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> MPs from FATA call for Dialogue with Government
   Dialogue on Current Situation in FATA
June 04, 2008
Hotel Marriot, Islamabad


Islamabad, June 04; In a PILDAT organised Dialogue on “Current Situation in FATA” members of the National Assembly and Senate debated the current law and order situation in FATA and how it concerned Muslims in the UK with a visiting 6 member British Muslim Delegation agreeing that both groups need to play a more proactive role in improving the situation and bringing peace to the Tribal Areas.


In an interesting dialogue the representatives of the British Muslims agreed with the Pakistani legislators that they needed to be involved in the consultative process and focus on the nature of the problems in FATA in order to bring about sustainable solutions to these areas.


Participating parliamentarians from FATA and NWFP included Mr. Muhammad Noor-ul-Haq Qadri, MNA from Khyber Agency; Mr. Munir Khan Orakzai, MNA from Kurram Agency; Mr. Mohammad Kamran Khan, MNA from North Waziristan Agency; Mr. Shaukatullah Khan, MNA from Bajaur Agency; Syed Akhunzada Chittan, MNA from Bajaur Agency; Mr. Lal Muhammad Khan MNA from Malakand, Pakistan Peoples Party; Senator Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli, Pakistan Peoples Party - Sherpao; Senator Dr. Kauser Firdaus, Muttehida Majlis-e-Amal; Senator Prof. Muhammed Ibrahim Khan, Vice President Jamaat-e-Islami and Mr. Noor Alam Khan, MNA, Pakistan Peoples Party.


Members of the British Muslim Delegation included Mr. Azeem Ibrahim, President Ibrahim Foundation; Mr. Jehangir Malik, Manager Islamic Relief, UK; Ms. Zareen Roohi Ahmed Senior Partner Waterhouse Consulting Group; Ms. Adeeba Malik, Deputy Chief Executive QED-UK; Ms. Shahien Taj, Director, All Wales Saheli Association; and Mr. Mohammed Imran, Muslim Youth Helpline.


Giving a warm welcome to the members of the delegation from the UK and the Pakistani parliamentarians Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, PILDAT Executive Director said he hoped the objectives of cross-fertilisation of ideas on understanding impact of the security situation in FATA and how it impacted Muslims in the UK would be achieved through this Dialogue.


Initiating the Dialogue Ms Adeeba Malik, Deputy CEO QED-UK noted that the role of Muslims in the UK was to support the interest of Pakistanis in the UK and work with key public and private sector institutions to achieve this objective.


Continuing with the discussion Mr. Azeem Ibrahim, President Ibrahim Foundation, UK pointed out that the law and order situation in FATA was a major problem and a concern to Pakistanis and Muslim communities residing in the UK especially the growing number of suicide and other bombing incidents in the past. He stressed that problems in FATA are the concerns of the Pakistanis in the UK and can best be tackled through dialogue and discussion.


Senator Dr. Kauser Firdaus of Muttehida Majlis-e-Amal said it was important to use dialogue as a means of bringing peace in the region as opposed to using force. She was of the view that the dominance of the Western countries has resulted in the creation of this security situation in FATA.


Mr. Muhammad Noor-ul-Haq Qadri, MNA from Khyber Agency said that residents of FATA have a double problem to deal with as they are not only the most affected by the law and order situation but are also blamed for causing it as well which is mostly due to the misleading propaganda of the West.

Senator Prof. Muhammed Ibrahim Khan, Vice President Jamaat-e-Islami was of the view that in order to bring stability and peace in FATA it is vital for the United States leave and phase out its presence in the region.

Ms. Zareen Roohi Ahmed, Senior Partner Waterhouse Consulting Group, UK highlighted the need to focus on improving and mainstreaming education as a means to impact and improve the current law and order situation in FATA.

Ms. Anisa Zeb Tahir Kheli of the Pakistan Peoples Party-Sherpao pointed out that in the past FATA had been neglected by the previous governments and no investment has been made in these areas due to which we are faced with the current crisis. It is very important to invest heavily in FATA at least Rs. 5 billion a year which will help to improve the existing law and order situation, she said.

The Dialogue concluded with an agreement that the process of improving the law and order situation in FATA has to involve the legislators from FATA in a meaningful dialogue without which peace cannot be brought about in these areas. It was also suggested that such dialogues between Pakistani legislators and British Muslims can help towards each side developing a more informed awareness and insight to find solutions to the problems which are of mutual concern.


A View of Dialogue


MPs from FATA and NWFP


Members of the British Muslim Delegation