LONDON: Malala Yousufzai, the Nobel laureate, on Tuesday, asked the government to expedite the merger of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
“I strongly demand that the government not delay FATA reforms any further and merge FATA with KP as soon as possible,” she said.
She said that this will be a major step towards the mainstreaming of the area, which in turn would enfranchise the people of the tribal areas with equal constitutional, civil and political rights.
Calling the people of FATA as equal citizens, she said: “Unfortunately for the last few decades, they are deprived of their basic human rights.”
Malala expressed her solidarity with FATA youth Jirga (Council) and urged the fellow citizens to support the people of the tribal area to attain justice.
Earlier, the FATA supreme council met with the Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi last week, and voiced their concerns on such a merger. However, they decided to keep the dialogue going to reach a solution agreeable to all stakeholders.
Recently, a delegation from tribal areas had also met the Chief of the Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and was assured of Pakistan Army’s support for the mainstreaming of the area.
The recommendations to bring the tribal areas at par with the rest of the country were approved by the federal cabinet on March 2 but the matter has been delayed since then.
The KP Assembly had adopted a resolution on December 14, 2016, in favour of merging FATA with KP with the aim of rehabilitating and reconstructing the infrastructure including roads, communications, power lines, water supply, education and health facilities.