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Editorial; FATA fate

Speaking on the fate, and origin of FATA in the light of India’s Independence Act, 1947, and agreement between the late Afghan King Amanullah Khan, and British India in Rawalpindi in 1921, the Chief of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PMAP) Mahmood Khan Achakzai, in his address on the floor of Pakistan’s National Assembly said that FATA, an integral part of Afghanistan was never a part of Pakistan. Referring to history and constitution of Pakistan, the popular Pashtun leader said Pakistan’s National Parliament or any other institution of the country had never been authorized and having no constitutional jurisdictions to move any type of legislation on FATA. Being a buffer zone between Afghanistan and British India, FATA was a Domain of the Viceroy of British India, and since 1947, it remained under the direct administration of the President of Pakistan. Citing the Rawalpindi agreement of 1921, he said Pakistan’s military intervention and reforms in FATA, without prior and popular consultation with the locals of FATA and the government of Afghanistan is invalid and violating the agreements that needs to be challenged in the court of the International Community. Defiantly, we the Afghan masses strongly appreciate some parts of Mahmood Khan Achakzai’s speech that highlighted Afghanistan’s historic rights and fundamental human rights of FATA people. By having a look on history and culture, it’s a sacred fact that the people of FATA—victims of state sponsored terrorism and militarism have never been terrorist-minded and religious extremists. It’s the state of Pakistan that used FATA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan as launching pads for the various Pakistani and international terrorist outfits, including the notorious Haqqani terrorist network, conducting terrorism in Afghanistan to destabilize our country and undermining the US-led war on terror. Imposing man-made religious extremism and militarism on FATA people has resulted in changing loyalties of locals on religious fundamentalism and Pakistan-ism. However, thousands of thousands among the tribal elders and innocent people across the FATA have been killed and their homes and bazaars were razed to grounds. Media and human rights organizations have no access to that area. Human rights violation, enforce disappearances, military curfew, atrocities and blind military actions in the area is a matter of day to day which helped the locals in changing their loyalties on Pakistan and religious fundamentalism. Some months back, more than 500 elders and youth from FATA, expressing zero tolerance to Pakistan’s presence in the area and its pro-terror policies came to Afghanistan where they held two big gatherings in Jalalabad-capital city of eastern Nangarhar province and capital Kabul, where they unanimously called on Pakistan to vacate FATA region and asked for completely withdrawal of its civil and military administrations. The joint statement issued by the participants of the gatherings urged the international community to help them against Pakistan’s occupation over the area and its pro-terror policies. They said, the FATA people have been feed up of Pakistan and ready for close cooperation and strategic partnership with the international community. Keeping in view the prevailing situations in FATA and the notorious agenda of Pakistan, we need to be vigilant and must not be deceived at the hands of individuals who have been dancing at 2-4 weddings at a time. Almost all political parties in Pakistan have been re-engineered by the military establishment of Pakistan to undermine the Afghanistan and US interests in the region. Implementation of Pakistan-made reforms in FATA could make more tougher and complicated job of Afghanistan and the international community as well. Time is ripe for the Afghan government and our regional and international partners to oppose integration of FATA and declare Pakistan’s failure in the area. The region and international community repeatedly witnessed a number of Pakistan’s so-called military incursions in FATA and other parts of the country that resulted in more strength and space to terrorist groups, instead of shunning terror havens and dismantling their networks and fund raising centers. That’s why; the civilized world saw zero positive changes in Pakistan’s pro-terror policies and its Afghan course—pre and post-Trump strategy. Considering Pakistan’s failure in the area and our joint goals, we have been in dire need to favor installation of UN-led administration in FATA region and grant the locals an opportunity to decide their fate on international forums—a game changing idea that would help us in restoration of Afghanistan’s historic land and people and winning war on terror.

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