All political parties in favour of making FATA part of KP: Sirajul Haq

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ISLAMABAD: Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer, Senator Sirajul Haq, has said that all political parties are in favour of making tribal areas a part of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the federal government should announce a huge package to redress the deprivations of the tribal people.

Talking to the media men outside the parliament on Friday, he said that Pervez Musharraf’s policies had done irreparable harm to the tribal areas. He said that the Operation Zarbe Azab had greatly helped restore peace in the area and this should be duly appreciated. However, he said that the local population had faced great hardships which should be acknowledged and the tribal people be duly compensated for that.

He said that practical steps were essential for reforms in the FATA and the area must be brought to the national mainstream. He said that the operation Zarbe Azab would be incomplete without reforms in the tribal area.

Sirajul Haq said that India had her eyes on the tribal areas and was trying to create chaos there. In such a situation, imposing anything from Islamabad would amount to usurping the rights of the tribal people.

He said the international media had portrayed the tribal people as terrorists where as the tribal people had always guarded the Pak- Afghan border. He said the international conspiracies had turned the erstwhile peaceful Pak-Afghan border into a hot border where two lakh Pak army was alert. He said that consultation with the local population could help restore peace in the area.

The JI chief suggested that an elected body should be formed to solve the problems of the tribal areas. This body should also have financial powers. The doors of justice were closed to the tribal people and a judicial system should be set up there.

He said that the tribal people had always rendered huge sacrifices for Pakistan but the ten million tribal people did not have facilities of education and health. There was neither adequate educational facilities nor any big hospital.

He said the rate of female literacy in tribal areas was hardly three per cent therefore, separate schools and colleges for girls must be set up in line with the traditions of the tribal people. He said that trading centers and markets in tribal areas had been closed due to the  Operation Zarbe Azab and lakhs of people had to leave their homes. These people had suffered huge losses but they were unable to have two times meal because of the apathy of the government.

Earlier, while addressing the Senate Standing Committee on Energy, Sirajul Haq said that the northern areas had the potential to generate 40,000 MW electricity while the  Khyber P. could generate 21,000 MW of electricity. In spite of that, the government was importing coal from Indonesia and Malaysia to produce electricity. The power thus produced would be highly costly. He asked why hydro power projects were not being set up to produce low cost energy.