Mutahida Qabail Party (MQP)Voice of Tribal People

Posted in Pakistan | 23-Jun-10 | Author: Habib Malik Orakzai

Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) has always been a mysterious region to understand. The FATA is located along Pakistan's north-western Himalayan zone and south western Suleman Mountains. It consists of seven semi autonomous agencies and administrative units - Khyber, Mohmand,Bajur, Kurram, Orakzai, North Waziristan and South Waziristan. Additionally, the FATA includes 'frontier regions' of Peshawar, Kohat, Bannu, Lakki Marwat, Tank & Dera Ismail Khan.

The FATA consists of an area of 27224 sq km and has a population of around 3.19 million officially and over 6 million unofficially, people belonging to different tribes.

The British colonial system in the FATA was premised on the denial of mass population through political parties and the exercise of state control through dependable local elite. Pakistan retained this system without many changes. Under the FCR system, the state still denies the people of FATA their fundamental rights of association and assembly. Tribal people are democratically well aware but it is an irony of fate that they are deprived of their right of expression and freedom of speech. Neither the Supreme Court nor the High Court have jurisdiction over the FATA areas to safeguard and ensure these rights to the people of FATA. In 1996, Benazir's civilian government introduced adult franchise in FATA, but political parties were not extended in the FATA. Before the introduction of Adult Franchise an electoral college of 35,000 Maliks and elders would cast their votes during general election, which were under the influence of Political Administration. Almost all political parties have their local chapters and representatives in the FATA, but during elections the candidates are required to contest elections of non-party basis. The parliament members from FATA exert little or no authority in the parliament and always follows the directives of ruling party and it's pointless to elect members for National Assembly from the FATA when they have no say in the policy making and constitutional matters. In short, since the FATA is federally administered, it has no representation in the provincial parliament as well.

Keeping in view the backwardness and negligence of tribal areas and its proud residents, like minded tribal from different walks of life thought that the solution of all the problems is in unity. People of FATA must be gathered under one flag to raise their voice for their rights. This was not possible without an organization that should be purely committed to the betterment of tribal people. Hence, a committed Youngman Mr. Habib Malik Orakzai, who is also the President of Pakistan International Human Rights Organization (PIHRO) united tribal from all walks of life under one flag and announced the first ever political party of FATA titled Mutahida Qabail Party (MQP) committed to serve the people of tribal areas of Pakistan.

The party was formally launched in a well-attended meeting at Peshawar Press Club here on Tuesday June 15, 2010. Mr. Habib Malik Orakzai has been elected as the Chairman of Mutahida Qabail Party (MQP). The party is launched to initiate struggle for restoration of peace in tribal areas, attainment of basic human rights of tribesmen and economic and social development of the area. We demand of the government to declare FATA as a separate province. "Since the inception of the country successive governments have never bothered to give due rights to tribesmen. The huge funds allocated for uplift of Fata have also not been spent on development of the neglected areas,".

"We launch the political party to play an effective role in the national politics for brining a positive change in the destiny of tribesmen and hold all the usurpers accountable, who always manage to reach the National Assembly and Senate but never bother to serve their constituents,".

We reject the concerns of the United States and its allies about the presence of terrorists in the tribal belt, the majority of tribesmen were peace loving people but handful elements brought a bad name to them.

We also demand an immediate halt to military operations in tribal areas. The FATA parliamentarians had failed to play role for development of the areas as they served their own interests. President Asif Ali Zardari had announced some incentives for the tribesmen, including political independence, but the commitment was yet to be materialised. The government should ensure proper justice system in the tribal areas, announce holding local bodies' elections, provide jobs to unemployed youths, change the Levies Force into tribal security force and approve quota for tribesmen in the armed forces.

The MQP also demanded compensation to the families, who had suffered casualties in the military operations, victims of terrorism and registration of the internally displaced persons of various agencies.

We need the support of all political parties, leaders, government, semi-government and non-governmental organizations, law enforcers, foreign and UN missions, press and media agencies to work for the betterment of tribal people and tribal area for peaceful and prosper Pakistan.

The Aims and Objectives of the Mutahida Qabail Party (MQP) are very clear. Our main objective is to declare FATA as a Province, so that we can utilize our own resources for the development of area and to uplift the life standard of inhabitants. We also aim to bring Peace & Stability as its basic need now days. We are committed to work for the Fundamental Rights of neglected tribal and for the Social and Economic Development of area.