Fri, 12 Aug 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], July 5 (ANI): Fata Qaumi Jirga (FQJ) expressed its concern over the peace turmoil in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) areas merged with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and said that unless the tribes were given their rights and FATA's original status is not restored, till that the struggle will continue.

Fata Qaumi Jirga (FQJ) is an association of prominent tribal elders and landlords formed against the merger of former Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Dawn reported.

Earlier, the proscribed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) also stated that it would not budge from its demand for the reversal of the merger of Pakistan's erstwhile FATA with the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

In an interview published on YouTube, the chief of the outlawed group Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud said that negotiations between the TTP and the Pakistani government were in progress but no major breakthrough had been made.

This remark comes on the heels of the meeting between TTP and a delegation of tribal elders in Kabul to negotiate an extension of a truce with the Pakistani Taliban. The outlawed group are a separate group but allied with the Afghan Taliban, who grabbed power in Kabul last August, after the US drawdown.

"Our demands are clear and especially the reversal of Fata merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is our primary demand which the group cannot back down from," Mehsud was quoted as saying by Dawn in the video interview.

"The talks have yet to reach a conclusion," said Noor Wali. The head of the outlawed group confirmed the Afghan Taliban were facilitating the negotiations, adding that if the Pakistani government showed "seriousness", then a breakthrough in talks would be possible.

Notably, Pakistan Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah had recently ruled out the reversal of the FATA merger with Khyber which was done through a constitutional amendment in 2018.

Earlier, on May 21, 2018, Pakistan made the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) under the 25th Amendment to reform tribal areas and to bring it within constitutional jurisdiction. (ANI)

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