National Assembly Starts Debate On Fata Reforms
By Said Nazir
PESHAWAR, 28 September: The National Assembly on Wednesday started general debate on Fata Reforms.
Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions (Safron) Abdul Qadir Baloch said efforts have been started to merge Fata into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as per the aspirations of the people of the tribal areas and the political leadership. He however said the integration process would be completed only after the achievement of certain goals set by the government.
He said that the top priorities of the government are the restoration of peace, compete repatriation of the temporarily displaced persons (TDPs) and rehabilitation and reconstruction of the infrastructure in the tribal areas.
He told the house that an elected local government system would be introduced in Fata by the end of 2017.
He revealed that 70 percent of the TDPs have been sent to their homes while the remaining tribesmen would be repatriated till November.
Abdul Qadir Baloch also said that the government has kicked started the reconstruction and rehabilitation phase in different tribal agencies, adding as many as 127 projects in health and education sectors are being carried out in Fata.
Some of the tribal parliamentarians also spoke regarding the proposed reforms agenda. They also demanded that the rehabilitation process should be completed before the merger of Fata in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The debate on Fata reforms in the National Assembly will continue as elected members from the tribal agencies will speak about the reforms on Thursday.
Parliamentarians from other political parties will speak on the matter on Friday while the members from the treasury benches will speak on it on Saturday.
It merits a mention here that more than 100 tribal elders also witnessed the National Assembly proceedings from the visitors’ gallery.