I am an FCR victim; “Abolish FCR in FATA”

According to the articles 1 and 2 of the constitution of 1973, Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) is a part of Pakistan. However, according to the articles 51, 59 and 247 it is coming under the direct executive of the President. Articles 8 to 28 of the 1973 constitution are deal with the fundamental rights of the citizen of the Pakistan. If any of this right is violated then the judiciary will protect it from violation.

Although the whole FCR is contradict with the constitution of the 1973 but there are some clause which violates the fundamental rights of the tribal people. The law enacted from the 1901 of British era and still in the 21st century it existed.

The law — FCR states that three basic rights are not applicable to the residents of FATA, Citizens are deprived of appeal, wakeel and daleel (respectively, the right to appeal detention, the right to legal representation, and the right to present reasoned evidence).

Similarly there are other articles in FCR which violates the fundamental rights of the citizens of that area. Such as clause No. 21 of the FCR deals with collective punishment and similarly under section 22-23 of the FCR fine will imposed on the entire tribe/family for the crime of a single person.

In 1979, the Baluchistan High Court held that the FCR is “discriminatory and un-Islamic”. On 29 July 2002, the Lahore High Court ruled that the Frontier Crimes Regulation had ceased to exist following the Baluchistan High Court judgment and hence, detention under the FCR is “illegal”. In past several committees were made in different governments to made some reforms in FCR but all were failed to made some positive reforms in FCR.

Recently Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif formed a five member committee which is headed by his advisor on foreign affairs Mr Sartaj Aziz, for finalizing reforms in FATA. but after passing more than two months the committee does not reached at any conclusion.

Whatever the demand of the FATA people and what will be the reports of the FATA reforms committee, presently we should amend article 247 (7) of the constitution and extended the jurisdiction of the courts to fata. In this regard recently PPP senator Farhatullah Babar,moved a bill in a senate for extension of the jurisdiction of courts to the FATA.

According to the preamble of the bill, tribal areas under article 1 of the constitution are the part of the country. Its people are entitled to equal protection of rights, however, it very strange that they are deprived from those entire fundamental rights which the others citizens have.

It is clear that if the jurisdiction of Courts is extended to the areas then automatically all the articles of the FCR, which violates the fundamental rights of the tribal people will challenged in the courts and will abolished at one time. In this regard with the passage of time the whole FCR will be abolished and FATA will get constitutional status.

I sincerely hope that government will take some positive steps in this regards and will get rid the Tribal people from this black and brutal law which is suppressing the voices of tribal people.

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