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FATA Reforms News Update (July-September 2013)
 

FATA Reforms News Update (July-September 2013)

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This 44-page document contains a large assortment of opinion and articles regarding recommendations for further reforms in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) from three months ...

This 44-page document contains a large assortment of opinion and articles regarding recommendations for further reforms in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) from three months ending September 2013. ---

Reforms recommended 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 and others.

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    FATA Reforms News Update (July-September 2013) FATA Reforms News Update (July-September 2013) Document Transcript

    • 1 FATA Reforms News and Stakeholders July-September 2013 Table of Contents Journalists demand right to information in FATA ................................................................................................2 Appeal to extend youth development scheme to FATA ......................................................................................2 Civil society calls for new FATA legal status (video)...........................................................................................2 President Mamnoon calls for FATA mainstreaming............................................................................................3 FATA women empowerment urged at seminar...................................................................................................3 Bajaur parties threaten protest for LG polls in FATA ..........................................................................................4 Government asked to hold FATA and KP local elections on party basis ............................................................5 Federal ombudsman powers extended to FATA.................................................................................................6 Imran Khan for Mandela-style reconciliation in FATA.........................................................................................6 JI leader suggests local body elections in FATA ................................................................................................7 High Court questions arrest of tribesman under FCR .........................................................................................8 Reforms package for FATA coming soon says PML-N MNA Shahabuddin Khan ..............................................8 Azmat Hanif Orakzai backs extension of Right to Information Law to FATA ......................................................9 University of Peshawar holds National Conference on FATA.............................................................................9 FATA lawyers demand Supreme Court reach be extended to tribal areas .......................................................10 Shakil Afridi case exposes flaws in FATA judicial system ................................................................................10 Bajaur PkMAP urges FATA reforms implementation ........................................................................................12 Government asked to extend Supreme Court to FATA ....................................................................................12 FATA parliamentarians agree to amend Article 247 .........................................................................................13 KP governor directs inception of FATA Youth Assembly ..................................................................................13 Higher Education Commission asks to double FATA quota at universities.......................................................14 Ex-servicemen want local body elections in FATA ...........................................................................................14 Bajaur political leaders resolved to secure basic rights ....................................................................................14 PM Nawaz Sharif urges FATA mainstreaming..................................................................................................15 Local body elections demanded in tribal areas.................................................................................................15 FATA Democratic Movement, a new voice for reforms.....................................................................................15 High Court issues notices to Mohmand and Khyber political agents ................................................................16 Khyber Political Agent accused of bias against tribal journalists ......................................................................17 Supreme Court says laws must extend to FATA ..............................................................................................17 Zardari sends new reforms memorandum to PM..............................................................................................18 FATA citizens demand local government elections ..........................................................................................18 Political parties discuss FATA reforms priorities...............................................................................................19 FATA reforms Jirga seeks equal rights.............................................................................................................20 EU recommends FATA constitutional reforms ..................................................................................................20 FATA women demand more representation in reform agenda .........................................................................24 Zigzag moves on FATA (I.A. Rehman) .............................................................................................................24 Political Reforms in FATA (Amir Abbas Turi)....................................................................................................26 Learning from the past and looking forward in FATA (Raza Shah Khan) .........................................................26 ICG recommends constitutional amendment for FATA.....................................................................................27 Supreme Court Bar Association FATA Resolution............................................................................................30 Corruption stops real reform for tribal people ...................................................................................................30 Zar Ali Khan FATA reforms recommendations .................................................................................................31 Reforms needed for FATA development (Muhammad Shahid Battani) ............................................................32 FATA still denied human rights two years after 2011 reforms (Ibrahim Shinwari) ............................................35 Useless representation for FATA (Khan Zeb Burki)..........................................................................................37 FATA students voice reforms demands............................................................................................................38 Tribal citizens aspiring for equality (GQ Khan) .................................................................................................39 Rights for FATA and the need for legislation (Nizamuddin Khan).....................................................................43
    • 2 Journalists demand right to information in FATA PESHAWAR: Journalists on Friday demanded the Right to Information (RTI) Ordinance, 2013 be extended to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). They made the demand at an event organised by the Development, Environment, Legal Aid, Technical Support and Advocacy Association (DELTA) in collaboration with the National Research and Development Foundation (NRDF) under USAID. Strategies to eradicate corruption from society and raise public awareness against it were also discussed. Journalists contended they should be allowed to attend meetings of standing and public funds committees of the provincial assembly. They also suggested that reporters covering both national and provincial assemblies must become part of the information committee. DELTA President Naazlee Sardar lauded the RTI bill, saying the ordinance is as good as the one enacted in Serbia, which is currently ranked number one in RTI ratings worldwide. “DELTA is reviewing the bill and will suggest improvements to legislators before it is enacted,” she added. The overall ordinance is commendable considering information can be requested through email free of cost for up to 20 pages, said Sardar. She also briefed participants on advocacy programmes, including district level conferences, citizens’ group meetings, radio programmes and other interactive sessions being undertaken by her organisation. DELTA is currently implementing a Strengthening Citizens Voice through Advocacy (SCVA) project in Swabi, Mardan, Peshawar, Nowshera and Charsadda districts. SCVA aims to improve engagement between citizens and the government to promote good governance by giving them a voice and strengthening public accountability. Source: http://tribune.com.pk/story/610360/improvin g-accountability-journalists-demand-extension-of-rti- to-fata/ Appeal to extend youth development scheme to FATA BAJAUR AGENCY: Lawmakers and tribal elders of Bajaur Agency welcomed development schemes by Prime Minister Nawaz Shairf of Rs 20 billion for youth in the country and urged the government to extend the schemes to the tribal areas. MNA Haji Bismillah Khan‚ Senator Hidayat Khan and elders Malik Sultan Zeb Khan, Malik Ayaz Khan and Malik Abdul Aziz told the reporters that the youth development schemes announced by the prime minister are the need of the hour as they would help to create better job opportunities for the youth and also contribute in improving the socio- economic condition of Pakistan. They demanded that the schemes should be extended to the militancy-hit tribal areas, where the youth is countering with the issue of joblessness. The lawmakers and elders said that development schemes by the government in the tribal areas are very important for the rehabilitation of basic facilities and restoration of economic activities. They said they are hopeful that the prime minister would not only extend the development schemes to the youth of tribal areas but would also announce special development program for the entire tribal areas. Source: http://frc.com.pk/news/appeal-for- extending-youth-development-scheme-to-tribal- areas Civil society calls for new FATA legal status (video) A seminar on FATA terrorism and its solutions was held by the Vision 21 Foundation in Marriott hotel on September 1, 2013. The seminar was attended by politicians from various parties including PTI and JUI-F, civil society representatives and analysts including ambassador Ayaz Wazir, Brig. Shah Mehmood and Brig. Said Nazir and media personalities such as Saleem Safi. Two FATA MNAs Mr. Qaisar Jamal and Mr. Shahryar Afridi also participated in the seminar. The seminar was opened by the director of Vision 21, Dr. Azhar Aslam, who explained that Vision 21 had taken the initiative to hold such a seminar on the behalf of civil society because of the lethargy and near in action of the present government, which has yet to announce a clear-cut policy direction of how to combat the menace of terrorism in the country. He further elaborated that Vision 21 had written a policy paper in this matter proposing a comprehensive solution for this problem. One of the fundamental solutions is to change the legal status of FATA and make it into a province. The participants were asked to agree or disagree with this proposal or make any alternative proposals. There was a lively discussion and debate and several civil society representatives and
    • 3 students also took part in this debate and asked various questions from the delegates. The final recommendations that came out of seminar and had consensus are as follows: 1. The first step for the restoration of peace is negotiation but these negotiations should have the prerequisites below as part of the package. 2. Negotiations must take place within the parameters of the Constitution of Pakistan which is a red line that must not be crossed. 3. Negotiations must be accompanied with a package which includes regularising the legal status of FATA and implementing a sound governance structure. 4. The new governance structure for FATA must include the local bodies system, provision of economic generation, and job opportunities. 5. Local people in the tribal areas should be given opportunity to govern themselves. Without this there will be no peace. 6. The agreement should provide the provision of security to all those who lay down their weapons and become a part of mainstream society after rehabilitation. 7. Negotiations should take place with the spirit of reconciliation and forgiveness. 8. Militants of TTP should be clearly asked to dissociate themselves from the sectarian and foreign elements. 9. The negotiation package must also carry with it the determination to use limited, focused and precise use of force against those who still refuse to become part of the mainstream process after the package given above and want to continue fighting for various other reasons. Photos: https://www.facebook.com/shaista.kazmi/m edia_set?set=a.10202067547753491.1073741829. 1330904124&type=1 President Mamnoon calls for FATA mainstreaming ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain on Monday said the government attaches top priority to the socio-economic and political development of FATA and would take all possible measures to bring the people of tribal areas into national mainstream. The President stated this while chairing a meeting, where he was given briefing on the status of law and order and development in FATA, here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr. Additional Chief Secretary FATA, Arbab Muhammad Arif gave a detailed briefing on the status of law and order situation, developmental projects, educational activities and creation of employment opportunities for youth in the area and the progress on implementation of various reforms in FATA. The meeting was attended by Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Engineer Shaukatullah, Chief Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Muhammad Shehzad Arbab, and Secretary SAFRON Amjad Nazir, Secretary to the President Himayatullah Khan and Additional Secretary Ahmed Farooq. Source: http://www.app.com.pk/en_/index.php?optio n=com_content&task=view&id=239230&Itemid=2 FATA women empowerment urged at seminar KHAR: Speakers at a seminar on Friday called for protecting women’s rights in the tribal areas, saying women empowerment is vital for the progress and prosperity of the region. Fata Secretariat’s Special Support Project organised the seminar, the first ever in the tribal areas on women’s rights, at Government Girls’ College here in collaboration with United State Agency for International Development (USAID). A large number of female students and teachers from various educational institutions, women activists, senior officials of the local administration and SSP participated in the seminar. The speakers highlighted issues related to women’s rights with regard to participation in the progress of tribal areas and said women empowerment was essential for the development and prosperity of the tribal areas. They said recognition of the women’s rights according to Islam and giving them respect were the need of the hour. The speakers said women made over 51 per cent of the population and the tribal areas couldn’t progress without involving them in social life and bringing them into mainstream. They expressed concern over the increased violence against women in the tribal areas and urged the administration, civil society and political and religious parties to take serious notice of the issue and create public awareness of violence against women. The speakers said the growing incidence of violence against women was a matter of concern for the women of the entire tribal areas and the government should make serious efforts to protect the rights of women and girls in Fata. They expressed concern over lack of female education facilities in the tribal areas and criticised
    • 4 the government and the tribal lawmakers for doing nothing for the promotion of female education in Fata. The speakers asked the government to take serious steps for the improvement of women’s education in the tribal areas and establish the new girls’ schools and colleges in all over the tribal areas. They also urged the government and the local administration to make functional the female vocational centres and should set up more centres across the agency. Meanwhile, Bajaur Agency Additional Political Agent Imran Hameed Sheikh on Thursday said the local administration was taking all possible measures for the people’s welfare in the militancy-hit areas. He was speaking at a ceremony organised to inaugurate the ‘Rural Livelihood and Community Infrastructure Project (RLCIP)’ under the Multi- Donor Trust Funds held at Billot area of Mamond tehsil. The additional political agent said the administration was aware of the local residents’ problems caused by militancy and military operation, which had badly affected the natural resources, basic facilities and infrastructure. “We are striving to ensure early provision of basic facilities to the people, while a number of schemes of rehabilitation have been initiated in the region,” he said. Source: http://dawn.com/news/1044352 Bajaur parties threaten protest for LG polls in FATA KHAR: Speakers at a seminar here on Sunday threatened to launch a protest movement if government didn’t announce local bodies’ elections in Federally Administered Tribal Areas within the next two weeks. The seminar titled ‘Democratic process in tribal areas’ was organised by All Bajaur Political Parties Alliance that was attended by local leaders of various political and religious parties, members of civil society and tribal elders. All Bajaur Political Parties Alliance president Maulana Abdur Rasheed, Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz leader Haji Rahat Yousaf, Maulana Mustfa of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, Aurangzeb of Pakistan People’s Party, Gul Dad Khan of Pakistan Tehreek- i-Insaf and Sardar Khan of Jamaat-i-Islami addressed the seminar. They said that democracy was the best system of governing as it could provide basic civic facilities and fundamental rights to all citizens. “Democracy is the guarantee of equal rights to all humans and it is essential for the protection of rights of common man,” they said. The speakers said that imposition of Frontier Crimes Regulation, absence of constitutional rights and lack of proper justice system were main hurdles in the development of tribal areas. They added that people of tribal areas couldn’t make progress till constitutional rights and basic civic facilities were not provided to them. The speakers said that according to Constitution of Pakistan tribal areas were part of the country but residents of Fata were deprived of the fundamental rights. “The tribesmen are the most peaceful and patriotic citizens of the country as they have always rendered great sacrifices for the country but so far no ruler is ready to provide equal rights to them,” they added. The speakers urged the government to take serious steps to ensure provision of fundamental rights and basic civic facilities to the tribal people. They demanded of the federal government and the president of the country to speed up efforts for strengthening democratic process in the tribal areas. “Strengthening democratic process and bringing meaningful reforms in the current tribal system are needs of the time because these are vital for promotion of peace and development of tribal areas,” they said. The speakers demanded of the president to introduce local governments system in the tribal areas. They said that the local bodies system was vital for provision of basic facilities to tribal people. The speakers said that All Bajaur Political Parties Alliance would launch protest movement if government didn’t announce local bodies’ elections in Fata within the next two weeks. Source: http://www.dawn.com/news/1043246/bajaur -parties-threaten-protest-for-lg-polls
    • 5 Government asked to hold FATA and KP local elections on party basis PESHAWAR: Various civil society organisations on Wednesday demanded local government elections on party basis at all levels in the province except for village councils. They also urged the provincial government to hold local body elections in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. CSOs and participants at a series of consultative meetings suggest local body elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA be held on party basis. The demands were made during a joint news conference here at Peshawar Press Club. Representative of the Umar Asghar Khan Foundation Rashida Dohad urged the government to share the draft amended local body bill with the relevant stakeholders to address their concerns before its tabling in the provincial assembly. She said the government should take the civil society organisations and other stakeholders before tabling the draft bill in the assembly so that to remove the loopholes and make it useful for the people of the province. Ms Rashida demanded of the government to incorporate all recommendations and proposals given by the social society organisations in the draft local government bill, which would make the system more effective and address the issues of the people on their doorstep. Accompanied by Mukhtar Bacha of Amn Tehreek, Maryam Bibi of Khwendo Kor, Professor Sarfraz of Area Study Centre at Peshawar University and trade unionist Gul Rehman, she said the proposals had been drafted during four roundtable meetings held in different divisions of the province. The representative of the Umar Asghar Khan Foundation said in this connection, her organisation had arranged consultative conferences in Peshawar, Hazara, Malakand, and DI Khan to get input and proposals from the people of different walks of life about the provincial government’s plan and strategy about the local body elections in the province. She said mostly participations at series of the consultative meetings had suggested that the local body elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata be held on party basis. Ms Rashida said it was also proposed to allocate 33 per cent seats quota for women, 10 per cent for youth, five percent each for labourers, farmers and minorities. “There is a need for establishing the directorate of election for local bodies polls at all levels, while the elections should be held on party basis at district, tehsil and provincial levels except for village councils, and the law against floor crossing should be implemented in letter and spirit,” she said. The representative of the Umar Asghar Khan Foundation said there should be autonomous three- categories at village, tehsil, and district levels, wherein all required administrative setup and support should be ensured. She said to keep transparency and fairness in distribution of funds, a provincial finance commission should be constituted on the pattern of National Finance Commission, while the establishment of District Finance Commission and Implementation would be the responsibility of elected members of the provincial assembly and their monitoring. Ms Rashida suggested that the involvement of members of provincial assembly in district level development projects be restricted, while two members from ruling and opposition be nominated for the district finance commission. She said the district ombudsmen system should be strengthened to address weakness and irritants in the local government system. The representative of the Umar Asghar Khan Foundation said a local government commission headed by the minister of local government needed to be established to resolve financial matters of local bodies. She said the members of parliament should focus on legislation and all other matters relating to development, health, education and cleanliness should be supervised by the local body representatives. Source: http://www.dawn.com/news/1042323/govt- asked-to-hold-lg-polls-on-party-basis
    • 6 Federal ombudsman powers extended to FATA PESHAWAR: The long-standing demand of tribal people was met on Monday as the powers of federal ombudsman were extended to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). The notification to this effect has been issued by the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (Safron). The decision would bring Fata under the jurisdiction of higher judiciary for the first time in the country’s history. It is pertinent to mention here that 30 years after establishment of the office of federal ombudsman its jurisdiction was extended to Fata. Under the new system tribesmen would be able to approach the office of federal ombudsman against Fata Secretariat and its subsidiary organisations working under it. Source: http://www.dawn.com/news/1041826/federa l-ombudsmans-powers-extended-to-fata What does the ombudsman do? The Federal Ombudsman resolves complaints and provides relief to the public by carrying out independent investigations into complaints about ‘maladministration ‘ in any Federal Government agency (including the FATA Secretariat and the political administration in the tribal areas). They work to put things right and share lessons learned and help improve public services as a result. Their independent complaints handling service is free and open to everyone. How does the ombudsman help? The Federal Ombudsman aims to redress public grievances as fairly and quickly as they can, after examining all facts. If they think the agency you are complaining about has already treated you fairly, they will inform you. If they determine that the agency has acted wrongly, they will recommend the agency to put things right for you. This can include recommendations that relief may be extended to you as per the provisions in the law. How can you register a complaint? Click here to register a complaint with the Federal Ombudsman. Click here for more information on registering complaints. If these links do not work and for more information, visit the Federal Ombudsman website: http://www.mohtasib.gov.pk/ Ombudsman Offices Islamabad Mr. M. Salman Faruqui, NI Wafaqi Mohtasib (Ombudsman) Secretariat, 36, Constituation Avenue, G-5/1, Opposite Supreme Court of Pakistan Islamabad – Pakistan Tele: 92-51-921-7200, 921-7201 Fax: 92-51-921-7224 E-mail: ombudsman@mohtasib.gov.pk Website: http://www.mohtasib.gov.pk Dera Ismail Khan H.No. 3/H, Survey No. 178, Qasim Road Cantt, Dera Ismail Khan Fax: 0966-9280256 Tele: 0966-9280347 E-mail: wmsrod@mohtasib.gov.pk Mr. Sang-e-Marjan, Associate Advisor 9280216 Mr. Ihsanullah Babar, Associate Advisor 9280388 Mr. Rashid ullah Khan Kundi, Director 9280164 Mr. Shafqat Ali, Assistant Registrar 9280347 Peshawar Mr. Muhammad Umar Afridi, Aditional Secretary (I/C), 9211574 Syed Abid Hussain Bukhari, Consultant, 9211573 Mr. Adalat Khan, Consultant, 9211945 Mr. Ghulam Farooq, Consultant, 9214188 Mr. Firzind Ali, Consultant, 9210663 Mr. Jehanzeb Latif, Director, 9211572 Mr. Fawad Hanif, Consultant, 9213477 Source: http://www.mohtasib.gov.pk/ Imran Khan for Mandela-style reconciliation in FATA LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) will put forward four sets of recommendations to the All Parties Conference convened by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday, the party chief Imran Khan disclosed on Sunday while addressing workers and labourers at the Insaf Labour Convention at Aiwan-e-Iqbal. Khan announced that PTI will participate in the APC and present four points: 1. Pakistan must get out of the US war on terrorism. 2. We must start dialogue to end terrorism. 3. We should adopt policy of reconciliation in tribal areas on the pattern of Nelson Mandela’s policy (see explanation below).
