PESHAWAR: Jamaat-e-Islami began its long march early Monday morning from Khyber Agency to Parliament in Islamabad to ensure merger of Federally Administered Tribal Areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The party supporters and workers gathered at Bab-e-Khyber and are heading towards Islamabad via Peshawar. The workers even held a brief sit-in at JI’s centre on Grand Truck Road.
The convoy is expected to reach Faizabad Interchange on Tuesday at 10AM, where JI Amir Siraj-ul-Haq will address the protesters.
During the court of the long march, sit-ins will be held at over a dozen places from Khyber Agency to Peshawar. The final sit-in will be staged outside the Parliament for three days after which the future line of action will be announced.
JI had announced long march towards Islamabad last month.
“The announcement to abolish the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) next week is vague. The federal government should clearly announce the merger of Fata with KP. It made the claims many times in the past but withdrew from its promises at the eleventh hour moment,” Mushtaq Ahmad, the provincial amir of the JI, said while speaking to media on Saturday.
He welcomed the government’s decision of abolishing the FCR and termed it a victory of the JI. However, he continued that the JI would still hold the long march so that the government doesn’t backtrack on its promise.
“We will start our long march from Khyber Agency after a sit-in there. Our long march is peaceful and we hope the government will not create any hurdle in our way,” said the JI provincial amir.
He added the leaders of other political parties had been invited to the sit-in and long march as the politicians were united over the immediate merger of Fata with KP.
The JI leader added his party would convert the long march into celebration if the federal government announced the merger of the tribal areas with KP.
“We want the government to abolish the FCR, merge Fata with KP immediately and announce a special package of Rs1,000 billion for developmental projects in the hitherto neglected tribal areas,” said Mushtaq Ahmad.