Washington DC: Three Fata Parliamentarians of Pakistan who are currently visiting the United States in their exclusive interview with The Frontier Post thanked the U.S. State Department for arranging their visit along with four Afghan parliamentarians and had a common view that both Pakistan and Afghanistan have the common challenges of fighting the menace of terrorism and bringing economic stability to their respective countries.
Member National Assembly Qaisar Jamal Afridi from Darra Adam Khel (FR Kohat) said that during his meeting with the U.S. member of Parliaments he had informed them that those children of FATA who are currently being raised in IDP’s Camps are not going to become civilized citizens of the country because they lack proper education, health facilities, living standards or interaction with the rest of the country. He said that Pakistan being front line country against terrorism since last fifteen years has lost over sixty thousand of its citizens and financial loss worth trillions of Rupees and therefore it is not economically possible for Pakistan to rebuild all that is damaged. Qaisar Jamal said that even if Pakistan builds every thing back in next fifteen years it will be a great accomplishment.
The young parliamentarian from Fata Qaisar Jamal Afridi said that it is a perfect time for IDP’s to be repatriated to their homes because Pakistan army has cleared most of the areas from terrorists but now the problem is of basic living amenities which are lacking in Fata such as proper housing for the IDP,s, proper schools, hospitals, roads, bridges and economic activities. He said that unless all these things are restored in Fata there is no point of sending the IDP,s back to their respective areas.
> Qaisar Jamal regretted the fact that for more than eight thousand residents of Fata there is not a single university. He said that he had urged the U.S. authorities to help Pakistan in establishing a state of the art university in Fata and also to help Pakistan financially in terms of rebuilding Fata so that the IDP’s could go back to their homes and start living respectable lives.
Qaisar also urged the U.S. authorities to resolve the Kashmir issue at the earliest for bringing long lasting peace in the region.
Member National Assembly Ayesha Gulalai while talking to The Frontier Post said that it is a great initiative of the U.S. State Department to bring Afghan and Pakistani parliamentarians to Washington DC and to interact with the U.S. members of parliaments but she hoped that both brotherly neighbour countries Pakistan and Afghanistan should hold such interactions with each other in their respective countries as well.
The first female Fata parliamentarian Ayesha Gulalai further said that she had urged Afghan parliamentarians not to let their soil be used by Indian sponsored terrorists to sabotage relations with Pakistan. She further said that she had told Sartaj Aziz on the floor of the house to give proofs of Indian terrorism activities to the rest of the world so they know the real face of so called Indian democracy.
Ayesha Gulalai also hoped that Afghanistan will soon restart its negotiations with Taliban and the country will be back on its own feet running with stability and prosperity.
Gulalai said that she had urged the U.S. authorities to use its influence over India to bring it to the negotiation table over Kashmir. She further said that unless Kashmir issue is resolved, the whole of Asia will remain in turmoil.
With regard to Fata, Ayesha Gulalai said that the Pakistan is not economically that strong to rebuild Fata after fifteen years of war against terrorism therefore America and the rest of the world should help Pakistan economically to rebuild Fata. Gulalai said that she is paying keen attention towards the problems which are being faced by women of Fata and hoped that in every segment of development in Fata, women folks will be given special attention especially with regard to education and health facilities.
Gulalai hoped that in future special reserve seats will be allocated in the National Assembly for the women of Fata.
Senator Hidayat Ullah from Bajaur Agency while talking to The Frontier Post said that the since last fifteen years it was America telling Pakistan to “Do More” against terrorism so now it is our turn to tell America to do more financially for Fata. He said that Fata is destroyed because of the war which was initiated by America in Afghanistan and therefore now it is also the responsibility of America to help Pakistan rebuild its areas and people which are destroyed.
Senator Hidayat Ullah further said that due to Pakistan heavy expenditure on its Eastern border it is not financially in the position to spend a lot of money on Fata and therefore America should urge India to resolve the issue of Kashmir at the earliest. He said that with resolving Kashmir issue, both India and Pakistan will automatically end their arms race with each other and will be in better shape to focus on their economic stability.
Senator Hidayat Ullah regretted over the recent incident in California in which a Pakistani couple killed fourteen Americans. He said that he conveyed his condolences to the U.S. officials and told them that due to such incidents the religion of Islam should not be blamed in any way because Islam teaches that killing of any individual is like killing the whole society. In reply to a question Senator Hidayat Ullah said that the reason why Pakistan had contacts with some Taliban leadership was because it wanted to keep some doors open for negotiations and that was in the best interest of the country. But now he said that Pakistan policy has changed and there are no good or bad Taliban and anybody who challenges the writ of the state is sent to gallows by the armed forces of Pakistan.
Senator Hidayat Ullah said that a stable Afghanistan is in the best interest of Pakistan and Pakistan has always played a positive role in bringing normalcy with its relations to brotherly neighbour country Afghanistan and Pakistan will continue with this same policy in years to come.