    • 7 4. We must conduct a military operation against those who do not want to do negotiations; but an APC should be called before launching a military operation. He complained that “Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa is the province most affected by terrorism. I want to know what the government policy on drone strikes was, and for that I had requested a closed door meeting with the interior minister, the chief of army staff and the prime minister before the APC, but I have received no response from any quarters.” He added, “We will try to stand united against terrorism because without getting rid of this menace Pakistan cannot progress.” Source: http://tribune.com.pk/story/601763/braced- up-imran-wants-mandela-style-reconciliation-in-fata/ Nelson Mandela’s Reconciliation The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was a court-like restorative justice body assembled in South Africa after the abolition of apartheid. Witnesses who were identified as victims of gross human rights violations were invited to give statements about their experiences, and some were selected for public hearings. Perpetrators of violence could also give testimony and request amnesty from both civil and criminal prosecution. The TRC, the first of the nineteen held internationally to stage public hearings, was seen by many as a crucial component of the transition to full and free democracy in South Africa. Despite some flaws, it is generally (although not universally) thought to have been successful. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth_and_Reco nciliation_Commission_(South_Africa) Truth and Reconciliation Commission A truth commission or truth and reconciliation commission is a commission tasked with discovering and revealing past wrongdoing by a government (or, depending on the circumstances, non-state actors also), in the hope of resolving conflict left over from the past. They are, under various names, occasionally set up by states emerging from periods of internal unrest, civil war, or dictatorship. South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, established by President Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu after apartheid, is popularly considered a model of truth commissions. As government reports, they can provide proof against historical revisionism of state terrorism and other crimes and human rights abuses. Truth commissions are sometimes criticized for allowing crimes to go unpunished, and creating impunity for serious human rights abusers. Their roles and abilities in this respect depend on their mandates, which vary widely. Often, there is a public mandate to bring past human rights violators to justice, though in some cases (such as Argentina after 1983 and Chile after 1990), abuses of human rights have gone unpunished under truth commissions due to threats of antidemocratic coups by the powerful parties who endure in the military. In this sense, the militaries in question, having ceded control to a civilian government, insist that the “price” of ending their own military rule must be full impunity for any of their past abuses. In some cases, such as the “Full Stop” law of Argentina that prevented prosecution of officers of the military junta, this impunity has been enshrined in law under the civilian government. One of the difficult issues that has arisen over the role of truth commissions in transitional societies, has centered around what should be the relationship between truth commissions and criminal prosecutions. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth_and_reco nciliation_commission JI leader suggests local body elections in FATA PESHAWAR: Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami FATA chapter, Sahibzada Haroon-ur-Rasheed, has stressed the political parties to announce withdrawal of forces and lifting of curfew from all affected areas of FATA and ensure respectful repatriation of the tribal residents in the upcoming All Party Conference (APC). He was addressing a meeting of the party here at Markaz Islami Peshawar on Sunday. General secretary Jamaat-e-Islami FATA Dr Munsif Khan, Doctor Samiullah Jan Mehsood and Haji Sardar Khan were also present on the occasion. Sahibzada Haroon-ur-Rasheed alleged that security forces are killing innocent people in military operations in FATA and it is time for Nawaz government to stop all these operation in tribal areas. He also demanded of the government to release all missing persons and innocent people from various jails and compensate the affected families as soon as possible. He suggested the government to announce schedule for local bodies’ elections in FATA. They also passed a resolution in which they condemned the repeated raids of security forces on the house of Haroon-ur-Rasheed. They also criticised the role of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor and termed his policies against the people
    • 8 of Bajaur Agency. He said that without any reason he was teasing the workers of Jamaat-e-Islami. He demanded of the federal government to remove Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor and announce a new name in the greater interest of FATA. Source: http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news- newspaper-daily-english-online/national/09-Sep- 2013/ji-leader-demands-troops-withdrawal-from-fata fatareforms.orghttp://www.fatareforms.org/high-court- questions-arrest-tribesman-fcr/ High Court questions arrest of tribesman under FCR PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court on Thursday sought replies from officials of the federal and provincial government in the arrest of a tribesman under the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR). Among those put on notice are Ministry of States and Frontier Regions secretary, law and parliamentary affairs secretary, Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) additional secretary, secretary of the Home and Tribal Affairs Department and the provincial advocate general. A two-member bench comprising Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Qaiser Rashid accepted the petition filed by Nizam through his lawyer Samiullah Afridi. The lawyer informed the bench that on July 29, 2009 his client was arrested and sentenced for 20 years with a fine of Rs0.2 million. Failing to provide the money, he was warned of four more years of imprisonment. Nizam has been charged under sections 121A and 122 for anti-state activities. Afridi said his client belongs to Bara, Khyber Agency and the sentence given to him is against the law because he was not given a fair trial and allowed to present his defence. “The FCR is a black law which fails to provide justice to tribesmen. We have informed our elected representatives to take concrete steps in this regard,” the lawyer added. “Tribesmen elect their representatives during elections, but when they face a problem they consult the court. They need to persuade their representatives to make changes in the FCR and provide justice to needy people,” Justice Qaiser Rashid said in his remarks. The bench then put senior officials of both federal and provincial governments on notice and said they should submit their reply by the next hearing. Source: http://tribune.com.pk/story/600407/draconia n-law-phc-puts-govt-officials-on-notice-over- tribesmans-arrest/ Reforms package for FATA coming soon says PML-N MNA Shahabuddin Khan KHAR: PML-N MNA from Bajaur Agency Shahabuddin Khan on Saturday said that the federal government would soon announce a reforms package for FATA which would ensure equal rights to the tribal people. He was talking to a delegation of All Bajaur Political Parties Alliance here on Saturday. Mr Shahabuddin said Frontier Crimes Regulation and absence of constitutional rights was the main hurdle in the way of progress of tribesmen. He said that FATA was a part of Pakistan and tribesmen had always rendered valuable sacrifices for the larger interest of the country, but unfortunately they had been deprived of fundamental rights. He said unlimited powers of political administration, ignorance and lack of basic citizen rights and social justice kept the tribesmen backward. He said he would continue efforts to bring revolutionary changes in the tribal system. He said that he had informed Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif and other senior party leaders about the problems of tribesmen. “The prime minister has assured me of making meaningful reforms in the current tribal system and also promised to introduce constitutional rights to the tribal areas,” he said. Mr Shah said that the federal government had also increased the annual development funds of Fata and taken steps to ensure transparency in execution of development schemes. He said efforts had been accelerated for establishing FATA Medical College in Bajaur Agency and that site had been selected for this purpose. “Academic session in the university will start within months,” he said. The FATA lawmaker said that the establishment of the medical college would boost socio-economic condition of the agency. On the occasion, leaders of All Bajaur Political Parties Alliance informed the MNA about the problems facing the tribesmen in Bajaur Agency.
    • 9 They asked the lawmaker to arrange surprise visits to public offices, health and education institutions to ensure their smooth functioning. They also urged him to highlight their problems in the National Assembly and convince the federal government to introduce local government system in the tribal areas. Source: http://www.dawn.com/news/1041346/reform s-package-for-fata-soon-lawmaker Azmat Hanif Orakzai backs extension of Right to Information Law to FATA PESHAWAR: Participants at an awareness seminar have highlighted the significant of promulgation of Right to Information law in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, demanded the law to be extended to divisional headquarters, Provincially Administrative Tribal Areas (Pata) and Fata. The access to information is basic right of every citizen, which can be ensured by implementation of Right to Information Law in K-P. The RTI law has been promulgated while keeping in view best practices at the international level, and the credit goes to new elected Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf led government to make important legislation under the global commitment and constitutional requirements, said Azmat Hanif Orakzai, Secretary Information Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while speaking at the seminar as chief guest on Tuesday. The seminar on titled: “Right to Information Legislation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Way Forward” was held at a local hotel. Representatives from civil society, legal experts, and representatives from other relevant stakeholders were participated in the seminar. Participants thoroughly discussed the recently promulgated Right to Information ordinance 2013 in KP, asked the government to take effective steps for its proper implementation, called for launching a specific awareness campaign about this important law in the province. Most of laws were not properly enacted due to certain reasons and implications, they viewed. The speakers recommended: “The government should rectify all those impediments and obstacles with consultation of relevant stakeholders, and legal experts before tabling in the provincial legislation assembly in shape bill”. They further suggested that the law would enable to get access to document of public sector institutions, so it should be extended to divisional headquarters, Provincially Administration Tribal Areas and Federally Administrative Tribal Areas as well. Azmat Orakzai informed that the PTI-led government had framed a charter of good governance under which more than 11 laws would be promulgated in the future, including right to service, conflict interest, accountability Establishment bill, and importantly Right to Information ordinance 2013. While highlighting the salient features of RTI ordinance 2013 in KP, he informed that a information commission would be constituted, saying that a retired justice of Peshawar High Court, practicing lawyer, eminent citizens recommended by Human Right Organisation, and a retired bureaucrat would be appointed as its members. He informed that the case will be disposed off with maximum 20- days otherwise the relevant officers would be faced penalty and fines due to not provision of required data or information in fixed days under the RTI law. Mr Orakzai supported that the suggestion of extending RTI law to PATA and Tribal region. But, he informed that the recently promulgated RTI ordinance 2013, will not be implemented on Pata, Fata and federal public institutions and line agencies. Zahid Abdullah from CPDI, while addressing on the occasion said he said an ordinary citizen would get access to information to documents of the public institutions, which was earlier very difficult for everyone. Giving suggestion for further improvement in RTI ordinance 2013, he recommended that Peshawar High Court, should also bring under ambit of this law, while the penalty for the denial of data or information under the RTI ordinance by the relevant officer, would also increased from Rs.250 to per daily salary basis. Javed Akhtar, from Swabi Society for Welfare Association (SWWA) also spoke on the occasion. Source: http://thefrontierpost.com/fata/?p=87 University of Peshawar holds National Conference on FATA Conference participants stressed the need for multi- dimensional reforms for FATA. Pakistan Study Centre, University of Peshawar held 3-day National Conference on FATA at Baragali Summer Camp on 29-31 August, 2013. In all, 25 paper presenters/intellectuals from all over the country including 100 delegates attended the conference. Prof. Dr. Rasool Jan, Vice Chancellor University of Peshawar, inaugurated the moot. The Chief Organizer / Director Pakistan Study Centre, Dr. Fakhr-ul-Islam highlighted the objectives. Topics of papers included history, culture, Jirga system, FCR, political participation, insurgency, economic and social sector development.
    • 10 FATA Research Centre (FRC) was represented by Muhammad Zaheer Khan, Programme Manager, he presented a paper on the “Post US Withdrawal Scenario In Afghanistan: Implications for Peace and Development in FATA”. Every paper was followed by lively discussion / questions / answers Session. It has been decided that proceedings of the conference will be published soon. On the concluding day, the conference approved a joint declaration which reads as “The National Conference on FATA held at Baragali Summer Camp University of Peshawar on 29-31 August 2013 expresses its solidarity with the people of FATA and regrets that people of that area have been kept deprived of all the rights available to the settled areas of Pakistan.” “The causes of unrest in FATA are poverty, bad governance, Draconian laws, institutional corruption, and political, economic and social deprivation.” The statement went on to state that, “The causes of unrest in FATA are many which include poverty, bad governance, Draconian laws, institutional corruption, and political, economic and social deprivation. However, the most important of the causes is the ongoing insurgency. This insurgency needs to be stopped through engaging the non-State actors in dialogue.” The conference termed “Drone Attacks” in FATA unlawful, unjust, counter-productive and detrimental to the sovereignty of Pakistan, indicating that ”these attacks should be stopped through aggressive diplomacy.” The conference felt the need of multi-dimensional reforms in the area. The conference urged upon the government that “in devising policy for FATA, total reliance on bureaucracy should be minimized and opinion of academia and civil society may also be taken into consideration”. Source: http://frc.com.pk/news/national-conference- on-fata FATA lawyers demand Supreme Court reach be extended to tribal areas PESHAWAR: A lawyers’ forum from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) has asked the government to extend jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and high court to the tribal areas. Addressing a press conference at the press club on Monday, the president of FATA Lawyers Forum (FLF) Muhammad Ijaz Mohmand said the area has been neglected since the creation of Pakistan and now the world calls it a ‘crime zone’. “No one is interested in bringing any change in the war-torn area,” said Mohmand, adding they expected much from the new government but it has not even talked about the oppression in FATA. “Extension of the Political Parties Act does not make sense when the tribesmen do not have any decision-making powers,” Mohmand argued, adding the previous government considered it a huge success but people are still subjected to the same tyrannical rule. At the press conference, FLF member Taj Mahal Afridi alleged non-governmental organisations get funds from international donors for the tribal region and pocket the money. “No one wants to change our condition as this is an easy source of income,” he alleged. The FATA Tribunal created to provide quick justice to the tribal areas has been subjected to criticism after a retired bureaucrat was hired to pass judgments. “Hundreds of people are languishing in jails around FATA since the last two years and nobody has been presented for trial,” said Afridi. The forum asked the federal government to extend the jurisdictions of the supreme and high courts to FATA and ensure “provision of basic human rights as enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan.” Source: http://tribune.com.pk/story/595554/demand- for-reforms-lawyers-demand-scs-reach-be- extended-to-tribal-areas/ Shakil Afridi case exposes flaws in FATA judicial system The verdict given by Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) Commissioner in the case of Dr Shakil Afridi exposed shortcomings in the judicial system enforced in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) for the last over a century. Peshawar Commissioner Sahibzada Mohammad Anees, who has been delegated powers of FCR commissioner under section 48 of the Regulation, on Aug 29 set aside conviction of Dr Shakil and sent the case back to Khyber Agency political agent for re-trial. Dr Shakil, a former agency surgeon, was arrested in May 2011 on suspicion of helping the American CIA to track down Osama bin Laden through a fake hepatitis vaccination campaign in Abbottabad. However, he was not convicted for that offence and instead was found guilty by an assistant political agent in his capacity as additional district magistrate on May 23, 2012, of having links with militants,
    • 11 especially those belonging to Bara-based proscribed organisation, Lashkar-i-Islam. The APA sentenced him to prison terms on different counts totalling 33 years imprisonment. Section 50 of FCR provides that the appellate authority, which is the commissioner, should decide an appeal within 60 days. However, in the instant case the commissioner took around 15 months just to remand the case back without touching its merit. Interestingly, the FCR commissioner has delivered a single-page judgment wherein he did not mention any specific legal ground for remanding back the case for re-trial. The only reason he has given in the verdict for remanding the case back is: “I am of the view that such a serious nature case should have been tried by the political agent himself under proper law andRewaj so as to ensure absence of iota of any doubt regarding merit and transparency. Therefore, the subject case is remanded back to political agent/session judge Khyber Agency in order to weigh afresh the pro and against arguments of both the parties under law and Rewaj.” The commissioner ruled that the appellant would not be released on bail till the final conclusion of the case. The Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) 1898, which is the procedural law for criminal cases, was extended to tribal areas by the then British governor general through a notification on Sept 3, 1939. However, its provisions have rarely been followed and the procedural law is FCR 1901 under which in civil and criminal cases council of elders has been constituted and on the basis of its findings the political agent or the APA passes the order. Interestingly, the administrative officers in an agency have been supervising administration, prosecution and judicial system. In such circumstances there could be no hope of a fair trial in the tribal areas. Section 11 of FCR is the most important section in criminal cases. It provides whenever an offense of which the PA is competent to take cognisance is committed, the case shall be registered and the accused shall be produced before the APA within 24 hours of the arrest. The PA shall refer the case to the council of elders for finding of guilt or innocence of the suspect and the council after holding necessary inquiry and hearing the parties and witnesses, submit its findings to the PA. On receipt of the findings of the council, the PA may pass an order in accordance with the findings of the majority of the council or remand the case to the council for further inquiry and findings. Through the Constitution (Eighteenth Amendment) Act 2010, Article 10-A was incorporated in the Constitution of Pakistan which states: “For the determination of his civil rights and obligations or in any criminal charge against him a person shall be entitled to a fair trial and due process.” This provision can be implemented in rest of the country, however, the inhabitants of FATA are not fortunate enough to even think of a fair trial. The Qanoon-i-Shahadat Order 1984, which is the law of the evidence in rest of the country, has so far not been extended to FATA. Similarly, the provisions of CrPC related to recording statement of a witness in a criminal case have also not been followed. Section 164 of CrPC empowers a magistrate to record confessional statement of a suspect or a witness in a case. The accused person has the right to cross-examine a witness appearing against him in a court of law, but in FATA there is no concept of cross- examination of prosecution witnesses. The appellate forum also consists of the commissioner, who is an administrative officer and not a judicial one. Similarly, a decision of the commissioner can be challenged before a three- member FATA Tribunal through a revision petition. However, presently, two of the members of the tribunal are retired government servants and the third one is a lawyer. Thus, this tribunal also can’t be called a judicial forum independent of the influence of the executive. “Apparently, there is no use of sending back the case to the PA as he is part and parcel of the same oppressive system and can’t make an independent decision,” said Advocate Samiullah Afridi, the lead counsel of Dr Shakil Afridi. He said that the PA had to reconstitute council of elders and it would have to give fresh findings on the charges levelled against Dr Shakil. The counsel alleged that in the earlier trial his client was convicted in a single day. “Article 275 of the Constitution provides that the judiciary should be separated from the executive, but that provision has not been implemented in FATA where executive officers have been performing as judicial officers,” said Noor Alam Khan, an advocate of the Supreme Court. He said that unless the jurisdiction of superior courts including the Supreme Court and Peshawar High Court had not been extended to tribal areas fundamental rights provided in the constitution could not be enforced.
