social justice are provided to them”, political leaders urged. The speakers criticized the federal government for not taking practical steps for the provision of fundamental rights to the tribal people. Speaking on the occasion Pakistan Muslim league- N law maker from Bajaur Shahabuddin Khan said the federal government was committed to extend civil law and fundamental rights to Federally Administered Tribal areas. He claimed that efforts have been speed up to provide basic civic facilities and constitutional rights to the tribesmen and a comprehensive reforms package for the FATA would be announced soon. “I have convinced the Prime Minister that Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) and lack of constitutional rights are main hurdles in way of tribesmen progress and I hope new reforms packages would
  21. 21. 21 help in bringing positive changes in the lives of tribesmen”, he added. By Anwarullah Khan Source: http://frc.com.pk/news/protection-of- fundamental-human-rights-demanded/ Tribal jirga demands reforms for sustainable peace The tribal jirga adopted a unanimous resolution in which seeking to immediate end all kind of military operations in Fata, ensure provision of basic rights to tribesmen as given in the constitution. The resolution also demanded to abolish article 247 of the constitution, which would ensure basic right to tribal people, extension of jurisdiction of supreme and high court to Fata, holding of local bodies’ elections there. Elders and leaders of various political parties from Fata have underscored the need for establishment of sustainable peace, to bring prosperity, development and change in social-fabric of people in Federally Administered Tribal Areas, called upon the government to end all military operations, asked to make serious efforts for establishment of peace in Fata. They further said all peaceful means should be used for establishment of peace in Fata, while force policy need to immediate abandon in this regard. The government should take serious steps for reconstruction and rehabilitation of education, health infrastructure, and to provide other basic facilities to tribesmen on priority basis, while an Rs 200 billion as compensation package for Federally Administered Tribal Areas should also be announced, they demanded. They expressed these views while addressing at a grand tribal jirga organised by Fata Political Alliance, an amalgamation of eight political parties in tribal region, here at Nishtar Hall Peshawar on Saturday. Leaders of political parties’ from Fata include PPP Akhunzada Chattan, Jamaat-i-Islami Zarnoor Afridi, Haroon Rashid, Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam-Fazl Mufti Abdul Rasheed, PTI Mohammad Iqbal Afridi, Qaumi Watan Party Hashim Babar, PML-Nawaz Rahmat Salam Khattak, PML-Qauid Ajmal Wazir, Awami National Party Abdul Latif Afridi and Bashir Khan Matta, along with elders from various tribal agencies, spoke on the occasion. The speakers said that Fata has been badly affected due to the ongoing war against terrorism, while hundreds were killed and thousands had been rendered homeless in wake of military operations in the tribal region. The tribesmen, they said are being faced with severe economic and social challenges under the present circumstances in Fata. More than 500 schools have been destroyed, while the education and health facilities are also next to nil in tribal areas, they added. According to participants, said about 80 per cent people had left from South Waziristan agency and live life in tents as refugees in their own country. Whereas, they said the military operations and US drone attacks have made psychological paralyse. Later, the tribal jirga adopted a unanimous resolution in which seeking to immediate end all king of military operations in Fata, ensure provision of basic rights to tribesmen, as given in the constitution. The resolution also demanded to abolish article 247 of the constitution, which would ensure basic right to tribal people, extension of jurisdiction of supreme and high court to Fata, holding of local bodies’ elections there. It was also sought to announce an Rs 200 billion as compensation for displaced tribesmen and collateral damages in Fata. The resolution further demanded to hold local bodies’ elections in Federally Administered Tribal Areas, like other parts of the country, to give the democratic right to tribal people. It was asked the government to make serious efforts for provision of basic health and education facilities, infrastructure development, and other basic amenities in the Fata. Source: http://www.brecorder.com/general- news/172/1266575/ Provision of basic rights for FATA people demanded PESHAWAR: Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Professor Mohammad Ibrahim Khan has demanded federal government to help solve the problems of tribal people and provide them their fundamental rights. Professor Ibrahim expressed these views during an oath taking ceremony held in Almarkaz-e-Islami on Wednesday in which he took oath from Sahibzada Haroonur Rashid as newly elected Ameer for FATA. He was elected for term of three years from
