After the repeated demand came from the political parties and civil society, the government announced to conduct Local Bodies (LB) polls in maximum districts in Pakistan to restore the local governments. While the voice of people in FATA, which comprises 8 million population, did not heard.
Despite the other major political parties, Jamat-e-Islami (JI) is raising voice for LG elections in FATA.
JI central leader and former parliamentarian, Haroonur Rashid, told FATA-Voice that the government was not interested to bring FATA to the main stream politics. He said tribal people were grinding in a brutal so-called laws since last one century. He said if Frontier Crime Regulations(FCR) was a good and human friendly laws then why other Pashtoons in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa get rid of it.
“FATA was the lone territory on earth which has been ruled without proper laws just to keep them intentionally deprived of their basic and constitutional rights”,said Haroon and added that all the FATA residents and political parties should play their due role compel the federal government to also announce local bodies elections in FATA.
The JI leader said FATA parliamentarian should struggle to bring necessary changes in the current system which could be possible after247 act of Pakistan’s constitution extend into FATA.
He said until and unless the tribal people were not given their constitutional rights they would be considered as second class citizens of Pakistan.
Advocate Qubais Khan Shinwari,a member of FATA lawyer forum Peshawar High Court told FATA-Voice that they were struggling for the rights of tribal people. He said the lawyers from and political parties would soon start a campaign to propagate the positive implications of LG polls in the regions. He said: “It would be another step toward a strong democracy if at the grassroots level were given the powers to decide their own way of life.
“Fata is also a part of Pakistan,we are also human. We would be facilitated to overcome from the decades-long ignorance and poverty”, said Qubais. And added that if local bodies elections held in FATA would empower laymen who was unaware of his rights and duties.
Qubais suggests that if LG elections were not possible the government should give free and empowered Legislative council which would help a step toward the main stream politics. “It would be a great blunder with the eight million people of FATA if the government like the other parts of the country not establish local bodies”,said Qubais Shinwari maintained. Regarding the women participation in LG polls Qubais Shinwari said that the government should conduct referendum that what the tribal people want for their future.
Muhib Afridi, an NGO worker said that FATA was made a playground where every player played his own game to for enjoy wasted interests.
“Tribal people rendered life and property sacrifices for the sake of Pakistan but I think for the setting rulers Punjab is Pakistan while FATA is not in Pakistan”, said Muhib. He added that PML-N led government in Islamabad is much keen to refill seat in national assembly with by-elections. He said that those leaders now setting in assemblies should returned to their words and force the government to conduct LBs in FATA.
He said Local Bodies elections were inevitable for peace and development which would help devaluation of powers to the grassroots level to the tribal residents in FATA.
Shah Hussain,Awami National Party( ANP) FATA leader said the government need no such big planning for LG polls in FATA. He said: “prior to held LG elections in other districts in Pakistan it is need of the day to have local bodies in FATA”, Shah said and added that peace has been restored in FATA where everybody want to elect their local leaders.
Demanding for Local Governments in FATA, the ANP leader said that if the honorable president of the Pakistan can promulgate an overnight Ordinance regarding FATA senate elections must issue another Ordinance so that tribal people elect their representatives as per their aspiration.
Shah Hussain said his party had also asked the PML-N government for LG polls in FATA. He said that they would take a serious stand if the government is failed to bring the FATA into the main stream politics.
“It is the perfect time for the government to redress the tribal people grievances they have had suffer from the years-long militancy”, Hussain remarked.
Concluding the long debate over the LG polls in FATA, Ali Imran Bangash, lecturer in Journalism and Mass Communication department of Peshawar University, told FATA-Voice that if Local Bodies elections were not conducted in FATA would push them further in Dark Age. He said that tribal people were looking toward an enlighten and developed society. “I am afraid if tribal were not given such basic and democratic would led another conflict among the society which would engulf other societies as will.
Regarding the political and social ignorance Ali Imran said that the days have gone when tribal people were intentionally kept deprived of their basic rights. He said Media,social Organizations and those political and non-political figures should raise their voice for LG polls so that they could compel the government to announce Local Bodies elections in FATA.