    • 12 By Waseem Ahmad Shah Source: http://www.dawn.com/news/1039982/dr- shakil-case-exposes-flaws-in-fata-judicial-system Bajaur PkMAP urges FATA reforms implementation KHAR: Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), Bajaur Agency, on Tuesday urged the government to implement reforms in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and immediately extend constitutional rights to the tribal areas, saying that lack of basic civil rights was the main cause of backwardness of the area. Speaking at a press conference here, local PkMAP leaders, including its president Asghar Khan, Lehaz Gul and Azam Khan, expressed concern over delay in implementation of reforms in the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR). Mr Asghar said that the government had turned the FATA reforms into a joke as no visible change was seen in the tribal areas since the reforms were announced. It seemed the government is not interested in bringing positive changes in the area, he said. He said that besides swift implementation of reforms in FATA the government should take additional steps for change in tribal system because the reforms alone were insufficient to solve problems of tribesmen. They said that PkMAP chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai would soon present a resolution in the National Assembly for awarding the FATA a status of a separate province. The PkMAP activists urged the government to extend fundamental rights to the tribal areas and said that provision of basic constitutional rights was vital to the development of FATA. They said that the jurisdiction of Supreme Court and high court should be extended to the FATA and the tribal areas be regulated under the 1973 Constitution rather than the FCR. Source: http://www.dawn.com/news/1038858/imple mentation-of-fata-reforms-urged Government asked to extend Supreme Court to FATA PESHAWAR: The lawyers from tribal areas have expressed reservations over amendments in Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) and demanded of the government to extend the jurisdiction of apex court to FATA. Addressing a press conference here on Monday, FATA Lawyers Forum president Ijaz Mohmand said that FCR was amended during the previous government but the changes were not implemented so far. “FATA needs proper attention and focus to end deprivation among tribal people.” Flanked by FLF general secretary Taj Mahal Afridi, joint secretary Farhad and others, he said that political agents still had absolute authority in FATA despite introduction of amendments to FCR. Mr Mohmand alleged that political agents were playing with lives, honour and properties of tribal people as they enjoyed unlimited powers. Tribal people had no value in the prevailing situation as law and constitution had no importance in FATA, he added. The masses, the FLF president said, were not given the right to raise voice for their rights and that was why the political administration was victimising them by exercising its unlawful powers. Mr Mohmand said that government should have brought FATA under the parliament through the 18th Amendment. FATA parliamentarians also failed to raise voice for the rights of their people, he added. He said that tribal people were awarded punishment in violation of the basic human rights owing to absence of an effective judicial system in FATA. He demanded of the government to extend regular law to FATA under Article 247 of the Constitution so that poor tribal people could live with peace. Mr Mohmand said that the extension of jurisdiction of courts to FATA would end the bureaucratic hurdles that would also help in eradication of terrorism and mainstreaming the tribal society. He said that change was impossible under the present bureaucratic system of federal government in FATA as it was creating hurdles in bringing tribal areas in the mainstream and mitigating problems of the militancy-affected tribal people. “FATA needs proper attention and focus to end sense of deprivation among the tribal people,” Mr Mohmand said. He added that FATA was deliberately kept backward in all fields and successive governments failed to give rights and due status to tribal people. The reforms introduced by the previous government in FCR didn’t bring any change in the fate of tribal people rather their problems were further complicated. “Change is impossible without extension of jurisdiction of superior courts to FATA,” he added. The leader of tribal lawyers said that they
    • 13 had great expectations from the incumbent government but its policies showed that government was not sincere to solve problems of tribal people. The federal government, he said, was yet to formulate or announce a policy for the resolution of the problems being faced by the tribesmen. He added that FATA had never been a priority of the successive governments. Mr Mohmand said if federal government wanted to bring any change in FATA then it should extend the jurisdiction of Supreme Court and Peshawar High Court to tribal areas. He said that the administrative issues would be automatically resolved in FATA with the extension of courts’ jurisdiction to the area. He called for holding a referendum on creation of FATA council. The FLF, Mr Mohmand said, would raise voice for solution of the issue at all forums. He asked the civil society organisations and media to extend support to legal fraternity in that regard. Source: http://dawn.com/news/1038655/govt-asked- to-extend-sc-jurisdiction-to-fata FATA parliamentarians agree to amend Article 247 The FATA Lawyer’s Forum arranged a meeting with all FATA parliamentarians in parliament lodges on 21 August 2013 and convinced them to pass a resolution from the National Assembly and Senate of Pakistan to make necessary amendments to Article 247 (7) of the Constitution of Pakistan 1973. FATA Senators and MNAs unanimously agreed and assured the FATA Lawyer’s Forum to draft the amendment and with the help of ruling party to pass the same in the National Assembly and Senate. On 22 August 2013, the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan (SCBAP) passed a resolution on the special request of the FATA Lawyer’s Forum. The contents of the resolution are: 1. Enforcement of fundamental rights in FATA 2. Extension of jurisdiction of High Courts and Supreme Court to FATA 3. Rule of law in FATA FATA Lawyer’s Forum President Ijaz Mohmand spoke to media and stated that it is the time to bring FATA into the mainstream of politics that the FATA Lawyer’s Forum asks for rule of law in FATA. “We are lawyers and demand these all within the sphere of law,” he said, indicating that FATA lawyers will meet with all prominent politicians to pass the same resolution from parliament. Source: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid= 524376847632100&set=a.444481428954976.96687 .443903895679396&type=1 KP governor directs inception of FATA Youth Assembly Directive dated August 26, 2013 from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor to the FATA additional chief secretary in the FATA Secretariat: I am directed to refer to the above noted subject and to state that delegates of Kyhber Pakhtunkhwa Youth Assembly led by their Chief Minister, Ministers, Opposition Leader and Youth Parliamentarians, met the Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on August 23, 2013. During discussion it transpired that Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT), with support of Assembly Secretariat Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has established a Youth Assembly KP on pattern of Pakistan Youth Assembly where youngsters, girls and boys are elected to form a forum to teach them democratic norms and inculcate leadership qualities in them. The Governor informed them that FATA students have already formed a voluntary, self-financed FATA Youth Forum but require proper patronage. He also informed that about the youth policy being finalized under the guidance of Senator Rubina Khalid and Ms Mehreen Afridi of the FATA Youth Forum. Consequent to discussion, the Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was pleased to direct them as under: 1. PILDAT would be requested to provide equivalent support in the formation of the FATA Youth Assembly on exactly the same pattern; 2. In this regard, PILDAT will coordinate with Senator Rubina Khalid, FATA Youth Forum and the Directorate of Youth Affairs FATA; 3. From the government side, Mr Arshad Majeed, Secretary FIFA FATA and Mr Faisal Jamil Shah, Director Sports and Youth Affairs will be the focal persons; 4. Funding requirement for the initiative will be provided through a non-ADP scheme; 5. The FATA Youth Assembly will be a perpetual initiative with sessions in Islamabad and FATA Secretariat Peshawar; 6. Special instructions would be issued to all government offices etc to provide time and information to the Youth Assembly Members so that they could carry out research work and bring forth workable proposals.
    • 14 Source: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid= 460904074017561 Higher Education Commission asks to double FATA quota at universities ISLAMABAD: Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairman Javaid Laghari has written a letter to the vice chancellors of all universities to double the admission quotas for students from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) from one to two per cent. “Fata is at a crossroad and the current mayhem and chaos in tribal areas could directly be linked to lack of opportunities for the local populace,” he wrote in his letter. “The disgruntled youth can easily fall prey to the lure of extremists and there is also a dearth of educational institutions in Fata. The situation warrants urgent action from all and sundry,” he said. The prime minister has also issued directives to provinces to make arrangements to reserve at least two per cent of seats for Fata students in medical, engineering and other professional institutions and universities, the letter said. Meanwhile, the HEC has also decided to award foreign PhD scholarships to working journalists from Fata under the “Provision of higher education opportunities for the students of Balochistan and Fata” project. These scholarships will be provided for PhD studies at leading universities in USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand for spring 2014 session. Working journalists with Fata domiciles and master or equivalent degrees in journalism would be eligible to apply. HEC has also decided to award foreign PhD scholarships to working journalists from Fata under the provision of higher education opportunities for the students of Balochistan and FATA. Source: http://tribune.com.pk/story/594405/fata- students-vcs-asked-to-enhance-admission-quota/ Ex-servicemen want local body elections in FATA BAJAUR AGENCY: Ex-Serviceman Society FATA GS Kemya Khan Afridi has said that along with the other parts of the country, the government should also conduct Local Government elections in FATA. While talking to media persons in Khar, the Ex- serviceman Society leader said that government was getting preparations to hold local bodies election in the country, but the government has not made it clear whether it would hold the same elections in the tribal regions or not. He urged the PML-N-led federal government to conduct local bodies’ elections in FATA as it would further strengthen the democratic culture in the tribal areas. “Power can be easily devolved at the grass root level through holding local bodies elections in FATA, KK Afridi argued, saying the government should not deprive the tribesmen of this basic right.” “The tribal people will neither accept nominated local bodies nor keep silent if local bodies elections were not held in tribal regions, the Ex-serviceman Society leader remarked. KK Afridi demanded of the government to conduct LG elections at the same day with the other parts of Pakistan. He said that deprivation of the tribal people from their social, political and constitutional rights would lead to conflict and backwardness in the region. The Ex-Serviceman Society FATA leader also urged the government to bring the bureaucracy working in FATA under the local governments so that speedy welfare and development could be started in FATA. The political administration should be made accountable and answerable to the elected representatives in FATA, he suggested, saying continuation of the chaotic situation would further aggravate the problems in FATA. KK Afridi asked the government to explain its position whether it is willing to hold local bodies elections in FATA or not. Source: http://thefrontierpost.com/fata/?p=49 Bajaur political leaders resolved to secure basic rights BAJAUR AGENCY: All Bajaur Political Parties Alliance has showed concern over what they called awful behavior of the government officials with the tribesmen and resolved that efforts would be made to secure basic rights of people of the region. The decision was made at a meeting of the alliance here at the residence of former MNA Akhund Zada Chattan here on Thrusday at Khar. The alliance president, former senator Maulana Abdur Rasheed, chaired the meeting, which was addressed by member central executive committee of Pakistan People`s Party Mr Aurangzeb, Mr Chattan, Awami National Party`s Attaullah Khan, Rahat Yousaf of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Jamaat-i-Islami`s Fata chief Sahibzada Haroon Rasheed. They said that complaints about misconduct of officials of political administration with poor tribesmen were increasing day by day since the
    • 15 establishment of government writ in Bajaur Agency. They said that people had been suffering at the hands of officials without committing any crime. “We do not know the reason for the misbehavior of the officials with our citizens, but this is certainly going to create mistrust between the administration and people”, said Haroon Rasheed. He claimed that the officials had been arresting a large number of tribesmen daily under the collective responsibility law, only to release them after receiving bribe in the cover of fine. Source: http://www.fatareforms.org/bajaur-political- leaders-resolved-to-secure-basic-rights/ PM Nawaz Sharif urges FATA mainstreaming Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday stressed the need for mainstreaming FATA and bringing it at par with rest of the country. The PM expressed these views during a meeting with a delegation of Senators from FATA, who called on him here at the PM Office. Nawaz said his government was committed to work for the socio-economic uplift of FATA and to improve the living standard of the people of those areas. The overall political situation with special focus on the law and order situation in the country and FATA came under discussion during the meeting. Source: http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news- newspaper-daily-english-online/islamabad/26-Jul- 2013/prime-minister-stresses-fata-development Local body elections demanded in tribal areas Senior Jamaat-e-Islami FATA leader and member of the Political Parties Joint Committee on FATA Reforms Zar Noor Afridi has said that along with the other parts of the country, the government should conduct local government elections in FATA. While talking to media persons in Landikotal, Afridi said that the government was making preparations to hold local body elections in the country, but that the government has not made it clear whether or not it would hold the same elections in the tribal regions. Afridi urged the PML-N-led federal government to conduct local government elections in FATA as it would further strengthen democratic culture in the tribal areas. “Power can be easily devolved to the grassroots level by holding local body elections in FATA,” Afridi argued, addoing that the government should not deprive the tribesmen of this basic right. “The tribal people will neither accept nominated local bodies nor will they keep silent if local body elections are not held in the tribal areas,” the JI leader remarked. Afridi demanded that the government conduct local government elections at the same time as those in other parts of Pakistan. He said that depriving tribal people of their social, political and constitutional rights would lead to conflict and backwardness in the region. The JI FATA leader also urged the government to bring the bureaucracy (aka political administration) working in FATA under the control of newly elected local governments so that speedy welfare and development could be started. The political administration should be made accountable and answerable to new local elected representatives in FATA, Afridi suggested, saying that any continuation of the current chaotic situation would further aggravate problems in FATA. He further asked the government to explain its position and make clear whether it is willing to hold local body elections in FATA or not . Source: http://allvoices.com/contributed- news/15100189-local-bodies-elections-demanded- in-tribal-regions FATA Democratic Movement, a new voice for reforms FATA Democratic Movement is an organization representing the whole of FATA, founded a few years ago in Jamrud in Khyber Agency at the Hujra of Abdul Rahim Afridi, former President of the Awami National Party in Khyber Agency. Master Khan Habib Afridi (late) was chosen as the first convener while Abdul Rahim Afridi was declared the official spokesman of FATA Democratic Movement (FDM). At his first press conference, new acting FDM President Abdul Rahim Afridi addressed the media at the Peshawar Press Club, stating that FATA Democratic Movement is a purely political organization but that it has no affiliation with any particular group or political party. All political parties, groups and individuals are welcome and encouraged to join as members as long as they agree with the goals and objectives of the organization. FDM was established to bring together and represent like-minded political parties and individuals who want a positive change for FATA and its people. Changes needed include political, constitutional, administrative and judicial reforms. FDM spokesperson Zar Ali Khan Afridi stated that, “We are living in a world filled with darkness and despair and this world is called FATA. Keeping
    • 16 people living as unsettled ‘tribals’ in the 21st century is a disgrace to the citizens of FATA.” “While many nations of the world achieved independence, we the people of FATA continue to be fettered by the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR), imposed over a century ago. While the world has changed completely, it is now the time to rise up and work for positive change in FATA, in our tribal areas.” FDM spokespersons went on to indicate that, “In 1956, the FCR was abolished from the then-named North West Frontier Province. Since then, it was also repealed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan but remains in force in FATA. This law is a blatant human rights violation of the people of FATA.” At present, there are twenty elected parliamentarians for FATA in the upper and lower houses (Senate and National Assembly) in Pakistan. Ironically, however, these so-called ‘representatives’ are prohibited by law from legislating for the FATA people, due to fact that Article 247 of the Constitution of Pakistan gives all such powers to the President of Pakistan. FCR amendments and other political reforms announced and enacted by the President of Pakistan in August 2011 brought a sigh of relief to tribal citizens as they permitted political parties to engage (to some extent) in FATA and create political awareness among the people. FDM indicated that, “Had the government also announced some representation in the provincial assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, it would have been an improvement and people might have relaxed, politically. This reform, however, was delayed by one pretext or another.” FATA Democratic Movement is the voice of nearly all tribal people engaged in the struggle for the political and human rights of the people of FATA. FDM works to emancipate them from the clutches of the cruel political and legal systems currently in place in FATA. Initially, FDM has two main objectives: 1. Complete abolition of the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR); and 2. Representation for FATA in the provincial assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. FDM is building consensus on these two important objectives in FATA and intends to hold a Jirga of 150 tribal political activists, civil society organizations, lawyers, tribal mashran, Maliks, teachers, students, women and people from all walks of life to participate and share their experiences, ideas and debate the pros and cons of these objectives for the future of FATA and its people. FDM is the native movement from FATA and has a representation in nearly all tribal agencies and FRs. In addition to the work of FDM, other groups are busy working for reforms in FATA. Now is the time for all reformers, political parties, civil society organizations, media, teachers, students, lawyers, trade unions, women organizations and so on to join hands and work collectively to bring changes to the current system in the tribal areas. Although some amendments have been announced, they are few and not enough. Further reforms are needed, such as the basic and fundamental changes needed to Article 247 of the constitution and handing over FATA legislation powers from the president to parliament. In addition, jurisdiction of the superior courts must be extended to FATA and an elected and empowered FATA council should be established and given power to present recommendations and suggestions to the President of Pakistan regarding the future status of FATA. After the sudden death of its founding convener, Ijaz Afridi was nominated for a brief period and Abdul Rahim Afridi was named FDM president. After his departure to United States, Raees Norat Khan Afridi was named convener and Zar Ali Khan Afridi spokesman. Among FDM founding members are: Raees Norat Khan Afridi, Ijaz Afridi, Ghani Rehman, Saleem khan, shabir Khan, Ameer Khan Akakhel, Manzoor Afridi (Jamrud, Khyber Agency), Gul Nawaz Tarakzai (Mohmand Agency), Ikram Khan (Bajaur), Noor Aslam Khan Afridi and Majeed Khan Afridi (FR Kohat), Naseem Khan Wazir (FR Bannu), Malik Shaukat (FR Lakki), Daud Khan Sherani and Engineer Shahi Khan Sherani (FR DI Khan), Malik Luqman Afridi, Brigadier Gul Mansher Afridi and Zar Ali Khan (FR Peshawar). Source: http://www.fatareforms.org/fata-democratic- movement-a-new-voice-for-reforms-in-fata/ High Court issues notices to Mohmand and Khyber political agents PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Tuesday asked the political authorities of tribal agencies to explain illegal detention of citizens on the next hearing. A two-member bench comprising Justice Nisar Hussain Khan and Justice Musarrat Hilali issued show-cause notices to political agents (PAs) of Mohmand and Khyber tribal regions and Assistant Political Agent (APA) Jamrud and superintendent
