PESHAWAR: Thousands of people from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and workers of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) are marching towards parliament in Islamabad in order to reiterate demands for a merger of the tribal areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
The protesters have announced to stage a sit-in in Faizabad area on Tuesday (tomorrow) followed by another sit-in at D-Chowk if the government does not take any positive step towards the merger of FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
The JI’s long-march, which started from Bab-i-Khyber, is aimed at exerting pressure on the federal government to revoke the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) and merge the Fata with KP before 2018 general elections. The caravan was en route to the capital on Monday night.
The JI will conduct a final sit-in outside the parliament which is due to go on for three days.
JI and its ally Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) have both been hinting towards protests at the delay in merging Fata with KP.
Mushtaq Ahmad, the provincial chief of the JI while talking to the media, said that the federal government should clearly announce the merger of Fata with KP. He welcomed the government’s decision of abolishing the FCR but said that the protest will continue as planned to keep the government in check.
He further said that the JI has invited leaders of other political parties to take part in the long march since it is a mutual cause. He assured that the long march will be converted into celebrations if the merger is announced.
He said that his party wants the government to merge Fata with KP immediately and announce a special package of Rs1,000 billion for developmental projects in the said tribal areas.