FATA to be mainstreamed within tenure of PML-N govt, assures PM Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) would be mainstreamed within the tenure of Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) government in consultation with all the opposition parties and the stakeholders.

Speaking in the National Assembly on Wednesday, PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said there were no two opinions over bringing the FATA people into the mainstream. Some meetings were held today in that regard, he added.

He said that the modalities would be sorted out within the next four weeks in consultation with the opposition parties, so that all the legal and Constitutional requirements could be met. Today certain decisions were taken which would further expedite the process with mentioning of the time frame, he added.

Premier Abbasi said, “We want that the process should be completed within the remaining period of this parliamentary tenure as we want the parliament to play its role.”

The Prime Minister announced that the Agency Development Fund was being abolished from today. Local Bodies elections in FATA would be held before October 2018, so that the people living in those areas could get their representation.

Whereas modalities for the election process of the parliament and provincial assemblies would also be finalized in consultation with all the political stakeholders so as to avoid any controversy, he said adding, the leader of opposition as well as all the parliamentary leaders would be taken into confidence over the implementation of FATA reforms.

The Prime Minister also mentioned that jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the high court had already been extended to FATA.

Acknowledging the sacrifices of the personnel of the law enforcement agencies, civilians and the locals, PM Abbasi said FATA mainstreaming should be implemented as there were no two opinions, all the political parties and the people of Pakistan were on one page over the issue.

He stressed that mainstreaming process was requirement of the FATA people and people of Pakistan.

The Prime Minister said in terms of development FATA would be brought at par with other parts of the country and for that purpose, in addition to the current allocations, Rs 1000 billion would be required for development in FATA during the next ten years.

The government was committed to provide all required funds for that purpose, he added.