FATA Grand Citizen Assembly presents recommendations for reforms

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Representatives of the FATA Citizens Grand Assembly on Thursday presented 19 recommendations for constitutional and regulatory changes aimed at bringing political and social reforms in FATA.

Representatives of the FATA Citizens Grand Assembly, convened by the Shaheed Bhutto Foundation (SBF), which consists of some 300 tribal citizens, unanimously adopted a citizens’ declaration for FATA reforms to reassert that FATA’s political mainstreaming must remain a national priority.

Briefing the reporters, representatives of the assembly said the FATA declaration contained 19 recommendations, encompassing social development as well as essential constitutional and regulatory changes needed to ensure mainstreaming of FATA and political participation of tribal citizens.

“The FATA declaration asserts that all tribesmen must be guaranteed the same fundamental rights enjoyed by other citizens of the country and guaranteed by the constitution” they added.

Other proposed changes include a constitutional amendment to provide legislative power on the Tribal Areas to the National Assembly and Senate, as well as extension of the jurisdiction of the High Court and Supreme Court of Pakistan and reserved seats for FATA women in parliament.

The tribal citizens also proposed that the powers of the political administration in FATA be reduced, that executive and judicial powers be separated and that political agents be made accountable to an elected local government.

Regulatory reforms recommendations made by the tribesmen also include substantially amending the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR), creation of an elected FATA council and promotion of education throughout the Tribal Areas.

The FATA declaration was unanimously adopted on June 22 by more than 300 members of the FATA Reforms Councils representing tribal people from all agencies and frontier regions of FATA at a FATA Grand Assembly held in Peshawar.