Fazl demands referendum to decide FATA’s future


ISLAMABAD: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has demanded holding a referendum in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) to know whether the people of the area want a merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) or want to create a separate province.

Speaking during the National Assembly session on Wednesday, Fazl said that there is no dispute over the merger of FATA with KP and they [JUI-F] also did not want a separate province, but he added that they only demand that the people of FATA be given the chance to decide their future.

He also said that the ‘Riwaj Act’ was presented in the House for extending the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the high court in FATA and only JUI-F had opposed it. He added that now everyone is saying that the act was not appropriate because there are no lower courts.

Fazl further stated that the FATA reforms committee had reported that Rs90 billion would be spent in FATA on development schemes and in such a situation there was no hurry to merge the area and asserted for implementation of the decision in a phased manner.

The JUI-F chief also took an exception to the protest organised by some political parties by bringing their workers in Islamabad, describing them tribal people in support of the merger. He asked them to come to the ‘Youth Convention’ in Peshawar to be held after two days which will be attended by people of FATA.