    • 17 Peshawar Central Prison, directing them to explain the reason for detention of the citizens on the next hearing of the case August 27. The bench issued notice to PA Mohmand Agency in a habeas corpus petition of Muhammad Islam, in which he claimed that the official had kept his brother Abdul Wadood in his illegal detention for the past five months without any charges. Zartaj Anwar, the petitioner’s lawyer submitted before the bench that the family members through a jirga of tribal elders handed over the detainee for three days to PA Mohmand on November 11, 2012 after his request that the Mahsud Scouts wanted some interrogation from him. He argued that the PA Mohmand then kept the detainee at his lockup without any reason. After five months, he said the PA released him on bail. After nine months of the release, he said the PA Mohmand again arrested the detainee and kept at his illegal detention to date. The petitioner said that his brother had a job at Telenor Mobile Company as he did his diploma in engineering. The bench also issued show-cause notice to PA Khyber Agency and Jamrud APA for violating the Fata Tribunal order and keeping a citizen in an illegal detention even after the court’s order. The bench also put on notice superintendent Peshawar Central Prison, directing him to explain why he kept the petitioner in prison even after the Fata Tribunal (an appellate court for APA, PA and FCR Commissioner’s courts) order regarding his release. The detainee, Pirzada had claimed in his petition that on July 14, 2012 during military operation he was arrested by Mehsud Scouts and then handed over to the political administration. He said the political authorities sentenced him for seven years for his alleged links with militants against which he approached the Fata Tribunal. He said the tribunal acquitted him in the case on June 10, 2013. He said the political authorities did not release him from the Peshawar Central Prison even after the Fata Tribunal decision. He said the political authorities filed a review petition in the Fata Tribunal against his acquittal, which was also dismissed. To keep him in illegal detention, he claimed that political authorities booked him in a false case in back date of 2007. Source: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News- 2-195792-PHC-issues-notices-to-Mohmand,- Khyber-PAs Khyber Political Agent accused of bias against tribal journalists A meeting of tribal journalists was held in the Landikotal Press Club with President Ahmad Nabi Shinwari on Friday. The journalists condemned actions of the Khyber Agency Political Agent Motahir Zib, which they said amounted to intimidation of local journalists. The political administration official is allegedly telling Khyber journalists in Landikotal not to report on the real problems of tribal citizens in the Agency. “The Political Agent in Khyber has specifically targeted some of the senior journalists at Landikotal,” observed some of the journalists in the meeting, adding that because of their reporting on the location of proxy Khasadars in the force, the Political Agent has resorted to unfair and biased actions against them. The tribal journalists refused to compromise on their principles and basic rights, however, and the Political Agent turned on them as a result. Journalists indicated that the official had issued orders to dismantle additional check posts on the Khyber Pass, but so far could not do so because of corruption and illegal fee-charging at the check post. Some present at the meeting threatened to increase their protest throughout the Agency to expose the Political Agent’s abuse of power. The journalists have also called on the government to take immediate action against the official and to remove him from Khyber Agency. Source: http://www.allvoices.com/contributed- news/14977346-pa-khyber-is-biased-against-tribal- journalists Supreme Court says laws must extend to FATA ISLAMABAD: Observing that missing persons seemed to be detained in internment centers in tribal areas, the Supreme Court on Monday asked the federal government to extend its laws to both the federally and provincially administered tribal areas, to ensure the fundamental rights of citizens living there. “Federation of Pakistan must take steps to extend laws to Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA). When you take their elected representatives in the assemblies then why are the people not getting their rights,” observed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who was heading a three-judge bench. “The government has informed us that there are 504 missing persons and there are seven internment
    • 18 centers in different areas of PATA and FATA,” said Justice Khawaja, one of the members of the bench, hearing cases of the missing persons The chief justice observed that if someone was found involved in criminal activity, they should be put to a fair trial in accordance with rules and laws. “ Issuing notices to the FATA and PATA secretaries, the bench sought the complete record of the detained persons and reports regarding periodical meetings of the review boards renewing the detention orders of the detained persons. The bench was keen to know whether the detained persons were being treated as per the frontier regulations and whether the law was being adhered to. Hearing multiple cases of enforced disappearances, the bench also directed the authorities to arrange a meeting of the detained persons and their families and adjourned hearing till July 29. Taking up the separate cases of disappearance of two brothers respectively from Dera Ismail Khan and Bhakhar, the bench asked the Inspectors General (IG) of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab to explain what action had been taken for the recovery of the individuals. Deputy Attorney General Tariq Khokhar informed the bench that two separate FIRs were registered last year soon after the incidents of disappearance were reported. Khokhar informed the bench that officials of relevant police stations had been nominated in the FIRs; however, he was not aware as to what action had so far been taken against the accused officials. Taking notice of the plight of the missing person’s families, the chief justice asked the additional attorney general to make sure that the compensations were paid to the families as travel allowance in accordance with Justice retired Mansoor Alam Commission Report’s recommendations. Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th , 2013. Source: http://tribune.com.pk/story/577533/internme nt-centres-in-fata-laws-must-extend-to-tribalareas- states-sc Zardari sends new reforms memorandum to PM ISLAMABAD: A memorandum of FATA Grand Assembly regarding ensuring implementation of reforms in tribal areas has been sent to government from president house. An Autonomous FATA Council has been suggested on the pattern on National Assembly in the tribal areas where governor and FATA Secretariat would be answerable before FATA Council. Meanwhile local body elections have been demanded in tribal agencies on a fast track basis. According to sources, the memorandum comprising FATA reforms for tribals has been sent to government from the president house. The government after finalizing the draft of reforms would send it to president house for official approval and presidential order would be issued for implementation over FATA reforms. The proposals presented by FATA Grand Assembly to President Asif Ali Zardari in the previous days said that joint declaration of tribes could prove fruitful to bring and ensure peace in the tribal areas. The president has been appealed for FATA reforms that package of reforms of 2010 should be implemented on the fast track basis. The constitutional amendments should be done after taking members of parliament of FATA into confidence so that the tribal members could take part in legislation regarding FATA. The fundamental rights should be extended up to FATA as done in the other parts of the country and the right to define the status should be given to people of FATA. Moreover, FATA council should be elected on the basis of franchise and it should be given the right to present suggestion to the president. The district government system should be introduced in FATA. The Jirga System should be empowered. The political administration should be held accountable before elected members of district government. There should be reserve seats for women of FATA in Senate and National Assembly. Source: http://www.sananews.net/english/memoran dum-of-fata-grand-assembly-regarding-ensuring- implementation-of-reforms-in-tribal-areas-sent-to- govt-from-presidency/ FATA citizens demand local government elections Members of the FATA Local Council Association have demanded the government to hold local body elections in tribal region after the directive of superior judiciary. Speaking at a news conference here at press club on Friday, Association President Shahjehan Afridi said that Supreme Court issued clear-cut directives for holding LG elections by September in the country that reflecting seriousness of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. “The move is a welcoming step but the tribal region is ignored for
    • 19 bringing power at grassroots level by holding local body elections in FATA,” he maintained. Afridi called for holding LB polls in FATA as per schedule announced for other parts of the country, adding the tribesmen could be able to elect public representatives through a democratic process. Flanked by the Association General Secretary Javed Afridi and other officer-bearers, he said that positive activities would be started after conducting local body elections in FATA while it could also provide opportunity to tribesmen to elect real leadership with power of their votes. Local government elections should be held in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and tribal areas simultaneously so that tribal people could get rid of the Frontier Crimes Regulations and Maliki system, they added. The office- bearers said the tribal areas were kept backward under a conspiracy. They urged the coalition parties in the provincial government – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Jamaat-e-Islami and Qaumi Watan Party – to pass a resolution in the provincial assembly calling on the federal government to hold local government election in the tribal areas. They said if the federal government failed to announce local government election in tribal areas, they would move court and start a protest drive. He said that FATA was deliberately kept backwards in all fields, particularly health and education. “Tribal people are facing enormous hardships due to the ongoing situation in FATA,” he observed. He said that successive governments had failed to mainstream and bring change in social fabric of the tribal society. “Tribesmen are patriotic citizens, who rendered enormous sacrifices for this motherland,” he added. He termed that the FATA reforms process was only an eye washing but no practical steps were taken to mitigate the sufferings of tribal people. He said the democratic process was a way to bring reforms in FATA. Therefore, he demanded the government to hold local body elections in tribal region like other parts of the country. Source: http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news- newspaper-daily-english-online/national/20-Jul- 2013/fata-local-council-demands-lb-polls Political parties discuss FATA reforms priorities ISLAMABAD: Eleven political parties met to discuss reforms priorities for the tribal areas, demanding that peace be established and fundamental rights be guaranteed for FATA citizens. As part of the two-day conference, the Political Parties Joint Committee on FATA Reforms welcomed Shaheed Bhutto Foundation and FATA Lawyers Forum representatives, reviewed the recently adopted Citizens’ Declaration for FATA Reforms, and developed consolidated reforms priorities of their own. All eleven political parties reassert the need for effective implementation of existing reforms. More specifically, the FATA Committee encourages the new government and Members of the National Assembly to amend Article 247 of the Constitution of Pakistan and enact further reforms for the tribal areas. Committee members indicated that they would soon present their consensus reform priorities to the leaders of their political parties, all MNAs and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for consideration. To that end, the Committee welcomed the attendance of three MNAs from FATA constituencies at their discussions this weekend: Bismillah Khan from NA-43 in Bajaur Agency, Al- Haaj Shah Jee Gul from NA-45 in Khyber, and Qaisar Jamal Afridi (PTI) from NA-47 Frontier Regions. Balochistan Chief Minister Dr. Malik Baloch also participated in the discussion, expressing his appreciation for the work of the FATA Committee and offering full support of the National Party and the Government of Balochistan for the Committee’s reforms initiatives for the tribal areas. Political party representatives expressed disappointment with the failure of the Election Commission of Pakistan to adequately address the committee’s recommendations for free and fair elections in the tribal areas, submitted on December 27, 2012. Despite some effort, the Election Commission did not provide all IDPs from FATA with access to vote. In addition, NADRA and the Election Commission failed to substantially increase CNIC and voter registration in FATA, independent judicial officers were not deployed as election returning officers, polling stations were too far from many tribal voters, and provincial and local election officials did not open direct communications with agency-level political party leaders as the committee requested. With complete support from the political party leadership, 11 political parties are represented on the FATA Committee: Awami National Party (ANP),
    • 20 Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam F (JUI- F), Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM), National Party (NP), Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), Pakistan Muslim League Quaid-e-Azam (PML), Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf (PTI) and Qaumi Watan Party (QWP). In 2010, the Political Parties Joint Committee on FATA Reforms began working together to demonstrate their shared commitment to promoting debate throughout Pakistan and to call for the implementation of reforms in the tribal areas. Today, the 11 member parties of the FATA Committee continue to engage in discussions with stakeholders from FATA to build consensus, increase awareness and promote dialogue on existing and future reforms. At the June 29 meeting, the FATA Committee welcomed new members Ayesha Gulalai Wazir (MNA, PTI) and Mufti Abdul Shakoor (JUI-F). Source: http://www.thefrontierpost.com/article/23940/ FATA reforms Jirga seeks equal rights ISLAMABAD: Participants of a ‘grand jirga’ (assembly) on Thursday called for implementation of reforms in the violence-hit Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and sought equal status and fundamental rights to the tribal people at par with other citizens of the country. Representatives from tribal areas, civil society and political parties approved ‘Citizen’s Declaration for Fata Reforms’ at the assembly organised by the Shaheed Bhutto Foundation with an aim to bring the people of tribal areas into mainstream politics. During a news conference, the participants demanded the implementation of amendments made to the Frontier Crime Regulations (FCR) in 2011. “The constitutional provisions regarding Fata need to be amended so that Fata parliamentarians could play a key role in legislation pertaining to the tribal areas,” it stated. The statement also declared that it is for the people of Fata to determine whether they want to integrate with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa or want a separate province. The formation of a council through adult franchise with an aim to advise the President on Fata’s needs and the establishment of local government under Fata Local Government Regulation 2002, were also proposed at the assembly. Other reforms include strengthening of khasadar, reserve seats for tribal women in parliament, extension of the Supreme Court and high court jurisdiction to Fata, implementation of press and publication ordinance, abolishment of Action in Aid of Civil Power Regulation 2011, promotion of education and setting up hospitals with modern facilities. Some of the participants termed the suggestions a ‘wish list’, saying that none of the reforms could be enforced until the security situation improves on the ground. “Tribal elders should meet the prime minister if they want enforcement of reforms in tribal agencies rather than the President whose tenure is ending in September,” Maulana Abdul Jalil Jan of the Jamaat- i-Islami told The Express Tribune. He said apart from legislation regarding FCR, all other demands will have to be catered to by the parliament. Asad Afridi of Qaumi Watan Party said K-P, Fata and Pakhtun-dominated areas of Balochistan should be integrated into one unit to counter the militancy. Source: http://tribune.com.pk/story/572667/fata- reforms-jirga-seeks-equal-status-fundamental- rights/ EU recommends FATA constitutional reforms The European Union (EU) presented its election observation report following 2013 general elections in Pakistan, including 50 reforms recommendations. One of the observation mission’s election recommendations deals directly with reforms for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), calling for amendment of Article 247 of the Constitution of Pakistan: FATA Reforms Recommendation To ensure genuine elections in FATA, further constitutional reforms should be undertaken to enable FATA residents to enjoy fundamental political freedoms and civil rights as other citizens of Pakistan do. In addition, the 12 National Assembly representatives of FATA should be able to legislate for FATA. FATA National Assembly representatives are currently not entitled to legislate for FATA since legislative and executive powers lie with the President and, per extension, his representative, the Governor of KPK, and the Political Agents. To achieve the necessary change, a constitutional amendment is required and should be pursued by the Parliament of Pakistan.
    • 21 Related International Obligations & Commitments International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) article 25b: “To vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections”. ICCPR GC 25, paragraph 7: “Where citizens participate in the conduct of public affairs through freely chosen representatives, it is implicit in article 25 that those representatives do in fact exercise governmental power and they are accountable through the electoral process for their exercise of that power.” Please find below excerpts from the EU election observation report that address FATA. At the end of this document, please find the complete EU report. Election Violence During the last four weeks of the campaign, there were a reported 130 security incidents resulting in more than 150 people killed. Most of the attacks were directed against candidates and supporters of parties identified as secular, in particular the Awami National Party (ANP) in Khyber Pakhtunkwa (KPK) and the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) in Sindh, two of the three political parties the Tehreek- e Taleban Pakistan (TTP) had threatened, the third being the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). However, the last two weeks of the campaign saw an increasing number of attacks against other parties and independent candidates in all four provinces and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The federal and provincial caretaker Governments took, in varying degrees, security measures and made protection arrangements for candidates. However, the last two weeks of the campaign saw an increasing number of attacks against other parties including JI, JUI-F, PTI, the Baloch parties Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP) and National Party (NP), and independent candidates in all four provinces and FATA. In most cases the perpetrators of these other attacks remained unknown. The security environment of the elections in Balochistan was seemingly aggravated by widespread threats issued by militant groups in particular in the Baloch parts of the province against the electoral process as a whole. Since 11 April, there were 41 attacks in KPK and another 41 in Balochistan, as well as 26 attacks in Sindh, 9 in Punjab and 6 in FATA. ANP suffered 34 attacks, followed by MQM with 17 attacks. There were 14 on independent candidates, while PML-N was targeted 12 times, PPP 8 times, and JUI-F 6 times. Numerous other parties including NP, JI or PTI had five or fewer attacks. Although election day was less marred by violence than anticipated, there was a reported total of 62 election related security incidents, including some serious explosions, that affected all the provinces. These mostly took place at polling stations, and appear to be due to a mixture of terrorist and inter- party violence. The incidents resulted in at least 64 deaths and 225 people injured (see Annex 4 Election Day Violence). Only in one NA constituency, in FATA (Kurram Agency) were elections cancelled for security reasons. Media & Elections The media provided a range of viewpoints, as well as scrutiny of the election process. Although the media generally enjoys freedom of speech, journalists and editors were targeted by militant or other groups in Karachi, some other parts of Sindh, Balochistan and FATA, and the state authorities took insufficient measures to protect. The relative freedom of speech enjoyed was curtailed in early April 2013 when numerous media houses, and their individual editors and journalists, received threats from various militant or other groups who demanded printing/broadcasting of their anti-elections messages without editing and/or critical analysis. Prior to election day such intimidation was experienced by staff at Dawn, Daily Jang, Mashriq, GEO TV, Express TV, ARY TV, Waqt TV and various less prominent media outlets in Karachi and some other parts of Sindh, Balochistan and FATA. The most popular commercial TV channels were taken off air in parts of Balochistan before the elections, due to pressure put on cable TV operators, which further limited access to information. State authorities did not take sufficient measures to protect media practitioners. Moreover, further pressure was put on outlets following a ruling on 16 April from the Balochistan High Court, in which the Pakistan Electronic Media Authority (PEMRA) fined four TV stations for broadcasting election-related messages from banned organizations, despite the media houses claims that these news items were aired under a direct threat from the authoring organizations, the TTP in particular. Legal Structure & Political Parties FATA has a different legal structure, and as it is federally administered, its elected representatives are in the NA but have a limited role in governance of the territory. Gilgit-Baltistan, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir are not represented in the federal parliament. These areas have their own constitution and elected assemblies, however they still remain under de facto Pakistani rule.
