KHYBER AGENCY: More than 500 tribal elders held a grand jirga on Thursday and rejected the possible merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The elders, hailing from the tribal areas, were of the opinion that FATA should be given the status of a separate province.
The jirga also announced to hold a protest on December 23 in Islamabad.
The issue of the merger of the FATA with KP is one of the pending matters for the incumbent government and has dominated the political discourse of the country in recent weeks.
Earlier on Thursday, the members of opposition parties staged a walkout from the National Assembly (NA) in a bid to press the government to introduce the FATA Reforms Bill.
The recommendations to bring the tribal areas at par with the rest of the country were approved by the federal cabinet on March 2 but the matter has been delayed since then.
Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah said the government wanted to sideline the FATA reforms and the area’s merger with KP.-Web Desk