Raising Voice for Securing Due Rights of FATA Residents
18th December 2013
A policy level seminar on “Effective implementation of Frontier Crime Regulations (FCR) Reforms in FATA” was organized in Islamabad to discuss the implementation status of FCR reforms and its potential to be the catalyst for governance improvement in FATA. The seminar focused on obtaining the views and opinions of the participants on changes in the FCR as well as opportunities and challenges for further reforms that can bring FATA and its people at par with the rest of the country. The participants included parliamentarians, representatives of civil society and donor agencies.
The President of Pakistan had approved reforms in FCR in August 2011. These legal and political reforms were the first step towards bringing change into FATA and establishing modifications and alternatives to the archaic colonial era systems which had kept the status of FATA different from the rest of the nation. The people of FATA have the desire and potential of integrating into the mainstream of national life while respecting local customs and traditions. The Pakistanis of FATA have been deprived of basic human rights and services due to a lack of progressive and democratic governance legislations. To ensure that the citizens of FATA are provided basic human rights and equitable access to services, key reforms such as FCR and others need to be implemented in letter and spirit.
The speakers called for empowering the FATA legislators to make laws for the tribal people for the betterment of the local population in line with their needs and cultural traditions. They demanded the extension of writ of the High Court and Supreme Court to the tribal region. They were of the view that the time had come for the tribal people to elect honest and educated representatives that would raise their concerns at the appropriate forums and push for much needed reforms.
Speaking to the participants, Mr. Daniyal Aziz, MNA and Chairman Board of Directors DTCE, gave a historical perspective on the FCR and agreed with the rest of the speakers that the citizens of FATA are also citizens of Pakistan and as such all efforts should be made to undertake reforms that brings FATA at par with the rest of Pakistan.
MNA Shah Jee Gul said that we are very peaceful people but in the past internationally and nationally FATA has been used for the political and power interests of others at the cost of the local citizens. He called for empowering the FATA legislators to make laws for the tribal people for the betterment of the local population in line with their needs and cultural traditions.
Mr. Ijaz Mohmand, President Tribal Lawyers Forum also lamented the fact that citizens of FATA are not being treated fairly due to bureaucratic hurdles, vested interests of certain corners of society and lack of political will among the major political factions of the country. He also highlighted various petitions lodged by Tribal Lawyers Forum in higher courts, especially against certain clauses of 18th Amendment, to secure the due rights of citizens of FATA. He also mentioned that FATA Grand Alliance is soon going to launch an organized movement in this regard and appealed to all participants to join hands with them as supporters of the cause.
Copyright © 2013 Devolution Trust for Community Empowerment.