    • 22 In August 2011, the Political Parties Order 2002 was extended to FATA, allowing for parties for the first time to have the legal right to organise and field candidates in the tribal areas (the population of FATA was given universal franchise in 1996). FATA continues to have a different legal structure to the rest of the country, one that is criticised for not being consistent with other provisions of Pakistan’s Constitution and Pakistan’s human rights commitments. For example, there is a lack of separation of powers with Political Agents (the main administrator for an Agency appointed by the KPK Governor) having executive and judicial authority which compromises opportunity for independent review and remedy. The Constitution of Pakistan establishes a parliamentary system of government with the President as the Head of State and the PM as the Head of Government. The Parliament is bicameral, consisting of the Senate and the NA. The Senate members, 104 in total, are elected indirectly by the NA and the PAs for a term of 6 years. Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) elect four Senators for Islamabad. Twelve FATA MNAs elect the eight Senators from FATA. Members of the Provincial Assemblies (MPAs) elect 23 Senators each from their respective provinces. Constituency Delimitation For FATA the Delimitation of Constituencies Act states that “two or more separate areas may be grouped into one constituency”59. FATA constituency NA 47 covers six Frontier Regions which are not all interconnected, making it more difficult for candidates to campaign effectively. On average there were 17.17 candidates per NA constituency, an increase from 8.28 in 2008. This included 339 candidates contesting for 12 NA seats in FATA, of which 266 (78%) were running on party tickets, permissible for the first time. Rigging Allegations The EU EOM did not observe in Balochistan or FATA, for reasons of security. Subsequent interviews with stakeholders from these areas indicate significant problems on election day. In FATA polling station accessibility was difficult with a lack of availability of government buildings, harsh geographical conditions and long distances reportedly resulting in challenging journeys of up to 1.5 hours. In Balochistan, in the southern Baloch dominated districts there was reported to be very low turnouts of less than 10%, in part due to blockades, while there were much higher turnouts in Pakhtun areas. Some parties in the province referred to fearful atmospheres referencing target killings, intimidation, and rigging. Following election day, although there was an overall acceptance of the national and provincial outcomes, there were allegations of and concerns about “rigging” in all of the provinces. The clear margins of victory mitigated against these various allegations disrupting the formation of government. The scale, seriousness and credibility of the alleged problems are hard to assess because of the lack of a complaints tracking system and ECP transparency in this regard. The allegations appeared to refer to minor irregularities and more serious questioning of mandates. The numerous allegations were notably against the winning parties in Punjab (PML-N) and Sindh (PPP and MQM). Problems were concentrated in some geographical areas, in particular Karachi, parts of Balochistan where unusually high voter turnouts in particular in the Baloch areas raise questions, some FATA agencies and parts of Punjab. Sit-ins were organised by various parties and candidates in all four provinces and FATA about individual cases of alleged rigging. The media also showed examples of problems, including stray ballots and ballot stuffing. FAFEN and other civil society organisations called for full publication of results and polling station data. The EU EOM also called for polling station scheme and results data to be made public, in a press release dated 21 May 2013 (“EU EOM Chief Observer calls for transparency and due process”). Voter Participation The ECP reports that a total of 46,217,482 voters cast their ballots on 11 May, which makes a turnout of 55% as compared to 35,637,072 million votes cast in the 2008 elections. This is an increase of 30%, over 10 million. However, turnout varied considerably with Islamabad leading with 62%, followed by Punjab with 60%, Sindh 54%, KPK 45%, Balochistan 43%, and lastly FATA with 36%. Balochistan is the only province where turnout dropped in 2013, by 66,373. There were also some very varied levels of turnout, particularly in areas affected by violence. In an extreme case for PA 41 (Awaran, Balochistan), there was a turnout of just 1.18% (out of 57,656 registered voters), with the winning candidate securing just 544 votes. In NA 42 South Waziristan in FATA the turnout was 11.6% (out of 108,056 registered voters), with the winning candidate securing 3,468 votes. FAFEN’s ambitious plans were in some aspects difficult to implement. In particular the security situation in parts of the country and the accreditation complications meant that mobilising observers was problematic, in particular in Balochistan, FATA and Karachi, and it was especially difficult to deploy
    • 23 female observers for coverage of female booths and stations. By comparison to FAFEN’s LTOs, EU EOM observers noted a significant reduction in professionalism in FAFEN’s election day observers. Women as Voters and Candidates There continues to be a significant gender gap in the number of registered women voters, the final ER had some 11 million fewer female than male voters, raising questions about the universality of the franchise. Furthermore a breakdown by district shows notable differences between localities, e.g. in North Waziristan, FATA, women represent just 7% of the total number of the voters whereas in Wazhuk, Balochistan they are 48% of the total. This discrepancy is attributed to difficult cultural and practical circumstances and consequent lower numbers of women with CNICs, obligatory for voter registration. NADRA has made considerable efforts to provide CNICs to women, and the total number of women on the ER has significantly increased. The difference is largest in FATA where women constitute 34% of the total number of the voters, while in Islamabad female voters´ share of total voters is 46%. In Balochistan and in KPK women form 42% of the total voters, in Punjab 44% and in Sindh 45%. NADRA reports that 53.3 million men and 41.1 million women currently have CNICs compared to 33.3 and 20.8 million respectively in 2008. Women vote either at a female polling station or at a female polling booth in a combined polling station. The ECP has not published nationwide figures of the numbers of each of these types of polling station. In KPK of the 9,306 polling stations, 2,187 were female and 4,704 combined. In FATA, of the 1,208 stations, 166 were female and 811 combined. The number of female candidates contesting NA general seats, particularly on party tickets, remained very low. Of the 4,671 candidates, 158 were women, 3.4%. Of these, 95 stood independently and 66 were nominated by political parties. In total 1.4% of party nominated candidates were female. PPP awarded the same number of party tickets to women for the 2013 general elections as it did in 2008 (15), while the PML-N increased from 6 to 8, MQM from 5 to 8, and PTI granted 6 tickets to women. The majority of the parties awarded tickets to three or fewer women, and five parties had no women candidates on NA general seats at all (Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamiat Ulema-e Islam-Fazl, Mutahida Deeni Mahaz, National Party and Qaumi Watan Party). For the first time in a general election, there was a woman candidate from FATA. There was a second female candidate from FATA who reportedly resigned due to intimidation. Notwithstanding that the number of women candidates for NA general seats more than doubled compared to 2008 from 64 to 161. For the PAs, there was a small increase from 10 elected members to 12 while the number of candidates almost tripled from 116 in 2008 to 298 in 2013. Internally Displaced Persons Of the officially registered 165,427 IDP families from FATA, some 10% live in camps and the rest stay with relatives or host communities. Following an order from the Peshawar High Court in January 2013, the ECP started arrangements to facilitate IDP voting. The number of the registered IDP voters was 345, 293 of which some 81,440 cast their votes on 11 May. In Jalozai camp, only some 900 voters were able to cast their votes for various reasons (such as ER inaccuracies, lack of awareness among off-camp voters. Re-polling was ordered in two Khyber Agency constituencies (including in Jalozai camp). From four Agencies and seven constituencies from FATA. Re-polling has been ordered for two Khyber Agency constituencies and elections were postponed in Kurram Agency. EU Election Recommendation #37 Women’s participation in political life: Special efforts be undertaken to secure CNIC registration for women, targeting especially women in rural and conservative areas and young women, to increase the number of women on the electoral roll. Photographs be included on all CNICs as an anti- fraud measure. Awareness raising on the usefulness of having photographs on CNIC. Change in legislation required: Desirable to be secured in law and implemented by NADRA. Related International Obligations: CEDAW article 7 “States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the political and public life of the country”. ICCPR article 25 “Every citizen shall have the right and the opportunity… To vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret ballot, guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the electors”. There are some 11 million less women registered in the ER than men, with the difference being highest in FATA. Women are significantly less likely to have CNICs than men, with the difference being particularly marked in KPK and Punjab and amongst 18-24 year olds. Photographs on CNICs are not obligatory for women, which leaves room for manipulation. Photographs are required for going to Hajji (in passports and for visas), also for the Benazir Income Support Programme).
    • 24 EU Election Recommendation #50 Genuine elections in FATA: Further constitutional reforms be undertaken to enable FATA residents to enjoy fundamental political freedoms and civil rights as other citizens of Pakistan do. The 12 National Assembly representatives of FATA be able to legislate for FATA. Change in legislation required: Constitutional change required; to be implemented by parliament. Related International Obligations: International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) article 25b “To vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections”. ICCPR GC 25, paragraph 7: “Where citizens participate in the conduct of public affairs through freely chosen representatives, it is implicit in article 25 that those representatives do in fact exercise governmental power and they are accountable through the electoral process for their exercise of that power.” FATA NA representatives are not entitled to legislate for FATA since legislative and executive powers lie with the President and, per extension, his representative, the Governor of KPK, and the Political Agents. Source: http://www.eueom.eu/pakistan2013 FATA women demand more representation in reform agenda PESHAWAR: Expressing concern over lack of women representation in the Fata Grand Assembly (FGA), members of a tribal women forum on Wednesday demanded reforms be reviewed and proper representation be given to women in the assembly. Addressing a press conference at the Peshawar Press Club, Irum Bibi, a representative of Takra Qabili Khowende (TQK) meaning ‘Stronger Tribal Sisters’ – a social forum of tribal women – said successive governments had only raised hollow slogans for streamlining the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). She added no serious steps had been taken in this regard. Bibi said no senior official paid a visit to Fata during the last five years, which was a matter of grave concern on the part of the former democratic government. “Tribal women and children are the worst affected due to the ongoing situation in Fata. They are compelled to leave their hometowns,” she observed. Bibi added the forum was constituted to accelerate the process of reforms and take serious steps for mitigating the suffering of tribal people. She welcomed the FGA but regretted women were not given clear representation and there was no specified clause mentioned for their rights. She stressed all reforms should be reviewed with their consultation before being sent to the president for approval. Irum maintained some parties had raised their hopes by promising to streamline Fata before the elections, but none of them made any plausible efforts to ensure that. She also expressed concern over the imposition of direct and indirect taxes, which she said was ‘sheer injustice’. “Tribesmen are already suffering a lot and now the government has set up these policies,” said Bibi, demanding the government to immediately review its decision and provide relief to tribal people. She also demanded more women be included in the justice and administrative process for women empowerment. Source: http://tribune.com.pk/story/575221/unfulfille d-promises-fata-women-demand-more- representation-in-reform-agenda/ Zigzag moves on FATA (I.A. Rehman) THE approach to reforms in the tribal belt recently suggested at two civil society platforms merits serious attention by the government, parliamentarians and political activists. At the same time, it is necessary to stop moves to curtail non- governmental efforts for the uplift of the people in the tribal areas. That the absence of a popular, democratic and just order in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, or FATA, lies at the root of one of the most serious challenges to peace and security in the country can hardly be disputed. If this problem had been addressed over the wasted decades it might have been easier to deal with the militancy that is now posing a grave threat to Pakistan’s democratic premise and integrity. Islamabad’s reform plans for FATA have not made much headway because these have been inspired by a desire to tighten state control over the tribal people and their affairs. The people of FATA see even references to their fundamental rights as encroachments on their political and cultural autonomy. Their alienation from Pakistan has been particularly marked in areas where troops were the first representatives of the state seen by them. Thus, the paramount need now is formulation of a reform strategy from the viewpoint of the tribal population and securing their support and participation through all stages of planning and
    • 25 implementation. That apparently is the route taken by both civil society organisations for many years. First, the Shaheed Bhutto Foundation organised a ‘FATA grand assembly of reforms councils’, attended by more than 300 “tribal elders, religious clerics, political and social activists, and other citizens”. Held in the presence of the KP governor, the assembly adopted a 19-point citizens’ declaration. In a simplistic flourish the authors of the document added a special note: “The participants of the FATA Grand Assembly strongly demand restoration of peace in FATA by the government and other concerned authorities.” The demands made in the declaration cover a large area — education at grassroots level, functional hospitals, infrastructure, defence of property rights, reserved seats for women in parliament, reform of the jirga system, and a development package that will create prosperity and job opportunities. The more critical demands are political and judicial. Complaining that the 2011 amendments in the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) are not being implemented, the assembly has demanded that the FCR should be substantially amended or annulled, so that the fundamental rights of the Fata people can be respected. It has called for FATA parliamentarians’ due role in making laws for their people and the election of a council that should recommend the territory’s future status. Priority is attached to the establishment of local government institutions. The people of FATA have long been demanding the right to make laws for themselves. The issue has been lost in a barren debate on whether FATA should be merged with KP or made into a separate province. The Constitution allows the president to change the territory’s status after ascertaining the wishes of the people. A council especially elected could produce a consensus. A clear-cut demand is that the Actions in Aid of Civil Power Regulation 2011 should immediately be repealed. While most other demands will take time to be processed action can soon be taken to undo the offence this regulation has caused to the tribal population. The message from FATA citizens is that they are willing to embrace the modern concepts of governance, basic rights and the rule of law provided they are taken into confidence and allowed to own the process of their socio-political advance. This message came through even more strongly at a presentation on the justice system organised by the Community Appraisal and Motivation Programme (CAMP). CAMP’s report, Understanding Justice Systems of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FATA and Balochistan — the Pakhtun perspective, contains the findings of extensive surveys and focused discussion groups on the formal (Pakistan code) and informal (jirga) systems of justice. That most Pakhtuns everywhere prefer their jirga to the formal system is not surprising. Nor are the reasons for rejecting the formal system — that it is expensive, subject to delays, and corrupt. While a majority of respondents admit that the jirga system does not offer justice to women and minorities, the study finds support for bringing changes in the jirga system; men are seen to be supportive of the inclusion of women and minorities; and respondents have shown their willingness to include the elements of human rights, women’s rights and the Sharia while bringing jirgas into compliance with the Constitution and international human rights standards. However, the Pakhtuns are determined to keep the jirga system intact and its integration into the formal justice system is not acceptable. The organisation also reports its success in changing unjust customs through the jirga system and in “convincing tribal elders to ban certain bad practices against women’s rights in FATA”. Regardless of the reservations one may have about these studies, the value of the two organisations’ work lies in the fact that it confirms the tribal people’s amenability to change. Civil society actors belonging to the tribal areas have won their communities’ trust to an extent the government functionaries have never been able to manage. Changing the mindset of the tribal people is going to be more difficult than opening the Pakistani rulers’ mind to reason. In this situation imposing bans on the working of civil society organisations in FATA or restricting their activities there is absurd and amounts to denying the tribal people’s right to benefit from humanitarian and development programmes launched by non-government organisations. It is difficult to believe that it is Islamabad’s policy to insulate the tribal population from the winds of change. All restrictions on civil society’s legitimate activities in FATA must be withdrawn forthwith. Source: http://dawn.com/news/1024386/zigzag- moves-on-fata
    • 26 Political Reforms in FATA (Amir Abbas Turi) The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), considered to be among the most dangerous places on earth today, was a peaceful territory prior to 9/11 – despite its governance problems. After the 18th constitutional amendment, powers of state executive were transferred from the President of Pakistan to the parliament. However and despite such measures, the President, instead of the parliament, still holds an authoritative position for decision making in tribal areas. Article 247 of the Constitution of Pakistan renders MNAs and Senators from FATA powerless to legislate for their respective constituencies. Political reforms in FATA are the need of the hour. Pakistan has been besieged by hostile militants. Keeping in view the current scenario, political reforms in FATA are the need of the hour. In order to implement writ of the state in the region, a constitutional amendment is a required. Currently, clause 3 of article 247 restricts parliament’s legislation to be implemented in the region, unless the President–through the governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa–directs that legislation be extended to the tribal areas. Currently, the ages old Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR), the draconian law, is still the law of the land in FATA. Parliament must act immediately to remove the self- imposed bar from legislation for tribal areas. Similarly, a constitutional amendment should be proposed to omit section 247 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Once the lawmakers are rendered capable of legislating for FATA, they would replace the century-old Frontier Crimes Regulation with the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). Likewise, an immediate halt to the military operations within the region must be ensured for securing the trust and corporation of local tribal citizens. Furthermore, the incumbent government should take a firm stance for putting an end to drone strikes in the region, which are not only a brazen violation of our sovereignty and international law but also responsible for civilian causalities. In order to resolve the internal security threat, local tribal leaders must be taken on board in the dialogue process and must be guaranteed their rights in a new governance system. Finally, implementation of these reforms will ensure local support and bring the people of FATA in the national ambit. Sometimes, the conservative Islamic ideology is wrongly interpreted as fundamentalist and extremist. Providing people of FATA a right to govern will open communication channels and help to change the global perception about this region. Conflict in the region can be mitigated only when Majlis-e-Shoora (parliament) proposes a 21st constitutional amendment for political reforms in FATA to end the social deprivation of local people in the tribal areas. The writer is a social activist and hails from Kurram Agency in FATA. Source: http://pakteahouse.net/2013/07/28/political- reforms-in-fata/ Learning from the past and looking forward in FATA (Raza Shah Khan) Without peace, development is not possible. And peace in FATA can only be achieved though good governance and rule of law. Much has been discussed and debated about the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) and Article 247 of the constitution of Pakistan. Everybody talks about the issues of poverty, corruption, militancy, low literacy and lack of justice. Everybody agrees that the current state of FATA urgently needs reforms, but no one has the answer to when and by whom such reforms will take place to bring FATA into the mainstream of Pakistan. The problem in FATA doesn’t lie with the people of FATA. The real problem is how they are governed. If we look back at history, crimes have remained lower in FATA as compared to the rest of Pakistan, and there was a great respect for government officials and institutions, including foreign diplomats and outside visitors. Past and Present The Afghan war from 1979 to 1989 entirely changed the dynamics of power in the region. I will not going into details about who funded and supported the holy war in Afghanistan–including the West and Middle East, against the former USSR, utilizing poor and illiterate tribesmen and misusing religion as a means to wage Jihad as is now an evident fact. Since then, however, they are reaping what they sowed. The 9/11 incidents, the war on terrorism, suicide attacks and the daily suffering of the people of Pakistan and around the world are the result of the wrong and unethical policies of the concerned states. Lack of leadership and decisions at the national level in Pakistan further contributed to the worsening situation in FATA. Both local and international actors used the region for their own
    • 27 interests without doing anything for political, economic, legal and social reforms in FATA and overlooked the fundamental rights of the local people in the context of achieving broader strategic objectives. They focused on their own objectives and then left the people to their own fate or to the fate of those who they empowered during the long Afghan war and afterwards. Most of the time, FATA is only seen through a security paradigm rather than its potential in the context of socio-economic development, which could significantly contribute towards national and regional cooperation, stability and peace. The Reforms Agenda Reforms for FATA have been discussed in the past and some positive steps were taken by the previous government, particularly the amendments to the FCR and the extension of the Political Parties Order in 2011. The amendments, however, have not yet been fully implemented. The need for FATA reforms is under discussion in various social, political and development sectors nowadays. It has never got such importance and focus in the past. Therefore, this is the right time to take bold decisions–without delay–as the current state of FATA can’t be governed by a more than century-old FCR. The world has changed. Most of the world’s stable democracies are finding new ways of participatory democracy and governance. They are looking forward with a positive vision, while here we are still discussing and debating 18th century laws enacted by the British Raj under which the people of FATA are being governed. The efficiency of state institutions in Pakistan can be judged by the fact that even they were unable to change the term “Political Agent” used in the 18th century to something like an “Agency Administrator”. Moving Forward If a majority of the people agree on reforms in FATA–enabling the tribesmen to have their fundamental rights–then why should there be such a delay in taking decisions on the matter. The general public looks towards leaders to take such decisions. Leaders should have the courage and commitment to take bold decisions. Lack of efficient governance in FATA–where the voices of the general public are rarely heard or understood at the leadership level–is one of the major factors of the underdevelopment and unstable situation in FATA. All of the reforms suggested from time to time either by the people of FATA or by other political and civil institutions of Pakistan are genuine. These reforms are also a cause fpr bringing peace and prosperity to the FATA region. However, personal and collective wishes for selective reforms should not undermine the basic and democratic rights of the people of FATA. If all agree, then the leadership in Pakistan should strive for a “Now or Never” policy and extend all the legal, political, economic and social services to FATA just as they are in other parts of Pakistan. I believe that the delay in advancing FATA reforms– including the implementation of previous reforms– could do nothing good, but rather will provide the space and situation for lawlessness and militancy. Without peace, development is not possible. And peace in FATA can only be achieved though good governance and rule of law. A broader political and economic vision is needed, one that views FATA as a region where the huge human potential and rich natural resources can be positively exploited, in an ethical way for the common good. Such an approach will significantly contribute towards exploring new ways of economic and social regional integration. The prerequisite, however, for such a situation is bringing FATA into the mainstream of Pakistan and treating the tribal people as equal citizens of Pakistan. Sustainable Peace & Development Organization (SPADO): http://spado.org.pk/ ICG recommends constitutional amendment for FATA To restore parliamentary sovereignty, as envisioned in the original 1973 constitution, the National Assembly and Senate of Pakistan should pass a constitutional amendment to extend parliament’s remit to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Parliament’s constitutional remit does not, for example, extend to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The recent reforms, particularly the eighteenth constitutional amendment, have strengthened parliamentary democracy but failed to remove some of the constitutional distortions of past military regimes. The National Assembly’s remit did not, however, extend to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) or Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA). To date, no acts of the national or provincial legislature extend to those regions without
