Tribesmen to be consulted before reforms (Express Tribune, 23 June 2013)
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Tribesmen to be consulted before reforms (Express Tribune, 23 June 2013)

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Peshawar: According to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shaukatullah Khan, amendments in the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) will be made in consultation with tribal elders and lawmakers from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).

This was said by the governor at the Fata Grand Assembly organised by Shaheed Bhutto Foundation (SBF) on Saturday. Around 300 citizens from the tribal areas including students, females and tribal elders participated. The president’s spokesperson, Farhatullah Baber, was also in attendance.

“The state of primary education for female students in particular is pathetic in Fata,” lamented Shaukatullah. “This should be addressed by training teachers in primary schools.”

Participants at FATA Grand Assembly also asked the government to have adequate female representation from the tribal belt in the National Assembly and senate.

Rights for FATA

The crucial step of amending the FCR was taken in 2011 with the aim of empowering the people of Fata and including them in ‘the national mainstream’. However, Shaukatullah added, much more had to be done in this regard.

Tribal elders present at the occasion floated suggestions for further political and legal reforms in the tribal belt, arguing constitutional amendments were needed to give the denizens of Fata equal rights. They said it should be the sole right of the people of Fata to determine the status of the tribal regions.

Elders suggested a representative FATA Council or jirga should be established to advise the president on matters pertaining to the region.

They also urged amendments in the FATA Local Government Regulations Act 2002 and the creation of a local government system in the tribal areas based on this act. The tribal leaders asked the political administration be held accountable to elected representatives of the local government.

For durable peace and law and order, the elders also suggested civil armed forces, including khasadar and levies, should be properly trained and equipped.

Their list of recommendations and demands further included the extension of the law of inheritance to Fata, so no females would be deprived of their rightful inheritance.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2013.

Published in: News & Politics
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