FATA Reforms News Update (July-September 2013)


Published on

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.

Published in: News & Politics
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

FATA Reforms News Update (July-September 2013)

  1. 1. 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. 2. 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. 3. 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. 4. 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. 5. 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. 6. 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. 7. 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. 8. 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. 9. 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. 10. 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. 11. 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. 12. 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. 13. 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. 14. 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. 15. 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. 16. 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. 17. 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. 18. 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. 19. 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. 20. 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. 21. 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.