  22. 22. 22 2013 to 2016 and other officer bearers also took oath on the occasion. Provincial Ameer in his address applauded tribal people for patriotism and said that hatreds would spread among them owing to drone strikes. However Dr Munsif Khan, Dr Sami Ullah Jan, Zarnoor Afridi, Sardar Khan, Shah Jahan Afridi and Awal Gul Afridi and Maulana Jan Zamin were elected as secretary general, deputy secretary general, Naib Ameer, Naib Ameer, secretary information, in charge Alkhidmat Foundation and in charge of Fahm-e-Din respectively. Qari Subhan Ullah Ameer of Mohmand Agency, Ameer for Bajaur Agency, Maulana Waheed Gul and Ameer Khyber Agency Ikhtiar Bad Shah Afridi were also in attendance on the occasion. Mr Ibrahim demanded federal government that basic rights to tribal people should be provided on priority basis and they had offered sacrifices for the wellbeing of the country. All Parties Conference (APC), JI Ameer said. Sahibzada Haroonur Rashid speaking on the occasion said that federal government should announce holding local bodies’ elections in tribal belt like other part of the country and tribesmen will willingly participate in the process in order to change its life. He informed that holding of local government elections is the right of tribal people and it should provided at any cost. By Farid Shinwari Source: http://www.thefrontierpost.com/article/5597 2// Local Bodies for FATA FATA left out as provinces plan local elections SHABQADAR: With all four provinces preparing for local bodies elections, residents of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) say they have, once again, been ignored. Akhunzada Chitan, former MNA from Bajaur and Pakistan Peoples Party central executive committee member, has threatened to hold a long march if the elections are not held in FATA. “Residents have become a victim to militancy and it is important to empower the tribal people through local government.” FATA Reforms Movement General Secretary Zahir Shah Safi said while all provinces are busy with local bodies elections, no paperwork has been done for the tribal agencies. Safi said two draft bills have been prepared for FATA. The first was drafted in 2002 under which the first local government elections were held. The draft, however, does not fully authorise elected representatives to implement decisions such as the distribution of funds. The second draft was prepared in 2012. The government had announced to introduce urban councils in FATA but the plan did not materialise. Safi criticised the 2012 reforms regarding urban councils and said all powers were focused in the hands of the governor and his representative political agent. He demanded a local body system whereby elected representatives have more authority in financial matters such as tax collection and public expenditure. Social worker Mir Afzal Mohmand criticised the old system and said the government must consult elders on the matter. Agency councils and union councils in tehsils should be established, which should be extended to the FATA council if required, he said. Political agents should only have authority in law and order matters, Safi said. By Mureeb Mohmand Source: http://tribune.com.pk/story/624937/local- bodies-elections-fata-watches-from-the-sidelines- as-provinces-scuttle-for-lg-polls/ Government asked to announce schedule for local bodies polls in FATA KHAR: Speakers at a seminar held here in connection with the International Human Rights Day demanded of the federal government to announce schedule for holding local bodies’ elections in the tribal areas. They noted that local government system was not only vital for providing basic and modern facilities to the tribal people but also very important for monitoring development activities. All Bajaur Political Parties Alliance organised the seminar, where leaders of various political and religious parties, tribal elders and social activists were in attendance.
  23. 23. 23 The speakers highlighted that Frontier Crimes Regulation, absence of fundamental rights and a proper social justice system were the main hurdles in the development of FATA. They said the rulers were not ready to extend fundamental rights to the people of FATA for ensuring sustainable development and progress of the region. “The tribesmen are citizens of Pakistan but the government is keeping them deprived of their fundamental rights,” said political leaders. They demanded of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to provide them their fundamental rights. Speaking on the occasion, PML-N MNA from Bajaur Shahabuddin Khan said the federal government was committed to extending fundamental rights to FATA. Source: http://www.dawn.com/news/1072168/govt- asked-to-announce-schedule-for-lg-polls-in-fata Experts demand local elections in Pakistan tribal areas PESHAWAR: Political leaders and social activists from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) reached a consensus over their demand for local government (LG) elections in the tribal areas at a conference organised by the FATA Research Centre (FRC) in Peshawar. Speaking to the media after the roundtable conference, FRC President Dr Ashraf Ali said attendees had reached the consensus that residents of Fata have been deprived of their basic rights for long enough. According to Ali, the people had been suppressed, and the state’s “deprivation policy had created a vacuum, which is now being filled by militants.” He said the time has come to give Fata the right to vote and elect their own representatives at a grass- roots level. Ali said the manifestos of all parties state they will bring Fata into the political mainstream – the first stage of which is empowerment for the locals. “Unfortunately, the political parties of Pakistan are silent over the issue. If LG elections are held all over the country, why should they not be held in Fata as well?” Dr Ali, explaining the format for elections, insisted there must be three tiers to the government: union councils, tehsil councils and agency councils. A Fata council was also suggested at the conference. “A political agent is the uncrowned prince of an agency,” he said. “Until his powers are significantly reduced, this system will not work.” Flanked by Awami National Party leader from Bajaur Agency Sheikh Janzada and a political analyst from Mohmand Agency, Said Nazeer, Dr Ali reminded participants