02132016Sat
Last update: Sat, 13 Feb 2016 05am

CGPA demands abolition of Article 247

Centre for Governance and Public Accountability (CGPA) demanded the abolishment of Article 247 of Constitution of Pakistan, as the Article awards non-representative and undemocratic status to Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA). The CGPA further said the Article negates basic fundamental rights of the residents of tribal areas, and proved to be a main bottleneck in mainstreaming FATA.

It claimed that without changing governance paradigms in trial areas for ensuring basic human rights peace and stability in tribal areas can't be guaranteed.

According to Article 247, it is sole discretion of the President and the Governor of respective province while acting as an agent of the President to direct the extension of any law to FATA and PATA, respectively. This provision takes away the basic democratic rights of the citizens of tribal areas to be represented by their elected representatives in National Assembly and provincial assemblies.

CGPA lamented the fact that members of National Assembly from FATA can participate in legislation for the whole Pakistan but not for FATA.

The Article 247 further states that 'neither the Supreme Court nor a High Court shall exercise any jurisdiction under the Constitution in relation to a Tribal Area.' This provision violates Article 25 of the constitution of Pakistan, which states that 'all citizens are equal before law.' This provision deprives residence of tribal areas to have basic right of fair trial and equality before law.

CGPA lamented that due to Article 247 tribal areas are deprived of many important laws. While Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province has right to information law now, citizens from tribal areas have strong feelings of deprivation and disenfranchisement for not having right to information law. Residents of FATA have no representation in any provincial assembly and are deprived of have their voices articulated at local level.

The organisation demanded that Right to Information and Local Government Regulations should immediately be notified for FATA. CGPA further demanded Federal Government to abolish Article 247 of the Constitution of Pakistan and start mainstreaming tribal areas as per aspirations of residence of tribal areas.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2013