Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Friday demanded that the federal government expedite the merger of the Federal Administrated Tribal Areas (Fata) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa without further delay.
While addressing a press conference in Peshawar, he alleged that the federal government is deliberately spoiling the chance to merge Fata with KP.
“The decision to merge Fata with KP is being reversed because of [Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chairman] Mahmood Achakzai and [Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief] Fazlur Rehman,” he claimed, adding that Achakzai is opposed to the merger even though he has “no stake” in Fata.
“Fata is being run without any proper system of governance,” Khan stressed, “There is no system in Fata, particularly in the Waziristan area, so we have no other option but to merge it with with KP.”
“KP is ready administratively and economically for the merger. It has the best local government (LG) system ready to implement. The LG system is necessary because investment and development in the area can only be done through the system,” Khan said.
Criticising the prevailing setup, he said that the Fata secretariat has become a “centre of corruption”.
“[Adminstrative] posts are being sold and the prevailing system in Fata is being maintained to keep the status quo intact,” he said.
“The process of the merger should be started by 2018. If the issue is delayed to 2023, only corrupt elements will be the beneficiaries of such a decision,” he said.
“Delaying the merger would be tantamount to offering an opportunity to our enemies to create unrest in the region,” he added.
“A merger with KP has been demanded by the tribal areas,” he claimed. “They have the same norms, cultures and languages [as the people in KP],” he said.
He alleged that the federal government is instead busy safeguarding “a disqualified and disgraced individual”.
“Though the PML-N is trying its best, I don’t see martial law in the future,” he said in response to a question. He was instead of the view that the PML-N has no moral standing and early elections are the only way forward for democracy to prevail in the country.