about Fata’s natural resources. When the people’s representatives are given actual governance rights, Fata will not only fulfil its own needs but cater to the rest of Pakistan as well, claimed Ali. To a question about the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR), Ali told The Express Tribune it is a fact that FCR is not progressive for the region. He claimed Fata parliamentarians held no power over legislation and were given meagre resources to work with. However, Ali expressed hope that democracy would gradually be strengthened in the area. FATA Reforms leader Zahir Shah Safi told participants though the law and order in the region is not stable, it can be overcome through proper representation. Safi emphasised elections must be held through the election commission and not political agents. Source: http://tribune.com.pk/story/675329/power- to-the-people-pressing-demands-for-local-bodies- elections-in-tribal-areas/ Governor says local elections to bring positive change in FATA ISLAMABAD: Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Engineer Shaukatullah has said Local Bodies elections will bring positive changes in FATA like other parts of the country. Talking to a private TV channel, KPK Governor said holding of Local Bodies elections in FATA was not something of forbidden nature; adding that efforts were being made to bring the area at par with other parts of the country by holding the LG elections there and bringing positive reforms in accordance with wishes of the tribesmen. He said local government elections will be held in FATA under similar programme which applied in other parts of the country. If needed, some minor changes can be made with the consent of the tribesmen.
  24. 24. 24 By Parvez Jabri Source: http://brecorder.com/pakistan/general- news/152421-lb-elections-to-bring-positive- change-in-fata-governor-kpk.html Sherpao for local bodies polls in FATA PESHAWAR: Expressing concern over the problems faced by the tribal people, Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) has urged the government to hold local bodies’ elections in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, QWP chairman Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao said that tribal people could not get easy justice and basic rights in the presence of Frontier Crimes Regulation. The system needed urgent reforms, he added. Several tribal elders and activists of Awami National Party, led by Abdur Rahim Afridi, Haider Khan, Amjad Afridi, Shaukat Khan and Zarmat Khan, hailing from Khyber Agency announced to join QWP on the occasion. Mr Sherpao said that despite tall claims, successive governments did not bring FATA people into the mainstream so that they could also elect their representatives through ballot and raise voice for their rights. He said that government was bound to implement FATA reforms in real sense. The QWP chief said that tribal people were facing the worst kind of situation owing to lawlessness as thousands of them were forced to live in camps without basic facilities. He asked the government to announce a special financial package for development of FATA to bring it at par with other parts of the country. He called upon the international community to come forward and help the Pakhtuns to get access to education, health and other facilities. Mr Sherpao said that a step-motherly attitude was meted out to the Pakhtuns. He asked the government to provide facilities to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) from FATA as they were living in pathetic conditions in different camps and residential colonies. The QWP chief said that tribal people rendered matchless sacrifices for restoration of peace so the government should compensate them for the losses they suffered. He said that he would soon visit IDP camps to express solidarity with the dislocated people and inform authorities about their problems. “We are serving people irrespective of their political affiliations and efforts will be made to support them in this hour of need,” he added. Source: https://dawn.com/news/1061467/sherpao- for-holding-lb-polls-in-fata FATA parties alliance demands local bodies elections PESHAWAR: The FATA political alliance demanded the federal government to hold local bodies’ election in federally administered tribal areas (FATA) here on Monday at Bacha Khan Markaz Peshawar. The meeting was attended by leaders of different mainstream political parties of the country including Syed Wali Shah of PML-N, Shahid Orakzai of PML-Q, Senator Abdur Rashid of JUI-F, Syed Akhoon Zada Chittan of PPPP, Latif Afridi of ANP and Zarnoon Afridi, Ameer-e-Jamaat-Islami FATA chapter. The main issues discussed at the meeting remained the restoration of peace in tribal areas, rehabilitation and reconstruction of FATA and the local government elections in Fata. Awami National Party leader Latif Afridi told FRC that all the participants attending the meeting agreed on one point agenda to hold a grand FATA convention on December 21 in Peshawar where they will urge the government to pay heed to their valid demands. Source: http://frc.com.pk/news/fata-alliance- demanded-lg/ FATA political parties demand local elections JAMRUD: Leaders of various political parties in Khyber Agency Sunday called for holding the local government elections in tribal areas. Representatives of the Pakistan People’s Party, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl, Jamaat-e-Islami, Qaumi Watan Party, Awami National Party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz held a meeting in Jamrud. The participants demanded the PML-N-led federal government to conduct free and fair local government elections. QWP leader Asad Afridi said

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