Imran demands FATA’s merger with KP as party lawmakers submit resignations

  • PTI chief says vacuum exists in FATA which will lead to terrorism if not filled
  • Says police reforms necessary in wake of Kasur rape cases, Naqeebullah’s murder

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Tuesday demanded the immediate merger of FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) as he confirmed receiving resignations of party lawmakers.

Addressing a press conference, the PTI chief said that the final decision regarding the resignations will be taken after consultations with senior PTI leaders.

Sources said that in a session of the PTI’s central executive committee (CEC) earlier, party members had given the authority to decide on resignations from assemblies to Imran Khan and agreed that party chief’s decision in the matter would be final.

During the meeting, committee members also proposed suggestions for nominations on party tickets for the upcoming general elections.

The CEC approved, during the session, the process for concluding the party’s membership drive and passed motions of solidarity with Palestine and Kashmir.

Two factions in the party seemed to have emerged – one in favour of resignations from the assembly, and the other strongly opposed to it.

The group opposed to resignations from assemblies and dissolving the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa legislature reasoned that PTI would not be able to claim its share in the caretaker government if it takes the extreme measure, sources said.

The PTI chairman in his presser said that a vacuum exists in FATA, which if not filled, will again lead to a resurgence of terrorism in tribal areas.  “There is now a vacuum in the tribal areas as the old system has been done away with. We feel there is a danger that if the vacuum remains than terrorism will again take root in the region.”

Elaborating further, Imran said the country, the people of the tribal areas and the armed forces have rendered great sacrifices in the fight against terrorism and a resurgence of terrorism will hurt the entire country.

“Hence, we are demanding the immediate merger of FATA with KP. Extending the jurisdiction of the court by itself is not enough. There is no longer a structure present there. They are hurting the people of the tribal areas and Pakistan,” added the PTI chairman.

“We feel Maulana Fazlur Rehman is playing a very dangerous game. The government and Fazlur Rehman are scared as they think if FATA is merged with KP then it will benefit PTI,” said Imran.

Corruption in Sindh and Punjab

Speaking in regards to alleged corruption in Punjab and Sindh, the PTI chairman said the party will be forming committees of experts to collect data.

He alleged that there are huge kickbacks involved in construction projects in Punjab and questioned the contract of Orange Line Train Project regarding its confidential nature.  The PTI chief further alleged that the incumbent leaders make billions through such large-scale construction projects.

“Why is the contract for LNG confidential? This is mega corruption. They build mega projects and mint money from them,” alleged the PTI chairman.

Explaining the role of the committees, Imran said they would be responsible for collecting data regarding corruption in public sector projects.

Police reforms

Giving the reference to child abuse cases in Kasur and the extrajudicial killing of Naqeebullah in Karachi, the Imran said that police reforms are the need of the hour.

“The way Najeebullah was killed extrajudicially in Karachi, the way Kasur cases have come to the forefront, it is evident that police reforms are sorely needed.”

“The police has been politicised and is corrupt. When you promote police officers without merit, the police become incompetent,” said the PTI chairman.  He added that the PTI government in KP has passed a Police Act, which allows only the IG to confirm transfers and postings and there is no interference.

Imran added that the people of KP have confidence in their police force.

In regards to the regular firing by Indian forces on the Line of Control (LoC), Imran claimed that entire villages in the Narowal area have been emptied and significant casualties have been sustained by the civilian population residing along the border with India.

“Our delegates ask us what is the reason behind the firing, as whenever Nawaz Sharif gets into trouble such incidents increase,” he said.

Imran, on the occasion, also condemned the US move to move its embassy to Jerusalem.


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