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News Release-FATA Committee elections recommendations 2012 December (English)


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See in Urdu at --- Political Parties Joint Committee on FATA Reforms: Standing United for a Brighter, Prosperous FATA (ANP, JI, JUI-F, MQM, NP, PkMAP, PML-N, PML, PPP and QWP) ---

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News Release-FATA Committee elections recommendations 2012 December (English)

  1. 1. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEJanuary 8, 2013Contact: Political Parties Joint Committee on FATA Reforms, @FATAparties POLITICAL PARTIES UNITED IN PUSH FOR FAIR ELECTIONS IN FATAISLAMABAD, Pakistan — As political parties prepare to participate in elections in FATA for thefirst time in history, the Political Parties Joint Committee on FATA reforms (FATA Committee)highlights five key concerns that require urgent action by the Election Commission of Pakistan(ECP) to ensure fair, transparent and accessible general elections in FATA.The 10 political parties making up the FATA Committee recommend that the National Databaseand Registration Authority (NADRA) and the ECP take swift measures in FATA to increaseComputerized National Identity Card (CNIC) registration and voter registration. Historicallydisenfranchised, FATA voters deserve increased efforts to facilitate their participation in theupcoming general elections.The FATA Committee also recommends that the ECP allow internally displaced persons (IDPs)to cast votes from camps and host communities for candidates in their home constituency.Political parties also urge government authorities to ensure that judicial officers fromneighboring settled districts serve as returning officers and district returning officers, just as isplanned for elections throughout Pakistan.In line with other recommendations from political parties, the FATA Committee requests that theECP ensure polling stations are within two kilometers of voter homes as required by theSupreme Court. The FATA Joint Committee recommends the ECP regularly meet with theleadership of political parties in FATA to work together in addressing the numerous and complexelectoral challenges in FATA.In a letter delivered today to the ECP and NADRA, the Political Parties Joint Committee onFATA Reforms submitted the five consensus recommendations listed below for their immediateconsideration and action. The letter was also delivered to President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari,Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Syed Masood Kausar, and the SAFRON Ministry secretary. 1
  2. 2. 1. NADRA and the ECP should increase efforts to register FATA voters - A targeted campaign should be launched immediately to provide FATA citizens with Computerized National Identity Cards (CNIC) and to register them as voters with the ECP. The campaign should place special emphasis on women throughout FATA and on internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in camps inside FATA and in adjacent districts. By opening additional offices, deploying mobile registration units, and expediting processes, the issuing of CNICs for these groups should be improved significantly. The ECP and NADRA should communicate deployment schedules of additional registration efforts directly with political party leadership and also work together closely and as quickly as possible to ensure that all those receiving new CNICs are also registered to vote.2. ECP should allow absentee voting for FATA IDPs - More than 150,000 internally displaced FATA citizens face voter disenfranchisement in upcoming general elections. International law is clear about the voting rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and to ensure equal access to democratic participation, all IDPs from FATA should be provided with the opportunity to vote. Specifically, all citizens residing in camps should be permitted to cast their vote for the candidate of their choice in their home constituency in FATA. For example, an IDP originally from Bara in Khyber Agency but currently living in the Jalozai IDP camp in Nowshera should be permitted to cast his vote in the NA-46 election from a polling station inside the camp. Due to the security situation, many IDPs from FATA are prohibited from returning home. These voters should be provided with an alternate mechanism for voting in home constituency elections even while living currently in an IDP camp elsewhere. At a minimum, absentee voting should be facilitated for FATA IDPs living outside their normal constituencies in the following camps and host communities: Togh Serai camp, New Durrani camp, Jalozai camp, D.I. Khan, Hangu, Kohat, Kurram, Peshawar and Tank. