ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on the eve of 66th Independence day of Pakistan, announced introduction of local governments in tribal areas in the coming year.
The president declared that the coming year will see the beginning of local self governance in tribal areas, in accordance with the wishes, customs and traditions of its people.
The President made this announcement while addressing a special ceremony here at President House to celebrate 66th Independence Day of the country.
“We owe it to the people and to the peace and stability of the country, and the region, to bring these areas into the mainstream of national life,” he said.
“Last year, on the eve of Independence Day, I had signed the regulation for reforms in tribal areas. Under that package, the FCR was replaced with Fata Regulation 2011. The political parties were also allowed to reach out to the people in tribal areas with their message,” he said, adding: “This was our gift to the people on the Independence Day last year. It was a major change in hundred years. It was historic. The process continues.”
Spokesperson to the President Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the special independence day celebration held in the Presidency was also attended by Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, services chiefs, provincial governors, diplomats, members of the federal cabinet, parliamentarians, senior government and military officials and people from different walks of life.
Interestingly, the function was held Sunday night hours before the President left for Saudi Arabia for the OIC summit and was pre-recorded for telecasting at the midnight on August 14.
The Spokesperson said that the introduction of local government system in tribal areas will be gradual and this provision has been incorporated in the draft Regulation which states, “It shall come into force on such date as the Governor may by notification determine, and different dates may be notified for different provisions of this Regulation.”
The President in his address also called for safeguarding the dignity and honor of the elected parliament and for protecting it from new forms of assaults.
The President said the parliament was the voice of the people and can not be silenced and will never be.
There is another significance of the Independence Day this year, the President said. It is being celebrated at a time, when a democratically elected government, is about to complete its mandated term in office. This is a historic milestone. It augurs well for democracy and democratic traditions in the country, the President said.
He said that the founding fathers of Pakistan, saw Pakistan as a country, where democracy, constitutionalism and rule of law would reign supreme.
It was envisaged to be a country, where ballot would determine the political choices of the people.
The President said that unfortunately for most part of our independent existence, the people were often denied, right to rule, and the Constitution was repeatedly abrogated. It is reassuring, he said, that the present Parliament unanimously restored, to a large extent, the democratic Constitution of 1973.
He said that the restoration of the Constitution, by all political forces, and provinces, raises our hope.
“It shows that despite setbacks, we will restore to Pakistan, the values and ideals, for which it was created. Let us on this day, re-dedicate ourselves, to the democratic ideals and principles, of the Quaid,” the President asked the nation.