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Govt decides to continue consultations on FATA reforms package

Govt decides to continue consultations on FATA reforms package

ISLAMABAD, 15 DEC (DNA) – The government has decided to hold further consultations on FATA reforms package. A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the federal cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad on Thursday.

Later briefing the media persons along with Minister of State for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch said the FATA reforms committee headed by Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz will contact Jamiyat Ulema-e Islam (F) and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party to address their concerns on the reforms package.

During the cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister appreciated the FATA reforms committee for formulating a comprehensive package for the tribal people. He, however, said that since it is an important initiative, therefore all the relevant stakeholders will be taken on board before the finalization of the report.

Abdul Qadir Baloch said the reforms package envisages phased merger of FATA into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said all the FATA parliamentarians as well as majority of people in the tribal areas support the idea of merger. He said the package also proposes a ten year development plan for FATA in order to bring these areas at par with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The funds for the development plan are proposed to be arranged from the federal divisible pool. He said as the matter will affect the provinces, therefore, it will be discussed with the provinces in the meeting of council of common interests being held tomorrow.

The Minister for SAFRON said that the reforms package was prepared after all inclusive talks with different segments of tribal people. For this purpose, the committee held sixteen jirgas. He said though in principle the JUI (f) and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party are not opposed to the package but they have certain reservations which will be removed through talks.

Abdul Qadir Baloch said the tribal people are patriotic Pakistani and they deserve the rights enjoyed by any other common Pakistani.

In her remarks, Marriyum Aurangzeb said the FATA reforms have been topic of discussion in the past also but nobody gave it the final shape. She said credit goes to the present government that it has reached the stage to give final shape to the recommendations after completing the consultation process. She said it is a defining moment in the lives of tribal people and the day is not far when they will see implementation of the reforms package. DNA

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