It’s now or never for FATA


Comment: Jalil Afridi

Leaders of FATA Grand Alliance after holding a grand Jirga have demanded a separate province for the people of FATA. Who else could know better about FATA than its own people? The Frontier Post has also since long been demanding the same for FATA but those at helm of affairs never paid any attention. A matter fact it was the demand of separate province which compelled the previous rulers of ANP in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to stop advertisements to The Frontier Post for over three years because the mighty ANP leader Asfandyar Wali Khan wanted The Frontier Post to change its stance and wanted us to write in favor of the emerging of FATA in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. We were very surprised to see that the party which never gets tired for raising slogans for the Pakhtuns rights were so anti FATA but then we realized that the people of FATA never had any liking for ANP either.

It is a great opportunity for both Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, General Raheel Sharif, PTI chairman Imran Khan and KP Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to form a joint committee and submit a resolution in the National Assembly for the earliest formation of a separate province for FATA. With its formation half of the problems which Pakistan is facing today will be solved immediately. Not only that this new province will have as great opportunities as Balochistan with regard to earning billions of dollars through its trade route and minerals, it will also protect the long stretched border which is used for all the terrorists activities inside Pakistan.

How can millions of people of FATA still in twenty first century be living under a draconian law of FCR, where a small grade officer can put a whole family behind bars for a crime committed by a single individual.? How can the people of FATA feel the true love of their country when they can not even approach a court for appealing a sentence given to them by a single individual who is a junior officer? How can millions of people live in respect and honour when they don’t have any good school, college or hospital to go to? How can narcotics flow be stopped inside Pakistan where there are five million drugs addicts and there is no Anti Narcotics Force in FATA? How can terrorism and Indians and other spies be stopped by entering Pakistan when there are no police stations in FATA? How can industries and mines be explored when there is no WAPDA or Chamber or ministry of mines in FATA? How can a governor sitting in a mansion in Peshawar look after the whole of FATA? How can an army which is engaged in every nook and corner of the country defending the motherland can protect the people of FATA when they don’t have a FATA regiment? 

The people of FATA who are mostly tamed as drug dealers and terrorists are the same people who were till recent years considered as free of cost army of Pakistan. They were considered as heros during Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. They were called as the bravest people right after independence when they fought India and gained the little Kashmir which we have today. 

The people of FATA must be given a province of their own and it should be done at the earliest. The more it is delayed the more problems Pakistan will face in coming days. 

Congratulation to former senator Hamidullah Jan Afridi, Malik Khan Mar Jan, Malik Habibullah, Retd Colonel Amanullah and others for making this Jirga successful and for raising the voice for the people of FATA.