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Missing the point

38 3 53

THE year 2017 witnessed a heated debate about Fata reforms. All manner of people came forward to save the people of Fata from savage laws, poverty, deprivation and further exploitation.

The debate was kicked off by the report of the Fata Reforms Commission headed by Sartaj Aziz. He and his colleagues knew as much about Fata as they did about the Tutsi, Hutu and Twa tribes of Rwanda. Never­theless they attended over a dozen jirgas and met a cross-section of people and declared in the end that (in their view) merging Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was the best option. The subsequent debate was mostly sterile and uninformed.

First, take the minority tribal MNAs who are championing the merger. I had an opportunity to ask Shah Ji Gul, the most vociferous of them all, for his reasons to plant Fata into KP.

He said that the existing system had failed resulting in unbearable loss of life and property, and the ignominy of eviction from hearth and home. It was particularly humiliating for Pakhtun men and women to take refuge in Punjab and Sindh.

Many do not know that the provisions of the FCR are in sync with local ‘rewaj’.

Did the system fail? No. We failed the........

© Dawn