    • 28 presidential assent. Both maintain parallel legal frameworks. FATA citizens are denied fundamental human, political and economic rights, and lack representation at the provincial level and access to a formal justice system.10 While limits on parliamentary authority in the FATA context were built into the 1973 constitution, subsequent amendments during military rule abolished the concept of parliamentary sovereignty almost entirely. The laws are also inadequate because many provisions give legal cover to the military’s intelligence agencies, instead of building the police and civilian intelligence agencies’ capacity to counter terrorism and extremism through law enforcement. The military’s control over national security was amply demonstrated when it successfully pressured President Zardari to expand its powers to counter militancy in FATA and PATA without legislative endorsement. In August 2011, the president promulgated the Actions in Aid of Civil Power (AACP) regulations for FATA and PATA, giving the military virtually unchecked powers of arrest and detention there. The human rights standing committee must press the executive to establish the commission, urgently address the worsening human rights environment and build the legislative consensus to reverse the discriminatory Zia-era legislation. Parliament should also urge the president to revoke the AACP in FATA and PATA, which has given legal cover for the military’s human rights abuses. Read an extended summary and download the complete International Crisis Group (ICG) report below: Parliament’s Role in Pakistan’s Democratic Transition Asia Report N°249, 18 Sep 2013 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS Because of repeated direct or indirect authoritarian interventions during Pakistan’s history, its parliaments have either been absent, short-lived or rubber stamps for the military’s policies, their proceedings hollowed out and meaningless. Even under civilian rule, an overactive judiciary has repeatedly encroached on parliamentary prerogatives, while the executive branch has dominated the governance agenda; legislative advice and consent has been more a matter of form than substance. Five and a half years after the democratic transition began in February 2008, the legislature is still developing its institutional identity. The thirteenth National Assembly (2008-2013), led by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), was far more assertive. Some of the most prominent committees exercised their authority to oversee the executive and to engage the public. But the political system will remain unstable so long as the legacy of military rule is kept alive. The current legislature must resume the unfinished work of democratic reform if it is to fully restore parliamentary sovereignty and stabilise a volatile polity. The 2013 elections and their aftermath marked the first-ever transition from one elected government to another, 40 years after the 1973 constitution established a federal parliamentary democracy. While the previous parliament missed many opportunities for reform, it nevertheless passed major legislation to restore democratic governance. It also represented an era of bipartisan cooperation that was unlike the vendetta-driven, winner-take-all politics of the 1990s democratic interlude. The key achievement of the thirteenth National Assembly was the eighteenth constitutional amendment, passed unanimously in April 2010. This removed many of the constitutional distortions of General Pervez Musharraf’s military regime, enhanced fundamental rights and laid the foundations for more transparent and accountable governance. Its most consequential provision was the devolution of power from the centre to the provinces, addressing a longstanding political fault line that had largely contributed to the country’s dismemberment in 1971. The shift towards greater cooperation across the aisle also helped ensure the survival of a fragile political order that faced constant challenges from an interventionist military and a hyperactive judiciary. The second phase of the democratic transition now underway offers opportunities to entrench parliamentary democracy. With incumbents losing at the centre and in all but one province in the 2013 elections, the parties now in power at the federal and provincial levels, particularly Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), must prioritise governance and deliver on campaign pledges if they are to retain their positions. The opposition parties, too, should realise that they will be better placed to unseat their political rivals if they are an effective government-in-waiting in parliament, presenting alternative policies, budgets and other legislation, rather than merely obstructing ruling party proposals and bills. If the legislature is to respond to public needs and also exercise oversight of the executive, it must reinvigorate the committee system that was largely dormant during Musharraf’s military regime. While several important committees were far more active in the previous assembly, pursuing official misdeeds
    • 29 and even questioning the military’s role in the polity, legislation was not enacted to provide for parliamentary authority to hold the security apparatus, including its intelligence agencies, accountable. The committees’ additional value lies in their ability to lead the debate on specific policies; conduct detailed investigations and inquiries on issues of public importance; and engage civil society in the legislative process. Particularly urgent issues include electoral reform, public expenditure and budgetary allocations, law and order and human rights. There is still a long way to go. Committee achievements to date have been largely due to proactive members, usually the chairs, rather than broader institutional capacity. For committees to fulfil their potential, their members require much more research, analysis and technological support. They currently lack dedicated, trained staff, a problem that also plagues the National Assembly and Senate secretariats. Library resources are likewise inadequate, with the upper and lower houses maintaining separate facilities that unnecessarily add to costs without producing better research. As a result, committees depend on briefs from the executive, often prepared by an unreformed bureaucracy that, like its military counterpart, has little interest in strengthening representative institutions. The committees, moreover, operate within a broader parliamentary framework that is still pitted with gaps, some legal, some political. Parliament’s constitutional remit does not, for example, extend to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The recent reforms, particularly the eighteenth constitutional amendment, have strengthened parliamentary democracy but failed to remove some of the constitutional distortions of past military regimes, particularly Islamisation provisions that still undermine the legislature’s authority. To become more dynamic and assume its role as a co-equal branch of government, the new parliament should build on its predecessor’s steps, putting itself at the centre of the domestic and foreign policy debate. RECOMMENDATIONS To restore parliamentary sovereignty, as envisioned in the original 1973 constitution To the National Assembly and Senate: 1. Pass a constitutional amendment package to: a) repeal Article 227, which prevents parliament from passing laws that violate “Islamic injunctions”; b) abolish the Federal Shariat Court, which undermines legislative authority; and c) restore Articles 62 and 63 to their original form, repealing all arbitrary morality clauses for electoral candidates. 2. Pass a constitutional amendment to extend parliament’s remit to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). To enhance parliament’s power of the purse and to reinvigorate the committee system To the Government of Pakistan: 3. Abolish discretionary development funds for parliamentarians. 4. End the practice of passing large supplementary budgets, ex post facto, and instead require that supplementary appropriations be approved by parliament before the money can be spent. 5. End the practice of using statutory regulation orders (SROs) to override the legislature in enhancing or reducing taxes and duties on specific goods. To the Parliamentary Standing Committees: 6. Hold regular hearings on relevant ministry performance, summoning federal secretaries and other high-level officials to testify on their performance, including execution of policy and use of financial and other resources. 7. Review ministries’ proposals before the budget’s formulation, and use the process also to assess the value of government programs and policies, through consultations with officials, civil society and constituents; and in the case of the National Assembly’s finance and revenue standing committee, hold pre-budget consultations, with chambers of commerce, trade union, small business, industry and other civil society representatives. 8. Exercise their authority to review expenditures of ministries and departments at the end of the budget cycle and hold officials accountable for anomalies. 9. Hold regular public hearings on issues under their remit, inviting government, non-government and private sector experts; ensure a wide range of opinion when preparing the witness list; and respect all – including potentially contentious – viewpoints. To assert civilian control over the security apparatus and to reform the criminal justice system 10. The parliamentary committee on national security should hold public hearings on issues under its remit, with a wide range of government and non- government witnesses. 11. The National Assembly should rigorously debate the annual budget when it is introduced and
    • 30 also demand greater transparency in defence allocations. 12. The mandate of the defence and interior committees should be expanded to include oversight of military and civilian intelligence agencies. 13. The defence committee, in the case of the military’s main intelligence agency, the Inter- Services Intelligence (ISI) directorate, and the law, justice and human rights committee, in the case of the civilian-controlled Intelligence Bureau (IB), should draft legislation defining the legal parameters and civilian chains of command. 14. The standing committees on interior and law, justice and parliamentary affairs should draft legislation to modernise the basic bodies of criminal justice-related law: the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and Evidence Act. To strengthen parliamentary functioning To the National Assembly and the Senate: 15. Give all committee members a work space and adequate staff. 16. Enhance standing committees’ oversight of the executive branch by empowering them to vet and approve senior civil service appointments proposed by the Federal Public Services Commission, to ensure they are made on merit rather than personal or political affiliation. 17. Enforce the requirement that each standing committee submit an annual report on its activities that goes beyond an account of proceedings to analysis of its impact on policy. 18. Extend protection of parliamentary speech to witness testimony in parliamentary hearings; and enhance transparency of parliamentary proceedings by setting a threshold for closed-door hearings, such as consent of one quarter of a committee’s members on the request of a witness whose security is endangered; and discussion of classified or other confidential information. 19. Build the capacity of the National Assembly and Senate secretariats to support parliamentary committees and parliamentary work in general by: a) establishing and enforcing clear educational and professional criteria for appointments to the secretariats; b) developing and enforcing a uniform code of conduct for the National Assembly and Senate secretariats; c) training specialists, including legal draftsmen, archivists, researchers and policy analysts, on policy issues and parliamentary procedure; and d) merging the National Assembly and Senate libraries, with a consolidated research and analysis wing, and ensure the stock is continually updated. Islamabad/Brussels, 18 September 2013 Source: http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/publication- type/media-releases/2013/asia/parliaments-role-in- pakistans-democratic-transition.aspx fatareforms.orghttp://www.fatareforms.org/supreme- court-bar-association-fata-resolution/ Supreme Court Bar Association FATA Resolution The 15th Executive Committee of Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan in its 10th meeting held on August 22nd 2013 fully endorsed the presentation made by FATA Lawyers Forum regarding the writ of Government and Jurisdiction of High Court and Supreme Court in FATA. The Executive Committee has unanimously resolved as under: “That FATA is part of Pakistan for all practical purposes, therefore, not only the writ of the government should be fully exercised there but also the Legal system of Courts and Jurisdiction of KPK High Court and Supreme Court be extended and implemented in letter and spirit. And in this respect Supreme Court Bar Association assures the FATA Lawyers Forum that all government, non- government and Judiciary forums will be activated and supported in the above context.” Javed Iqbal Raja, Secretary, Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan, 22 August 2013, Ref: Sec/SCBA/257 Source: http://www.slideshare.net/fatanews/suprem e-court-bar-fata-resolution-2013-0822 Corruption stops real reform for tribal people FATA should be merged with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa or given provincial status like Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. 9/11 caused the demolition of US buildings but its real trash fell upon the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in Pakistan. This trash still exists and tribal people are busy cleaning those or have been forced to do so. Tribal people are those unlucky people who have been chained by the black laws of FCR since British imperialism. FCR is such an inhumane law which is against basic human rights as well as in opposition to the 1973 constitution.
    • 31 On one hand the black law of FCR, while on the other hand the persecution of Khans and Maliks have exploited tribal people for their vested interests through political and financial tactics such an extent that I believe that they will not be able to reconcile in the coming 100 years. Today the extension of political reforms to FATA again fell prey to the tactics of Khans and Nawabs, and common people have no share in that neither from government nor from political parties. Again tribal have been left at the mercy of these people, the so called tribal elders, who have established training camps in the region after 9/11 at the green signal of some departments. In the aftermath of that, the military operation has been launched in the region causing loss or injuries of some 200,000 lives. Adding further fuel to the fire, these tribal elders have formed peace committees in some areas which further aggravate the situation. In the past, tribal people have shed blood for the independence of Kashmir, today Kashmir has provincial status with its own parliament, judiciary and budget, while the tribal areas have been kept deprived of the basic necessities of life, such as roads, electricity, education, hospitals, water and even law. The hegemony of the Political Agent (PA) is all- pervasive and it is up to him what sort of name he gives to somebody either bad or good, to kill somebody or to free somebody, to confiscate some one’s wealth, no one can do audit of PA or make him accountable. No one takes care of tribal people. Parliamentarians cannot legislate. If some international organizations plan to work for the uplift of tribal people, they are not permitted to do so and if allowed then the authorities try to take all the credit of that good deed or give the impression that tribal people are against development. Many times, funds have been allocated for the construction of roads but some want to keep the tribal areas backward or want to utilize the funds for their own benefits which often meet with fiasco. The political reforms have given hopes to tribal people, but old stories have been repeated and incapable and ineligible people were elected; people who cannot even write, let alone legislate and understand laws. Now some political parties have raised their voice, but their voice is for their own interests. FATA should be either merged with the settled areas or should be given provincial status like that of Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. Furthermore, it is essential that tribal people have representatives in the KP Assembly. Sincere people are needed who do not work for their own political and financial gains. People are needed who strive for tribal people on each and every forum. If through collective action or some other way, it is possible and thanks to God that the process has been started. This FATA Reforms Blog post was written and submitted by a 10th grade student from Bajaur Agency. Click here to submit your contribution to the Blog. fatareforms.orghttp://www.fatareforms.org/zar-ali-khan- fata-reforms-recommendations/ Zar Ali Khan FATA reforms recommendations Issues and impediments in the way of development in FATA 1. FATA members elected by the people of FATA cannot legislate for FATA and none of the laws passed in the parliament apply to FATA. 2. FATA has no representation in any provincial assembly. 3. Women and minorities are deprived of representation, unlike in the rest of the country. 4. There is no representation for FATA technocrats in the National Assembly or Senate of Pakistan. 5. Absence of local government elections. 6. Absence of all civil laws. 7. Lack of credible monitoring system in FATA. 8. According to 1973 Constitution of Pakistan, FATA is part of Pakistan. Despite this, the people of FATA have not been given all rights guaranteed to civilized people in a civilized society. 9. The Press and Publication Ordinance does not exist to FATA. Therefore, tribal citizens are not entitled to publish newspapers or journals in FATA. 10. There are serious problems with land settlement in FATA. Recently, the Land Acquisition Act (1849) was extended to FATA, but its implementation is still an issue. 11. The Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) gives the political agent more power than a king had in the past.
    • 32 12. The Supreme Court and High Court have no jurisdiction in FATA. 13. The Jirga system is said to have been corrupted. 14. Extremism and militancy have increased to such a level that it has caused more than half of the total population to leave FATA and migrate to comparatively safe places in settled districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. 15. Economy and business activities have been destroyed due to the out-dated system, and supposedly as a result of the military ongoing war against terrorists as well. 16. The education system in FATA has been completely destroyed. Schools, especially girls’ schools, have been bombed or ruthlessly bulldozed by so-called terrorists. 17. Girls are not allowed to go to school without a male member of the family. Girl students are frequently threatened to be killed or abducted. 18. Abduction for ransom is increasing in FATA. 19. Many people—particularly students and girls— have become mental and psychological patients due to high stress and depression. Many are also heart patients. 20. Mobility has been badly impacted in FATA. 21. Article 247 of the Constitution of Pakistan is the main reason for “backwardness in FATA”. It needs to be amended to give legislative power to the national parliament 22. The constitutional status of the FATA should be clarified. Recommendations 1. An elected FATA council is needed. The council should be empowered to present recommendations to the President of Pakistan regarding the future of FATA. 2. The role of tribal Jirgas in hearing civil and criminal cases should be eliminated. Civil and criminal courts should be established at tehsil and agency levels, presided over by civil and criminal judges. 3. Defendants should be guaranteed the right to legal representation and to appeal to higher courts. The jurisdiction of the Peshawar High Court and the Supreme Court of Pakistan should be extended to FATA. 4. Private investment and economic growth should be encouraged by: 5. Developing the physical infrastructure of the tribal agencies, including viable road networks, farm-to-market roads, as well as energy and irrigation projects; 6. Facilitating interest-free loans and removing restrictions on lending to FATA citizens; and 7. Making the education system in FATA a top priority to bring FATA students at par with students in other parts of the country. 8. As the Afghanistan-Pakistan relationship is the basis for peace and development in FATA, positive and constructive steps should be taken by both governments to ensure cordial and friendly relations. 9. All non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society organizations (CSOs) should be allowed to work for social and economic change in FATA. 10. All camps of extremists and militants should be eliminated from FATA. 11. All rights which a civilized human being has should be guaranteed for FATA citizens. 12. All Pakistani laws relating to women should be extended to FATA. The rights of tribal women should be protected at all cost. 13. The Press and Publication Ordinance should be extended to FATA. 14. Engineering universities, medical colleges and hospitals should be established for the people of the tribal areas at agency and FATA levels. 15. Economic “opportunity zones” should be constructed, bringing prosperity and development to FATA. Source: http://www.fatareforms.org/zar-ali-khan- fata-reforms-recommendations/ Reforms needed for FATA development (Muhammad Shahid Battani) Development of an area is essentially dependent on two important factors: 1) availability of capital, and more importantly 2) the system of administration. Unfortunately, in our country, bureaucracy and politicians focus more on the money rather than on the system of administration. No doubt, capital is important and necessary for development. But unless there is an effective mechanism for right and judicious use of funds, they go down the drain. In many cases, such mismanagement results in money creating social discontent rather than positive development. In the case of FATA, this anomaly is more pronounced than in the rest of the country. This
    • 33 deficit is largely a result of the peculiar system of administration in the troubled and unfortunate tribal areas. In this article some critical flaws in the administration system of FATA are discussed, along with their remedies. Hopefully, this assessment will serve to assist efforts for eventual and real development in FATA. 1) Concentration of power The single office of Political Agent has several powers serving as administration officer, judge, finance officer, security officer, monitoring & supervision authority and head of 16 technical (line) departments in a respective agency. Imagine these diverse responsibilities being shouldered by a single person, particularly given complex internal dynamics and the deplorable security situation in tribal agencies. Each political agent is responsible for many things at once. As a result almost, most important decisions remain pending and nothing gets done. Simply put, political agents do not have time to do it all. The post of Additional Political Agent has been created. However, this position has no proper job description or clearly indicated responsibilities. Sometimes he is told to work on monitoring and other times on finance or planning, etc. His office is sandwiched between the office of political agent and those of assistant political agents. This results in an inefficient tug-of-war between the additional and assistant political agents. Recommendation 1: There should be a separate finance officer, security officer and two judges (assisted by a small council of local elders) for each agency. The political agent should serve only as agency administration officer. 2) Nomination (nikkat) system Currently, annual developmental schemes (school, dispensary, roads, water wells, establishment of orchards, fruit nursery farms, allotment of tractor hours, etc.) are all given to specific single persons. These frequent recipients are predominantly maliks on permanent nomination (nikkat) selected by the political agent. This method is called the “nomination system”, adopted initially by our colonial rulers to show personal gratification to local maliks. The system was design to suit colonial interests and not for the larger public interest. Under the “nomination system”, a malik considers each scheme as personal property and not as public or belonging to the government. After scheme completion, however, maliks are not made responsible for the functioning of the new facility. This is the primary culprit behind the large number of defunct schools, hospitals, tube wells and other development schemes. In many cases, maliks do not allow duty staff to reside at the new facility or to perform their duties on daily basis. Nominees often take the cash directly from small schemes. These mailks is often interested only in taking their Class IV salaries on a monthly basis and not in the service or development of the area. As a result, this system causes quarrels among tribes and sub-tribes resulting in unnecessarily long delays (sometimes years) in implementing development projects. Another serious problem is that this practice results in there being several schools in some villages and none in others. At times, one person or family living far away from a populated village has access to many facilities whereas the village itself is denied services. These issues result from the mere whims and desires of the political administration. Due to the nomination system, all Association for Development of Pakistan (ADP) schemes are bought and sold and not decided based on community needs. Recommendation 2: Developmental schemes should be sanctioned on the basis of need and not based on the “nomination (nikkat) system”. If nomination is inevitable, then projects must be subject to prior feasibility studies by the concerned line department. Moreover, nominations must be time-bound and should not exceed one month. 3) Line department division of labor Line departments are actually technical departments that have specialties in particular public services. In fact, these departments are the real institutions that serve and develop society. Unfortunately in our country, however, these departments are subservient and at the discretion of generalist administrators who have little technical knowledge regarding development in FATA (except some with backgrounds in natural sciences). In FATA, the dozen or so line departments (health, education, irrigation, agriculture, etc.) can only propose developmental schemes. Final approval, however, rests with the political agent. The political agent, on the other hand, has the authority to recommend technical developmental schemes without consultation or a feasibility study by the concerned line department. Line departments do not even have the authority to execute small schemes (wells, water ponds, etc.), even if it is urgently needed by the people.
