A black day was observed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa against the 'unnatural' and 'unconstitutional' merger of erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) into the province.
Scores of Khyber Qaumi Jirga (KQJ), an anti-merger body, supporters, mostly tribal elders and a handful of political workers demonstrated at the historic Bab-i-Khyber on Monday.The protest was staged on the completion of three years of the merger, Dawn reported.
The FATA, which consisted of seven tribal agencies (districts) and six frontier regions, was merged with neighbouring province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 2018.
The tribesmen had protested against the merger of the tribal belt into Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
On Monday, the KQJ supporters held black flags and chanted slogans against what they called the 'unconstitutional' merger.
Addressing the protesters, KQJ leader Haji Bismillah Afridi declared that the so-called merger was imposed on the tribal people without ascertaining their consent and without fulfilling the constitutional obligation of convening a representative grand jirga of all the tribal elders from the seven tribal regions.
He said the KQJ and its supporters would not accept the merger as it was done in violation of the promises made by Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah with the people of former Fata regarding the future status of their region.Afridi added that the merger had further complicated the situation in tribal areas as there was chaos everywhere due to ambiguity about the powers and limitations of different government departments.
"How can we accept the 25th Constitutional Amendment when the parliament, the head of the state or the head of the government are not authorised to change the geographic and administrative status of tribal areas as enshrined in the 1973 Constitution," he asserted. (ANI)