Delay in Fata reforms to be disastrous: Asfandyar

PESHAWAR: While condemning the announcement pertaining to the deferment of constitutional amendment of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) reforms bill, Awami National Party (ANP) President Asfandyar Wali Khan has declared this step as gross act of injustice with the tribal people. He has also asserted that the delay in the constitutional amendment for Fata reforms would be tantamount to political destruction for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He added that the PM had deviated from his agreements with tribesmen by deferring the bill for the sake of two people, adding that this step could tarnish his political reputation.

The ANP president said that the approval of Fata reforms was a difficult journey. “After the meeting of the cabinet, issues were settled in talks with parliamentarians. Following this step, a committee was formed under the leadership of Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz. This committee worked on the said national issue. Later, meetings were held with tribal elders, parliamentarians and people from varying opinions and schools of thought. Keeping all essentials in view, this committee presented some suggestions. A bill, in the light of presented suggestions and recommendations, was presented in parliament after getting approval from the cabinet.”

Asfandyar Wali said that it was proved through various sources that 80 percent people were in favour of the Fata reforms, which were only deferred because of ‘two people’. “The constitutional amendment was deferred by slaying the majority decision for the sake of a few people,” he lamented, adding that this proved that there was no respect for the Constitution in the country and all decisions were made on the basis of personal likes and dislikes.

The ANP president said: “Perhaps, Nawaz Sharif also wanted to get credit for the Fata reforms. He (Nawaz) also wanted to halt the progress by collaborating with his allies like Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Achakzai. This just proves that the PM wants to create hurdles in the way of this bill to keep it pending.” He further added that a delay in the constitutional amendment for Fata reforms would be tantamount to political destruction for Nawaz Sharif.

Asfandyar Wali said that the PM had deviated from his agreement with parliamentarians and tribesmen. He added that the ANP wanted immediate implementation of talks and issues decided with seriousness.

He said that the 30th Amendment and the Rewaj Act Bill 2017 were already presented in the National Assembly beforehand. “Delaying at the last moment, further added to existing complexities and problems,” he added. Asfandyar Wali said that the PM should ensure immediate implementation in this regard and help curb tensions in Fata by approving this constitutional amendment on Fata reforms.