KHYBER: Khyber Qaumi Jirga (KQJ) has called for the immediate secession of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s tribal districts, saying the merger has driven the province into more backwardness and misery.
During a jirga held in Jamrud on Tuesday that was attended by Khyber, Mohmand and Darra Adamkhel tribal elders with KQJ leader Malak Bismillah Khan in the chair, the demand was made.
Malak Bismillah Khan, addressing the jirga, called the integration a monumental blunder and said that at the behest of the United States under an international policy, tribal regions were integrated with the province.
He said those who backed the merger were also now repenting of their decision as the government refused to meet its promises and commitments made before implementing the merger plan with the citizens of tribal regions.
The KQJ leader, seeking a separate province made up of combined districts, said that only the status of a separate province could help relieve the miseries and sufferings of the tribal region’s militancy-affected people.
Both the federal and provincial governments are now retracing their pledges of a three percent stake in the National Finance Board, rising the proportion of workers at both national and provincial levels, and, in particular, taking the deprived region in 10 years to par with the rest of the world, he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Malak Razaq Afridi called on the country’s mainstream political leadership to support them in their demand to repeal the merger of Fata by constitutional means and to give the status of a separate province to Fata in the past.
He believed that the intention of the merger was simply to rob the inhabitants of the region of their natural resources and to drive the region deeper into poverty and misery.
Malak Razaq said that a national anti-merger drive would be initiated shortly by KQJ and that all stakeholders would be taken on board for a timely repeal of the scheme.