Zardari promises to improve ‘extension of superior courts’ limits to FATA bill’ after elections
ISLAMABAD: Former President Asif Ali Zardari said that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) will stand by the people of tribal areas in their struggle for extending jurisdiction of superior courts to tribal areas, merging them with Khyber Pukhtunkhwa and allocating their share in the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award.
“All pointers whether economic, linguistic, cultural, geographic contiguity made it natural for the tribal areas to be merged in the province,” he said talking to a delegation of the Tribal Youth Jirga that called on him at the Zardari House on Thursday in Islamabad.
The 25 member delegation included representatives of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) youth from all tribal agencies representing all political parties. A TV anchor of a local channel also accompanied the delegation.
Former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, Secretary General PPP Nayyer Bokhari, Spokesperson PPP Aamir Fida Paracha, President PPP Fata Chapter Akhunzada Chattan, President Women Wing FATA Dr Saima, Political Secretary PPP Fata Rukhsana Bangash, Fouzia Habib and Secretary General PPPP Farhatullah Babar were also present in the meeting.
Zardari said that although the bill to extend the jurisdiction of superior courts to tribal areas passed recently by the National Assembly fell far short of expectations and was ‘too little too late’ but the PPP will support in the Senate to seize the opportunity and flung open the door for further improvements.
He said that once the PPP comes into power in the upcoming general elections, it will more improve upon it and extend the jurisdiction of superior courts to all parts of FATA with immediate effect.
Reminding that as president he had transferred all powers to the parliament, he said that for mainstreaming Fata the legislative powers of the president in respect of Fata will be also transferred to the parliament.
He said that Fata should also be given share in the NFC Award. The tribal people had been devastated in the war on terror and it was time to put balm on their wounds.
The former president also demanded immediate demolition of the existing system of levy and collection of taxes, levies and rahdari by the political agents in tribal areas which he said was “arbitrary, illegal and a tool for corruption”.
Poor people are subjected to illegal tax on transportation of every merchandise of daily use in what he said was a lucrative business for some and demanded an end to it. He also called for the audit by auditor general of the public spending by the civil-military bureaucratic complex in Fata.
During the meeting Chairman Bilawal Bhutto also called the former President on the phone from Karachi and emphasized taking forward FATA reforms project.