    • 34 Line departments are required to propose schemes and wait for their approval and subsequent release of funds by the political agent. This process can take several months and sometimes years. Due to this long and quarrelsome process, allocated funds are sometimes not utilized in the current financial year and must be surrendered back to the FATA Secretariat or other government entity. Only when nomination is made by the political agent is a project sent to the line department for a feasibility report. In this case, line departments are not empowered to reject a scheme, despite poor merits on a technical or needs basis. Nominated maliks and others can implement these projects as they wish, needing only to justify it by stating that he has been nominated (nikkat) for the scheme and that he has spent a lot of time, energy or money for it. Line departments have been given no power to sanction a few thousand rupees (from released funds) for any activity or small project. For these requests, departments are dependent on directorates in Peshawar. Recommendation 3: Line departments should be given proper powers to recommend schemes on technical and needs basis. Line departments should also be empowered to recommend suitable sites/villages for schemes. These departments should also be delegated the power to sanction budget expenditures after funds have been released by the FATA Secretariat department of finance. 4) Duplication of schemes Some schemes are executed by more than one department. For example, a drinking water scheme is executed by the department of public health, the department of local government and also by some non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Although there is no local government system in FATA yet, the FATA Secretariat local government department does exist. Similarly, the departments of irrigation and agriculture extension both implement drip irrigation projects in the same agency. Another cause of duplication is that no record exists of ADP projects from the previous year. Not even a list of scheme sites and villages is maintained by the political administration. Errors in the nomination process also create duplication, institutionalize unjust distribution practices and waste public resources. Recommendation 4: Duplication of development schemes must be stopped by improving development project reporting and recordkeeping. Eliminating or reforming the nomination system would also reduce project duplication and government waste. 5) Absence of baseline data Presently, the political administration does not have proper or reliable data about the number of villages in each agency, the population of each village, geography, natural resources, or the number of government facilities present in villages. This lack of baseline data is a major drawback of the administrative system in FATA. Without data, malpractices increase, such as faulty planning at the agency and at the FATA Secretariat level, duplication of development projects, misuse of resources and other injustices. Recommendation 5: Proper and reliable baseline data should be collected and made available to the political administration and all line departments in each FATA agency and frontier region. 6) No agency-level monitoring Currently, there is no proper monitoring and evaluation system at an agency level in FATA. Although the political administration has monitoring authority, it does not make time to evaluate the implementation of schemes or other work. There is also a monitoring directorate in the FATA Secretariat, but it has no representatives at the agency level. Once a year, the FATA Secretariat sends monitors to the agencies for few days, but this is not enough for proper and effective monitoring. Recommendation 6: There must be regular monitoring staff in each agency. If this is not possible, there should be monitoring staff in the office of the commissioner. This staff should be available year round for the purpose of monitoring and evaluating the work of the political agent and administration staff. 7) Delay in release of funds Late release of funds is another important factor halting and slowing down the process of development. Funds are not provided at proper times and are often held until the end of the financial year. This practice has a serious and negative impact on many development activities–particularly on agriculture and other time bound schemes. Recommendation 7: Efforts should be made at the FATA Secretariat level to ensure the timely release of funds to ensure there is time to spend allocated funds and complete the execution of development projects. By Muhammad Shahid Battani, agricultural officer in the Department of Agriculture Extension, South Waziristan Agency Source: http://www.fatareforms.org/reforms-needed- for-fata-development/
    • 35 FATA still denied human rights two years after 2011 reforms (Ibrahim Shinwari) More than two years following the official enactment of 2011 reforms, political agents across FATA still wield unbridled powers and local residents are still deprived of their basic human rights. The promulgation of a presidential ordinance regarding a reforms package including amendments to the notorious Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) on August 12, 2011 was no small event in the sixty- four year history of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan. The reforms package came after years of deliberations by legal experts and a relentless struggle by countless political workers from FATA in order to improve the FCR a give it some level of acceptability and pave the way for bringing the people of FATA into the national mainstream by securing their legal, constitutional and basic human rights. The 2011 reforms package also included the extension of Political Parties Order (2002) which was not only warmly received by much of the FATA population but was accompanied by the demand for speedier changes to the century-old set of British- era legal regulations. Summary of 2011 Reforms While the overarching structure of the FCR and its legal concepts remains intact, some of the changes introduced by the 2011 reforms include: 1. Protection of women, children under the age of 16 and tribesmen above the age of 65 from arrest and detention under the “collective responsibility” clause. 2. Prohibition against arresting an entire tribe under the “collective responsibility” clause. 3. Appellate authority power to review and revise decisions and orders. 4. Provision for an independent appeals process. 5. Strengthening of the newly established FATA Tribunal. 6. Reference to “Qaumi Jirga” (council of elders). 7. Fixed time limits for the disposal of cases. 8. Power to transfer cases to the assistant political agent. 9. Introduction of the concept of bail. 10. Introduction of jail inspections. 11. Fines on communities in the case of murder. 12. Acceptance of local customs and traditions. 13. Checks on arbitrary powers to arrest by the political administration. 14. Compensation for false persecutions. 15. Audit of political agent funds by the Auditor General of Pakistan. Although the FCR amendments were viewed by many as insufficient and additional reforms continue to be demanded, it was hoped and believed at the time that if the 2011 reforms were implemented in their true letter and spirit, then the reforms package would bring about a positive and fruitful change to the existing FATA governance system. More Reforms Needed These aspirations of the people of FATA are far from being fulfilled, however. More than two years following the official enactment of 2011 reforms, political agents across FATA still wield unbridled powers and local residents are still deprived of their basic human rights. The people of FATA are still waiting for justice. Thousands of diverse cases await disposal at the offices of the political administration while the concerned officials fail to show any interest in addressing them on a speedy basis, as is advised in the 2011 reforms package. Local media and other tribal citizens, for example, have not seen a single case where the political administration has compensated an aggrieved party for a false judgment. This despite the fact that hundreds of appeals against false judgments of the political administration are filed with the newly established FATA Tribunal almost on weekly basis. Favoritism and Pro-government Maliks Despite recommendations in the 2011 reforms package, the administration seems not ready or willing to surrender the powers bestowed upon it by the FCR. Political agents continue to behave as “crownless kings” of each agency rather than as true servants of the masses. The doors of the offices of political agents are closed to the poor and needy tribesmen while hand-picked pro-government tribal Maliks continue as the primary beneficiaries of official largesse and privileges. Oddly, pro-government Maliks also consider the 2011 reforms as an infringement on the privileges they receive from the political administration. As a result, many Maliks have been in the front lines of those opposing further changes to the FCR. Most of these tribal Maliks are also opposed to the extension of the Political Parties Order and openly
    • 36 supported independent and candidates in May 2013 general elections. The same pro-administration tribal elders are awarded a majority of the development funds allocated to the region via the FATA Secretariat and elected FATA members of the National Assembly (MNAs). The opinion of these hand-picked elders is sought regarding which projects are to be carried out and the total allocation for each area. The political agent relies solely on this closed group of local allies on nearly all major tribal issues, thereby ignoring the will and opinions of ordinary tribesmen. Ignoring prescribed rules for inviting open tenders for all development projects, political agents rely on the much-abused system of “nomination”, thereby selecting only official preferred contractors. Many of these contractors are the same pro-administration elders mentioned above and are more than happy to engage in the quid pro quo to secure their share of development projects. As a result, the quality of construction for most development projects is poor. In some cases, projects only exist on paper while no work is actually done on ground. Civil Power Regulation as Anti-Reform Tribesmen by and large welcomed the 2011 exemption of elderly from eligibility for arrest under the FCR “collective responsibility” clause. They were equally pleased with the new prohibition on sealing or confiscating residential and commercial property under the same clause. Unfortunately, however, tribesmen are still intimidated and penalized under this notorious and abused clause. Prior to the announcement of the 2011 reforms package, the President of Pakistan enacted another regulation regarding FATA governance. In June 2011, the Actions in Aid of Civil Power Regulation was decreed, thereby empowering security forces to pick-up or arrest any tribesmen on suspicion of his or her association with an outlawed militant group or suspicion of involvement in any terrorist-related act. The promulgation of this Civil Power Regulation overshadowed and to a great extend canceled the prohibition against arresting the elderly as was enacted less than three months later in amendments to the FCR “collective responsibility” clause as part of the August 2011 reforms package. In the intervening years, a number of FATA citizens have disappeared, leaving their relatives to knock on doors, searching in vein for clues as to their loved one’s whereabouts. Challenge to Political Parties Local political party leadership has also been unable to see the benefits of 2011 reforms, given that the local organizational structure of political parties is still relatively weak. Strong opposition from FATA status quo supporters has also made it difficult for parties to grow and flourish. An additional fear factor has also prevented local political party leaders and activists from operating freely throughout the tribal areas. Organizing political gatherings and assembling people some parts of FATA still implies significant security risk. As a result, political leadership feel insecure and rarely organize local residents in large numbers. Low levels of literacy and political awareness have also meant that most FATA residents are not even aware of the 2011 reforms package or its contents. This political ignorance can be gauged from the fact that six out of the ten MNAs elected from FATA in 2013 were independent, not belonging to any political party (two additional constituencies where postponed). After elections, one independent MNA from North Waziristan joined PML-N while the remaining five chose to remain independent, pledging to work for strengthening the existing “tribal system”. Corruption and Lack of Oversight Despite assurances included in the 2011 reforms, the government has thus far failed to conduct an impartial audit of the funds accumulated and utilized by political agents. No ordinary tribesmen have access to check administration records nor are they permitted to challenge the political agents powers regarding the utilization of funds. Corruption at all levels of the political administration is rampant and the Khasadar and levies forces are more concerned with fleecing local residents at security checkpoints as opposed to with providing security to the local populace. It is no secret that the money collected by Khasadar forces at the security checkpoints is distributed among political administration officials. While this collection is supposedly for the Agency Development Fund, no receipts are issued for money collected and the political agent simply keeps the vast majority of these funds. It is also no secret that the political agent posts are merely put to auction and rewarded to the highest bidder. A standing committee of the previous National Assembly named and documented (including the amount in each case) bureaucrats that had paid for and “purchased” the political administration posts of their choosing. Inhuman Conditions and Media Access The condition of lock-ups and prisons in several agencies is also pathetic as prisoners are often kept in inhuman conditions, provided sub-standard food
    • 37 and little or no access to medical facilities. There is no centralized jail facility in any part of FATA and all convicted prisoners are sent to Peshawar, Haripur, D.I. Khan and other central prisons in settled districts. Last but not least, media has little access—and at times no access—to official information. Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority (PEMRA) laws have not been extended to FATA and thus it is not permissible to publish any newspaper or journal in the tribal areas. This is an obvious affront to the democratic principles of access to information and freedom of speech. To guarantee basic human rights and fundamental constitutional rights for FATA citizens, urgent action must be taken to ensure the true implementation of the 2011 FATA reforms package and the enactment of substantial additional reforms for the tribal areas. Source: http://www.fatareforms.org/fata-denied- human-rights-two-years-after-2011-reforms/ Useless representation for FATA (Khan Zeb Burki) There is a need to abolish the FCR and extend constitution to the tribal region. Parliamentarians are public representatives who legislate for the welfare of a country and its people without any discrimination. But it is very unfortunate in Pakistan that these legislations may not be applicable to all parts of the country. he Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) is a region that has neither benefited from any legislation, nor has the parliament power to legislate for it. How helpless is this parliament! Should it be called a sovereign body? Powerlessness of the Pakistani parliament in legislation for FATA puts a question mark upon its sovereignty. Generally, the parliament performs three functions; representation, legislation and parliamentary control. The legislators from FATA are merely for the purpose of representation, while the remaining two functions are beyond their ambit. The question here arises as to why the tribesmen are passed through the hectic exercise of elections for reaching the parliament where they have no right to legislate for their own people. Whether it is meant for making these toothless lawmakers as a part of democratic process? Before 1997, the Maliks, nominated by the Political Agent, were authorized to elect members of National Assembly. But the presidential ordinance empowered the tribesmen to elect their representatives through adult franchise in elections- 1997. In 2011, the Political Parties Act was extended to FATA. But these Ordinances could bring any change in the powers of parliamentarians. The real function of the parliamentarians is to make law for the general public interest and safeguard the rights of the people. FATA parliamentarians take part in such legislations which cannot benefit people of their own constituencies. Their representation is solely meant for unjust favoritism and facilitation of their relatives and friends. The main objectives of FATA representatives are to get access to developmental funds of their constituencies besides other facilities that a parliamentarian enjoys. The trend of misusing and defalcating developmental funds of billions of rupees should be abolished. Is this the job of a legislator to construct roads and bridges, violate merits, embezzle developmental funds and sell their allocated funds to other constituency? FATA has a right to send 12 representatives to the lower house and eight senators to the upper house of the parliament. Eleven Members of National Assembly (MNA) have been elected in the general elections held on May 11, 2013. However, election in one of the 12 constituencies of FATA was postponed due to security reasons. The presence of FATA representatives in the parliament is useless until the constitution allows them to legislate for the general welfare of their people. All the powers to regulate FATA’s affairs are vested in a single man, the president, and no law or act of the parliament is enforceable in tribal region. Does it show that the constitution is biased towards the people of FATA? Is there no need to amend the constitution? When it comes to FATA, constitution bows before a century old law, the Frontier Crime Regulation (FCR) imposed by the British colonial empire. FATA has never witnessed the supremacy of the constitution and the parliament. Contrarily, tribesmen cannot exercise the rights embodied in the constitution, including the very basic and natural rights like that of protection of property and life. The FCR authorizes the government to confiscate property and take lives of the people under the clause of collective responsibility. While critically reviewing, the constitution is a supreme law but perversely it bows before the FCR in FATA. The parliament does not exercise its supremacy in FATA as the president has full control over the tribal areas where he can bring any legal and constitutional change through an ordinance.
