ISLAMABAD: Denying strongly the impression that the residents of Fata were being hounded by security forces within the country, the interior ministry clarified on Monday that they were citizens of Pakistan and that they could move anywhere in the country, barring Fata itself, because of the ongoing operations, the provincially administered tribal areas of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the settled districts of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the other three provinces, Azad Jammu Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan.
“These are drastic times and they call for a drastic response,” said Shumail Ahmed, ministry spokesperson, at a press conference at the Interior Division. “So some measures will have to be taken. But apart from the above listed proscribed areas, they are completely free to do whatever they want.”
“Whereas we have not officially banned them from going back to Fata, but they don’t seem to want to go there on account of the current ongoing surgical carpet bombing, not to mention the exceedingly rude behaviour of the Taliban.”
“But other than that, our tribal brothers and sisters are completely free to go anywhere that they want to go,” he continued. “Now, I would like to request all the reporters present here who belong to Fata to kindly step outside to room 2-A, where they will all be randomly checked.”