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR, Article 21), the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR, Article 25) and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (UNGPID) indicate that IDPs must be provided the right and opportunity to vote in elections, whether or not they are living in camps. Pakistan is a signatory to the UDHR and the ICCPR and therefore obligated to protect the political and human rights of its citizens in FATA.3. Judicial officers should serve as election officials in FATA - On November 17, 2012, the National Judicial Policy Making Committee’s (NJPMC) decided to allow judicial officers to serve as ECP returning officers and district returning officers in the upcoming general elections. To ensure equitable election administration throughout Pakistan, this decision should also apply to FATA. As there are no judicial officers in FATA, officers from adjacent districts (Lower Dir, Malakand, Charsadda, Peshawar, Nowshera, Kohat, Karak, Bannu, Lakki Marwat, Tank, and D.I. Khan) should be sent to FATA to serve as election officials. 2
  3. 3. 4. ECP should provide polling stations two kilometres from voters - As directed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in Constitutional Petition No. 87 of 2011 (order dated June 8, 2012), article 28, page 31, polling stations should not be “at a distance of more than two kilometres from the place of residence of voters”. To ensure equal access for voters throughout Pakistan, this decision should also apply to FATA. 5. ECP should engage directly with political party leaders in FATA - The FATA Committee and agency-level political party leaders in FATA are open and available for direct negotiations and problem-solving with the ECP regarding the implementation of the recommendations above. FATA voices are typically excluded from national-level dialogue with political parties and should be included in direct provincial-level outreach initiated by the ECP. Additionally, close coordination between ECP officials and political party leaders at the FATA agency level will allow the identification and mitigation of other local election problems as they arise.The Political Parties Joint Committee on FATA Reforms (FATA Committee) was established in2010 to identify and advocate for areas of consensus on reform priorities, including amendmentsto the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) and the extension of the Political Parties Order toFATA. The committee engages in discussions with stakeholders from FATA as a way to buildconsensus, increase awareness and promote dialogue on existing and future reforms in the tribalareas. With complete support from political party leadership, 10 political parties are representedon the FATA Committee: Awami National Party (ANP), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam F (JUI-F), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), National Party (NP), Pashtoonkhwa MilliAwami Party (PkMAP), Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Muslim LeagueQuaid-e-Azam (PML), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Qaumi Watan Party (QWP). High resolution photographs of FATA Committee members and events: Parties Joint Committee on FATA ReformsMember Information:Awami National Party (ANP)Latif Afridi, Vice President KPBushra Gohar, MNA, Central Vice PresidentArbab Tahir, General Secretary, Khyber PakhtunkhwaNawabzada Mohsin Ali Khan, Deputy Secretary General CentralJamaat-e-Islami (JI)Mohammad Ibrahim, Professor and Provincial AmeerSahibzada Haroon Rashid, Ameer FATAZarnoor Afridi, Naib Ameer FATA 3
  4. 4. Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F)Mohammad Jalal ud din, Advocate, Former AmbassadorAbdul Jalil Jan, Information Secretary, KPMufti Abdul Shakoor, Deputy General Secretary KPAbdur-Rashid, General Secretary BajaurMuttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM)Syed Asif Hasnain, MNAMohammad Rehan Hashmi, MNANational Party (NP)Dr. Malik Baloch, PresidentSenator Mir Hasil Khan Bizenju, Vice PresidentMukhtar Bacha, Provincial President, KPIdrees Kamal, Provincial General Secretary, KPPashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP)Akram Shah Khan, Central Secretary GeneralMukhtar Khan Yousafzai, Provincial President, KPRaza Mohammad Raza, Information SecretaryPakistan Muslim League (PML)Ajmal Khan Wazir, Central Senior Vice PresidentPakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)Rehmat Salam Khattak, General Secretary, KPArsallah Khan Hoti, Spokesperson, KPNasir Kamal Marwat, Vice PresidentPakistan People’s Party (PPP)Senator Farhatullah Babar, Spokeperson, President of PakistanKiramat Ullah Chagharmati, Speaker, KP AssemblyRahim Dad Khan, Senior Minister, KPSenator Sardar AliMirza M. Jihadi, Advisor SAFRONQaumi Watan Party (QWP)Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli, General SecretarySikandar Hayat Sherpao, MPA, President, KPAsad Afridi, President, FATAUsman Ali Khalil, Provincial Vice President High resolution photographs of FATA Committee members and events: | @FATAparties | ### 4