    • 38 Does it not a dual standard? Should one call it a discriminatory system? There is a need to abolish the FCR and extend constitution to the tribal region at earnest and empower the parliament to legislate for FATA people. Otherwise, the practice of political rights like parties based elections through adult franchise cannot change the destiny of FATA. The money and energy invested in the elections of the MNAs and senators may better be utilized in other activities which directly benefit the people. If representatives of 180 million people cannot abolish the colonial law or have no way to convince the democratically elected president for doing so, and still insist that FATA should have toothless representation in the parliament, than two words “nugatory representation” should be written on their seats. [1] It is not logical for the parliamentarians to sit in the parliament without having any right to legislate for their people. Rather than sitting in the parliament, it will be a better option for FATA representatives to serve as councilors to the president and to advise him on issues, problems and needs of tribal areas. It will facilitate the president in understanding FATA affairs. Accordingly, it would be put the region on right track. It will further increase interest of the president in solving the problems of the tribesmen. In this way, the people of FATA will be given their right representation, and their issues will be better resolved. By Khan Zeb Burki, M. Phil scholar and Tribal Affairs analyst [1] Nugatory = Of no value or importance. Useless; futile. Source: http://www.thefrontierpost.com/article/43762/ FATA students voice reforms demands Future of FATA with genuine demands. PESHAWAR: There is no doubt in the fact that education is worst sufferer in the restive Tribal Areas after the cursed incident of 9/11 and the progress in the field of education that was achieved after years of struggle, became to standstill. About 1015 schools have been blown up in various terrorist activities while the rest of the education system has become practically paralyzed and a good number of students have tilted to militancy instead of getting education. Amidst such a crucial situation there are some students from the war stricken areas who by hook or by crook reaches to the university level and get the opportunity to seek higher education. But unfortunately on one side they are badly discouraged by the authorities and on the other side FATA Secretariat and University administration also treat with them step motherly attitude makes them loose hearts and adopt other means rather than education. The Frontier Post arranged a forum with the students from the Tribal Areas of FATA who narrated their problems one by one. Falak Nawaz President Waziristan Students Organization, from North Waziristan told that about two years back, the then Prime Minister, Yousaf Raza Gillani had announced remittance of fees for the students of FATA keeping in view the poverty of the majority of students hailing from FATA but the announcement was never made practical and the authorities have always making one excuse or another. Falak further added that the university administration have made a strange policy that those students who are doing their Masters will get discount on their university fees, whereas according to Falak fee discount is more appropriate for those talented students who are doing their bachelors. He also regretted the fact that fee discount is only applicable to those students who are studying in morning shift whereas evening shift students are not allowed to avail discount facility. Rehman Khan from Mohmand Agency who is a student of International Relations (IR) mourned over the deteriorated system of education in the Tribal Areas and said that it is very difficult for the students of Tribal Areas to compete with those students who have studied in good education institutes all over KP. “It is illogical for us to compete in open merit for the admission in the universities” Rehman asserted adding that there are scores of injustices with the Tribal students in each and every field of education. Jawed Khan from Bajaur and a student of Institute of Management Science department said that the government had reserved quota for the students of FATA in 1970-75 when FATA was not thickly populated and number of educated people were also very small. “Now the population has increased manifold and literacy rate has also been boosted but the quota reserved for FATA is the same as about fourty years ago” Jawed added. He demanded that either the quota for the students of FATA be tripled or good universities should be built in the Tribal Areas. He also suggested that each Tribal Agency be given separate quota in universities instead of fix quota for FATA based students, which will bring in par the
    • 39 deprived students of FATA with the rest of the country. Akhtar Gul President Bajaur Student’s Organization said that huge grant in the form of scholarships for the students of FATA was issued by USAID but due to the sluggish and irresponsible behavior of the University administration, the grant was withdrawn. He viewed that from 2001 onwards government claimed to have provided emergency relief funds to the students of Tribal Areas but nothing has been done in this regard. He also lamented the worst kind of situation of female education in FATA and said that there are hardly two or three female students from FATA in the departments of the University. “Government must prepare a good plan according to the tribal culture and traditions to provide opportunities to the women folk to get education” he suggested. Abdur Rehman hailing from the remotest area of Bermal, located in South Waziristan Agency complained about absence of educational facilities instead of lack of facilities in his area. “We do not even have a single high school in our area, how can one expect us to have educated people and how can we compete with the students from other good education institutes” he questioned while claiming that the local administration doesn’t even bother to repair the primary schools in the area for the last one decade. Another Tribal Area student Zakir Afridi said that the students from FATA also suffer after admission in the university as they have no reserve seats in the hostels for their accommodation. “Government and especially the FATA Secretariat should construct separate hostels to be specified only for FATA students” Zakir stressed adding that there were hostels in the past having names as Tribal Hostel but these hostels were now occupied by students from the adjacent areas of Peshawar. He also lamented over the apathy of the authorities’ concerned regarding rehabilitation of the destroyed school in the Khyber Agency and demanded their reconstruction and rehabilitation. Waseem Dawar, students of Political Science department hailing from Miranshah said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced 2% quota for the students of FATA but still there are no signs of becoming it into practical shape. “The announcement should be given practical shape with immediate effect as more and more students must avail it” he demanded of the authorities. He also lamented the behavior of the FATA members National Assembly and Senate towards education and stressed that these honourable parliamentarians should focus on education on priority basis. Waseem Dawar claimed that they have proof of the fact that the FATA Secretariat and the University of Peshawar administration in connivance spent huge amount of funds which were meant for FATA students in buying electricity generators for FATA Secretariat and University of Peshawar. He demanded of the government and particularly the National Accountability Bureau to probe this matter and those involved be given severe punishments. Source: http://thefrontierpost.com/fata/?p=66 Tribal citizens aspiring for equality (GQ Khan) The executive and judiciary are not separated under the FCR, the Political Agent enjoys unrivaled powers to terrorize and skin the tribals. FATA remains a mystery for most of the world. Reports of violence and terrorism and presence of Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders is all that’s associated with it. The militants, military and the predator strikes, is all the news we get from the tribesmen. For people living here, life is a hell of uncertainty. It is the poorest area of the country; its social indicators speak volumes of the outright neglect of the area for the last sixty years. Poverty, terrorism and hopelessness, this is all there is to FATA. A forgotten area, FATA, came to limelight only when terrorist from around the globe made it their abode. It was only after 9/11 that the world came to know of the plight and poverty of the area and showed concern for the tribesmen because militancy had started hurting outside FATA. Many conferences, seminars and workshops on FATA took place, asking one question only, why such a beautiful and resourceful area with such hard working people is so poor and so vulnerable? Citizen Action The latest assembly of around 300 likeminded tribesmen from FATA was held by Shaheed Bhutto Foundation (SBF), a think tank of the Pakistan People’s Party, in Islamabad. They called it the FATA Citizens Grand Assembly (FCGA), which unanimously adopted a 19 point Declaration on June 22, 2013. Before them JUI-F, Jamaat Islami and ANP also organized similar Grand Tribal Jirgas, each putting forward their own solutions for FATA. Though such events and high sounding titles bring a lot of publicity to the organizers, unfortunately no good came out for the people of FATA from these efforts.
    • 40 A glimmer of hope for FATA though, all parties and organizations agree on the root cause of the misfortunes of FATA and its cure. They all agree that the discriminatory laws, especially the FCR are the major cause of the ailment and reforms in FATA are the only solution. Talk of Reforms There has always been talk of reforms but for one reason or another they never materialized; the time was never right. Top of the reform agenda is amending or annulling the FCR. Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani announced abolishing the FCR in his maiden speech but withdrew his statement later on. At last it was after a long wait of sixty years that the President of Pakistan announced amendments in the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) and the extension of Political Parties Act (PPA) to FATA on August 14, 2009. The announcements were notified after a wait of another long year amidst rumors that they have been withdrawn, like the announcement of abolishing FCR was withdrawn. Anyhow, the notifications were, signed by the president in great pomp and show. Besides the tribal parliamentarians, many tribal Maliks were seen in the presidency, paid by their Political Agents to nod all the while, at anything and everything. One could see from the look of it that none of them had seen the amendments in the FCR otherwise they wouldn’t have been nodding. Did the amendments in FCR or the extension of PPA bring any change in FATA. Frankly, I don’t think so. Before I comment on the amendments in FCR or the way forward for FATA let me have the privilege to introduce the FCR to those who are not familiar with it. What is the FCR, why is there so much fuss about it and why is the bureaucracy so fond of it. Frontier Crimes Regulation Lives On FCR is the law designed by the British mostly for Pathan areas to crush insurgencies. The purpose of the law is not to provide justice but to inflict maximum punishment on violators. FCR is still in vogue in FATA and under this law if a crime is committed in the tribal areas, the tribe has to identify the criminal, arrest him, try and convict him and produce the convict before the political administration so that the political administration can skin him. There is no responsibility what so ever on the political administration in identifying, arresting or trying the criminal. If the tribe fails in doing any of the above then that is another story, a long, sad story. Any sane person will be at a loss, as to why do we need a government if it has no responsibility to stop crime or criminals. FCR is an anti development law and the root cause of poverty in tribal areas. One is surprised to know that the abode of the most resourceful and hard working people is poorest. Government cannot provide jobs to the whole population of an area, a vibrant private sector supplement the efforts by creating economic opportunities. Political Agent, under the FCR can close, attach and confiscate any private property under collective responsibility, so no sane person will ever invest in the tribal areas. Besides physically locking an industrial unit, if the Political Agent were to arrest a supervisor of a unit or lock a truck of raw material or finished goods under territorial responsibility the industrial unit will automatically shut down. The law does not protect ones hard earned assets from the acquisitive eyes of the political administration, hence discouraging private sector. The executive and judiciary are not separated under the FCR, the Political Agent enjoys unrivaled powers to terrorize and skin the tribals. There is no check on the Political Agent, who is the executive, police and the judiciary, all in one. Less than a score cases are tried under FCR, all the rest are administrative orders issued by Political Agents without any legal authority, a Badshah answerable to none. The Khassadars are a community force functioning under the FCR. They are nominated by the tribe according to Nikkat (share of the fathers [aka "nomination"]) and are responsible for law and order. They operate in their tribe’s jurisdiction only. A Khassadari might be shared by three families so practically we have a new face on the same post every second day. They don’t have any service benefits of a regular force. The state of affairs of Khassadars will not change until the whole system is revamped i.e. abolishing the concept of territorial responsibilities. 2011 FCR Amendments On the amendments in FCR, suffice to say that no matter how many corners are cut, how many rough edges are smoothed, if no responsibility towards law and order is shifted to the government the amendments are worthless. With all the responsibility of law and order forced on the tribes and superior judiciary barred from FATA, any amount of amendments will fail to provide justice to the common tribesman. Since no responsibility is shifted to the government, the amendments in FCR are nothing but an eyewash. They ensure the tribal areas remain
    • 41 isolated, undeveloped and insecure. There can be no justice without government taking its prime responsibility, protection of life and property of the people. Till recently the FCR loving bureaucracy propagated that the tribesmen don’t want reforms. When that guile was exposed they came up with worthless amendments. The tribal population was cheated yet again and the blame for these no good amendments, cheating the tribal people, solely lie with the bureaucracy and the weak political representatives from FATA. Status quo vs. Progress The bureaucracy loves it and will go to any extent to protect it. Our friends in the bureaucracy make the world believe that FCR is a codified Rawaj, which is a farce. FCR is un Islamic, anti human rights and against the constitution. Peshawar High Court has already annulled it from PATA on these grounds, I wonder when the Supreme Court will wake up. The days of the Raj are over, at the age of sixty plus, it’s time the government takes some responsibility of protecting life and liberty. A question for legal experts: Can parliament restrict the jurisdiction of superior judiciary? Can parliament say that tomorrow onwards the Supreme Court is barred from Balochistan? If not, then why is the Supreme Court quiet about FATA’s deficiency? Legislative Responsibility The people of FATA can’t blame anyone for their misfortunes after the extension of adult franchise. FATA parliamentarians have all the rights and privileges extended to other parliamentarians; no one has stopped them from proposing amendments to the Constitution. FATA was represented on the Special Committee of Parliament proposing amendments to the constitution in 2009 but FATA’s rep didn’t speak a word. Many tribesmen asked him to demand provincial rights for FATA and amendments to article 246 and 247 (dealing with FATA) of the constitution but he didn’t plead FATA’s case. Even a promise for the coming future couldn’t be managed what to ask for a dissenting note. There is talk of a FATA Council, which surprises me. Why demand a FATA council? FATA enjoyed full provincial rights earlier, one fails to understand the logic why it should be denied the same now. So, why not demand restoration of provincial rights, as an independent province. Among the special areas defined in the Constitution FATA is 46%, almost four times the size of Gilgit Baltistan which is12%. It’s larger than AJK which is 42% of special areas. Just to show a comparison the area of FATA is 27000 sq kms while that of AJK is 13000 sq kms. GB has been given the status of a province and AJK that of a country whereas FATA has been left high and dry at the mercy of FCR loving bureaucracy. The misfortunes of FATA don’t end here. Every president and prime minister made tall promises of development in FATA but they never fulfilled them. They address Grand tribal Jirgas in Darbar Hall of the Governor House just to get the feel of being the Vice Roy. In spite of all their claims seventy percent of FATAs population lives below poverty line. Its social indicators match with the poorest in the world yet FATA is always ignored while allocating funds. Instead of allocating additional funds in an effort to bring FATA at par with the rest of the country it hasn’t received even its due share. FATA Federal Budget Allocation FATA has always been treated unfairly by making less allocation in the federal budget in comparison to other Special Areas. Below is a comparison of the budget allocated to the Special Areas for the last five years. Year/Rs in Mns Total allocation to special areas Allocation to FATA Share of FATA @ 46% Less allocation to FATA %age shortfall 2008-09 55,782 14,882 25,660 10,778 42 2009-10 67,333 19,085 30,937 11,888 38 2010-11 82,417 22,096 37,912 15,816 42 2011-12 84,677 24,690 38,952 14,241 37 2012-13 97,077 28,538 44,656 16,117 36 Total 387,287 109,292 178,152 68,860 39 The losses will be much greater if a comparison to the federal divisible pool is made. The arrears /shortfall pertain to 5 years only, the amount will increase manifold if previous years and multiplier effects are taken into account. Allocating Forty percent less than its due share is criminal, as if FATA was given half of its share. Instead of giving preferential treatment and additional funds we fleece FATA. Lack of Education Investment The time period referred above was the peak of insurgency in FATA, the time we trumpeted 3 Ds day in and day out. We can safely deduce that during peace times FATA must have been getting ten percent of its due share. That’s why there is no professional college, university or tertiary care
    • 42 hospital for a population of around ten million living in 27,300 sq km area. If one looks at the Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) one is surprised to see mega projects worth Billions of rupees being implemented in the provinces by the federal government. It’s not so in the case of FATA, I didn’t come across a single project being implemented in FATA. People in other parts of the country enjoy freedom of assembly and freedom of expression. Whenever there is any such injustice they voice their concern. It’s not so in FATA. One might ask as to where the meager allocation sanctioned each year is spent? These funds are wasted by the administration on futile schemes given as bribe like awarding retaining walls and dug wells or sold to Maliks as primary schools and dispensaries, who use them as Hujras and get paid for doing so. The digging of thousands of wells all over FATA is a case in point. As per the survey report the dug wells and tube wells should have inundated the area three times over by now. FATA is totally dependent for its funding on Finance Division. Its budget is approved by the federal government and for every additional requirement it has to approach the federal government. It doesn’t have its own resources like other provinces. All funds generated by FATA go into the federal treasury and cannot be used by FATA. Taxes Collected by Political Agents Billions are collected by the Political Agents in Rahdaris, district import and export tax and exports to and imports from Afghanistan. Food items are subsidized around the world but FATA administration’s major source of earning is taxes on food items. Just imagine the small economy of a tribal agency and squeezing millions out of it continuously. The way these funds are utilized is an open secret. These funds have been discussed and debated at the highest forums with clear instructions to bring transparency in collection and expenditure of these funds but sadly nothing has happened. Efforts were made to Formulate Agency Welfare Fund Rules but they are delayed on one pretext or another. These funds could be a major source of FATA own receipts. We have an open border policy with Afghanistan and except for a few items like tea and tires trading in all goods is permissible. Without going into the details of Trade Agreements, Joint Chamber of Commerce or the thousands of people who cross the border un monitored I want to focus on the fact that in spite of all the SROs, we have converted our simple tribesmen into smugglers and make them pay for legal trade. All funds of FATA are lapsable at the end of the financial year without any provision for their revival in the next financial year. FATA doesn’t has its own Account -1 with the State Bank, meaning that it cannot utilize lapsed/ unused funds in the next financial year like other provinces can do and of course it cannot borrow a loan from State Bank just in case. Cost of War For the last so many years the country in general but FATA in particular is stuck in the War on Terror. Tribal society has been torn apart, the economy has totally been destroyed, the social fabric is in tatters, the way of life, Pushtunwali, has been eradicated. The World Health Organisation (WHO), reports that about four percent of the population in FATA and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa suffers from severe psychiatric disorders. It further says that a much larger segment of the population suffers from transient mental-health problems linked to stress of living under conditions of conflict and violence. Roadside bombs and suicide bomb attacks are a common phenomenon. As per Planning and development department FATA, report on ‘Cost of conflict in FATA’ the war on terror has cost FATA Rs. 212,443 Million till 2010. FATA’s total allocation of the last five years (Rs.109,292 Mn) doesn’t even cater for the losses incurred what to say of development. There is a dire need for a special allocation for War on Terror for FATA to rebuild the losses incurred. Under the NFC award, the government has allowed one percent of the total divisible pool to Khyber Pukhtunkhwa for losses due to terrorism, this translates to more than twenty billion rupees annually; no such provision has been made for FATA whereas we all know the fact that FATA has suffered the most due to terrorism. Recommendations So, what’s the way forward? In my humble opinion the government needs to take two major initiatives and everything will fall in place. From a liability FATA will become a beacon of hope and source of inspiration for the rest of the country. 1. Restoration of provincial rights to FATA. By doing so issues raised by the Grand Jirgas like, reserving seats for FATA women in National Assembly and Senate, provision of health and education to the people of FATA, providing job opportunities and infrastructure throughout the length and breadth of FATA, having an elected Local Government and making Political Administration accountable to it, will all be resolved. Once declared a province or given the status of a province like in the case of GB it will be able to
    • 43 operate its own Account-I with State Bank of Pakistan resolving all its financial vows. As a province it will automatically get representation on the National Finance Commission (NFC) which will take care of its less allocations. 2. To provide justice and bring the tribal areas a step closer to mainstream Pakistan the best option is to extend the jurisdiction of the superior judiciary to FATA, which will not only protect the human rights of the tribal people but will also be an independent and impartial check on the Political Administration. Once the jurisdiction of Superior Judiciary is extended to FATA abolishing the colonial black law of FCR won’t take much time. Conclusion Tribesmen have suffered enough; they have been discriminated against for a very long time and they won’t wait another sixty years for reforms leading to equal rights. The words of the Quaid still echo in FATA wherein he assured the people of every possible help and assistance to fulfill their dreams. “Pakistan wants to help you and make you, as far as it lies in our power, self-reliant and self-sufficient and help in your educational, social and economic uplift.” Unfortunately tribesmen weren’t so lucky, his promises were flouted and the rest is history. It is sheer incompetence and negligence on part of the government that has made FATA hostage to poverty, illiteracy and now militancy. Though a lot of water has flown under the bridge, it is still not too late to take corrective measures if the government is serious in mainstreaming FATA and solving the problems of the tribesmen face. Personally I feel that the discriminatory laws have done more damage than the less funding. We have to mainstream FATA with equal rights and opportunities. Additional funding has to be accompanied by repealing discriminatory laws. One without the other will not help. Violence breeds violence, Insurgency cannot be won through military action alone. There has to be hope in the future, there have to be opportunities otherwise militancy will haunt us in one form or another for the rest of our lives. Anything less isn’t good enough. All those pleading the cause of FATA should advocate and support extension of full provincial rights and extending jurisdiction of superior judiciary to FATA. This is the only way forward. By Ghulam Qadir Khan Daur Source: http://www.thetribaltimes.com/articles/aspiri ng-for-equality/ Rights for FATA and the need for legislation (Nizamuddin Khan) The Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) is evil as it denies citizens of Pakistan their fundamental rights. Speaking for the rights of FATA has become a sort of fashion nowadays. Non profit organizations have started new initiatives which mostly start in one five star hotel hall and end in another. A grand jirga too was formed in this regard by the Shaheed Bhutto Foundation which was addressed by the presidents himself but my concern here is not the charity organizations but the presence of some 20 legislators from the tribal belt in the National Assembly and Senate of Pakistan. For the first time in its history, the region saw party based elections and showing the political maturity of the inhabitants, almost every party came up with a contestant there. The so called reforms gave the extreme right wing parties a significant edge in calling mass gatherings but that is a separate debate. Lack of Parliamentary Oversight Seeing the very members of the house, who are given high value during intra-parliament elections, unable to make a single law for their native region is saddening. Most of them can be seen sleeping in the house to which they are almost of no use but since the general elections, a few members have started asking for their rights. Well — technically, most of the times it is about development funds but the assembly also resonates with the letters F-C-R at times. The evils of FCR and its rooting out from FATA, as it denies the citizens of Pakistan their fundamental rights, has been discussed by many at a lot of forums but in my humble opinion, it is not speaking in the assembly that would do us any good but the beginning of a legislative procedure starting with the flooring of a bill against the now obsolete regulation. Islamabad could see a much awaited mass mobilization of the tribesmen asking for their human and constitutional rights. Representing a joint population of millions mean that even if the parliament fails to understand the problem, Islamabad could see a much awaited mass mobilization of the tribesmen asking for their human and constitutional rights. The cause would be bigger than those mentioned in the D-chowk
    • 44 protests of Tahirul Qadri, Imran Khan, Hafiz Saeed and many more. FATA needs a change and whoever helps the tribesmen in achieving one will become a good part of the otherwise turbulent history of these times for sure. Source: http://fromfata.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/t he-need-for-legislation/ ###