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FATA-KP merger draws criticism in Afghanistan

AT-KABUL: The government of Afghanistan on Sunday criticized Pakistan’s decision for the merger of Federally Administrated Tribal Areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Pakistan’s National Assembly recently passed a bill for the FATA merger – a move Kabul alleges goes against the 1921 agreement between Afghanistan and the British India.

Islamabad’s decision over FATA is unilateral and inconsiderate, and is explicitly at odds with 1921 Afghan-British India treaty, said President Ghani’s office in a statement.

Afghanistan has shared its concerns over ‘military interference’ and‘unilateral decision’of Pakistan regarding reforms in FATA with the international community and insists that any military and political decision-making of Islamabad over these tribal belts must involve mutual consultation with Kabul, added the statement.

This Pakistan’s decision over FATA-Khyber Pakhtunkhwa merger comes at a critical time when the tribal belts are under military dominion. And any decision over FATA must go through its people and in the light of a public consensus, the statement emphasized, and “the Afghan government believes thatsuch decision without consultation with Afghanistan – which compromises the independence of the tribal regions – would not be helpful to solve the issues.”

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