The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Friday demanded that the proposed Riwaj Act and the regulation to set up local bodies in tribal areas be placed before parliament for discussion.

Keeping the Riwaj Act and local bodies’ law secret from the public and parliament raised serious questions about the law replacing the notorious FCR in tribal areas as promised in the reforms package, said Senator Farhatullah Babar.

“It will be a disastrous step backward if it turns out that the Riwaj Act was even more regressive and anti-human rights than the notorious FCR,” he added.

The president, Babar said, must not sign these regulations merely on the advice of bureaucracy alone without it being discussed in parliament.

“Likewise the parliament should be taken on board as to how the local bodies governments will be set up in tribal areas, the powers and responsibilities of these bodies and the mode of election and whether these will be held in all agencies simultaneously or in a staggered manner and how.”

“The silence of the government on these issues is deafening and gives rise to doubts that the reforms package is more of publicity stunt rather than serious effort to mainstream the tribal areas,” added the PPP senator