Provincial ANP President Mr. Asghar Achakzai has renewed his party’s demand that there should be a unified Pakhtun Province with merger of FATA and other Pakhtun areas with the KPK.
He renewed his demand while addressing a news conference here in Quetta in which he severely criticized those political parties and religious groups opposing the merger of FATA with the KPK for their known political motives.
He reminded the newsmen that the PMAP was on the forefront till the recent past demanding Pakhtun Province from Bolan to Chitral and now the same rightwing party is opposing the merger of FATA with the KPK on clumsy grounds. Both Bolan and Chitral are non-Pakhtuns.
The other party is Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam which will have very bleak political chances if FATA is merged with KPK. In such a case, its area of influence will be narrowed down further making the party irrelevant in KPK politics.
Interestingly, the Pakistan Muslim League N and its two allies at the Centre –the JUI and the PMAP—are also oppose to unity of the Pakhtun people by forming a united Pakhtun Province. Mr. Achakzai recalled the opinion of the Federal Commission to assess the needs of FATA and suggest reforms. The Federal Government Commission found that 90 per cent of the FATA tribesmen are in favour of merger rather instant merger of FATA with the KPK.
It is also a fact that a sizable portion of the FATA population is enjoying the benefits from the settled districts of KPK and the Provincial Government is spending a sizable portion of its budget on extending services and facilities to the FATA people.
Tens of thousands of students of FATA are getting education in the KPK schools and there is no sense to deny them these facilities on any ground. It is better to regulate it by merging the entire area with the KPK and without any delay.
It is ironic that PMAP considering it a forward looking party and opposed to FATA reforms forcing the people pass their lives under the FCR and other inhuman laws governing FATA. Same is the case with the JUI. It is too opposing the FATA reforms.
Both the parties are giving preferences to their illegitimate interests. Representatives of people from FATA and KPK had a meeting with the Prime Minister the other day in which the Prime Minister expressed his inability to merge FATA with the KPK at the moment.
It is strange that the State and its institutions are resisting the move to make FATA part of Pakistan or merged the once no man’s land between Afghanistan and Pakistan as part of Pakistan. Or it should be governed under the Constitution of Pakistan. Why the rulers are resisting this move? It is unclear. The rulers are yet to explain it.
There is a strong need to rationalize the provincial boundaries re-demarcating the provinces on linguistic, cultural and ethnic basis in the interest of good governance or harmony among the people of Pakistan. In such a case, the annexed territory from Afghanistan, now made part of Balochistan, should rejoin the bigger Pakhtun Province.
The Baloch people had never accepted these territories as the historic part of the Baloch Mainland. First the British colonial rulers made it part of Balochistan for their ulterior designs or for administrative reason. The Baloch consent was never sought in this action. The British decision was arbitrary.
Later on the military dictator General Yahya Khan did the greatest disservice by making the area as part of Balochistan against the will of the Baloch people. In both cases, the decisions were imposed.
Saner elements are suggesting that it should be part of FATA if the merger with KPK is delayed inordinately or by designs. There is no conflict in the interests of Baloch and the Pakhtun and the vested interests failed to create differences between the two national groups.
The major political parties should take up the issue of rationalizing the provincial boundaries on linguistic, cultural and ethnic basis in the interest of good governance.