Khan wants FATA to become part of KP

  • PTI chief says FATA people should be given their due rights
  • Calls govt’s Kissan Package ‘biggest pre-poll rigging’

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Thursday said that the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) should be made a part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Addressing reporters here, Khan said a separate province for FATA is not viable because a new province cannot be made near the border. The PTI chief said the cabinet would have to consult with FATA’s tribal leaders, elders and experts on the matter to reach a consensus on the issue, and discuss how the “old British system” could be done away with. He said the people of FATA should be given the opportunity to become a part of Pakistan and be given their due rights.

The PTI chairman criticised the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government over the recently announced Kissan Relief Package, terming it “the biggest pre-poll rigging”.

“Nawaz Sharif’s Kisaan package is the biggest pre-poll rigging. If Sharif wanted to announce a package, why didn’t he put it in the budget? It is gimmickry to say that the province will pay for half the cost of fertiliser. The province doesn’t have any money ─ It’s been dispersed already, so how can they pay for it?” he said.

Commenting on the crackdown against crime and corruption in Sindh, Khan said the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is “exerting pressure on Prime Minister Sharif, who is telling his ministers to go easy on them”. “The masses want accountability from the corrupt people ─ who are looting this country and have bought property worth Rs 4.3 billion in Dubai in two years.”

“The Rangers should not be doing this; it is not the Rangers’ job — it is the government’s job,” he said.

“I only took action against Ziaullah Afridi after he started hurling accusations at everyone in the party and blackmailing them,” he said, while commenting on the former KP mines and mineral development minister who was arrested on corruption charges.

“If there were corruption charges against him, he should have come forward with them. This is just like Zardari and Nawaz, they both accuse each other of being corrupt. This is not the way things are done in a democracy,” Khan said, adding that Afridi’s duty was to clear his own name.

“This happens in KP because our NAB is free and won’t spare anyone,” he explained.