By: Ashrafuddin Pirzada
PAKISTAN: Rejecting the unacceptable and forced merged of tribal agencies into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, tribal elders in a joint consultative gathering with the government officials demanded the reinstatement of tribal elders Jirga, Khasadar and levies forces which they said would be in the best interest of the 12 million tribal residents.
Speaking on the occasion former federal minister Malik Waris Khan Afridi, Malik Darya Khan Zakhakhel, Malik Abdur Razaq Afridi, Malik Abdul Mannan Mulagori, Jamat-e-Islami local chapter leader Muqtadar Shah Afridi and others rejected the ex-Fata merger into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. They said none of the tribal elder was consulted before they could take their consensus on the constitutional issue to bring tribal areas into main stream.
Tribal elders said they have been deprived of their basic rights and imposed the one-sided and unacceptable merger into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. They said at the time of Fata merger tribals were told that 100 billion rupees funds had been allocated for Fata uplift and it would bring development which would change the life of militancy and poverty suffered people’s life.
“Tall claims were made just to make the merger done peacefully and put the 12 million people in the mercy of poor people of Khyber Pakhunkhwa”, said Malik Abdur Razaq Zakhakhel. He said in the past three years the government done nothing in the education, health, trade, business sectors and failed to create jobs for indigenous people of erstwhile Fata.
Malik Badur Razaq said Levies act has been passed from the provincial assembly but it could be intentionally inforced in the merged districts. He said they would not accept any of the decision taken by any government in which they were not taken the tribal elders on board. He said they were not ready to accept police system in the merged districts.
Malik Abdul Mannan Mulagori said as per the tribal traditions and customs jirga system should be reinstated. He said no tribal elder or those who had say in the society was ignored to consult with them.
He said whenever government needed moral, social and political support the tribal elders cooperated and rendered sacrifices for peace in the region. He said several of their prominent elders have lost their lives in the past militancy but they did not compromised in solidarity and loyalty with the state of Pakistan.
Former federal minister Malik Waris Khan Afridi said respect the tribal elders had taken from them. He said if the government not afford to respect tribals so why they were being invite to attend such meetings which he consider waste of time.
He said ADR was brought replacing FCR but failed to implement it properly. He said so far PTI led government failed to initiate a single mega project in the merged districts which could be a turning point to change life of the residents.
Commandant Khyber Rifles Col, Rizwan Nazeer, DC Khyber Mansoor Arshad, DPO Wasim Riaz, additional deputy commissioner Noor Wali Khan, assistant commissioner Bara Nek Muhammad, assistant commissioner Landikltal Akbar Iftikhar, assistant commissioner Jamrud Jawad Ali and tehsildar Landikotal Dawood Afridi accompanied the chief guest commissioner Peshawar Riaz Mehsud.
Commissioner Peshawar Riaz Mehsud after hearing the tribal elders’ viewpoints said that whenever the government asked tribals they always played a pivotal role and cooperated in the best interest of the country.
“it should be cleared to all that none of us should compromise on the solidarity, peace and would defeat all conspiracies against Pakistan”, said Riaz Mehsud. He added that he believe that just like the past tribals especially elders would stand side by side by the government to defeat the common enemies.
Commissioner Peshawar Riaz Mehsud promised that he would discuss with the Chief Minister Mehmood Khan to address their grievances and resolve it as much as possible.