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FATA Reforms body concerned at ECP's non-implementation of recommendations

Political Parties Joint Committee on Fata Reforms on Thursday expressed concerns over the non-implementation of five key recommendations presented by the committee in December 2012 and invited urgent attention of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to implement the recommendations for ensuring free, fair, transparent and accessible first ever party-based general elections in the history of Fata. 

The Fata Committee met here for two days to present assessment of the pre-election environment in Fata and its vision for further political reforms. The committee highlighted many shortcomings in implementation of the Political Parties Order's extension to the region and on-going obstacles to their free operation in the tribal areas. Participants said that without implementation of the five key reforms proposed by the committee, questions would be raised on election in Fata. 

The recommendations include (i) judicial officers should serve as returning officials (ii) NADRA and ECP should increase efforts to register voters, (iii) ECP should allow absentee voting for IDPs (iv) ECP should set up polling stations within 2km areas (v) ECP should engage directly with political party leaders. Briefing the media after the conclusion of two-day deliberations of the committee, Professor Mohammad Ibrahim, leader of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), said that as general elections were fast approaching, candidates of various political parties were actively campaigning for election on MNA seats to represent Fata voters in the National Assembly. 

Apart from the 11 mainstream political parties (members FATA committee), 53 political parties leaders from the seven agencies and frontier regions of FATA were also invited in the meeting to discuss the realities of campaigning in Fata and the status of implementation of 2011 FATA reforms, including amendments to the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR). The tribal political party leaders indicated that political agents, the security establishment and militants are all responsible for restricting their ability to operate freely in the region. 

Ajmal Wazir, Vice President of Pakistan Muslim League (Q) said that in December 2012, FATA Committee presented five key recommendations requiring urgent action by the ECP to ensure fair and transparent general elections in Fata. Unfortunately, the ECP has thus far responded to only one of the five recommendations, as the Commission has recently made assurances that the 600,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) would be provided with polling stations in IDP camps as well as in the host communities where they now are living, he added. He further said that Fata Committee would monitor this process closely to ensure that ECP provides free and fair access to voting for all Fata IDPs. 

During the two-day deliberations, political leaders agreed on 40 additional recommendations for free and fair elections in Fata and urged that many of them should be implemented before general elections. Some of the recommendations are as under: The government should monitor the implementation of the 2011 Political Parties Order extension and Frontier Crimes Regulation amendments. Political parties should be permitted to hold corner meetings without restrictions or advance notice. The requirement of asking permission or notifying the PA for all meetings in advance is not realistic and puts political parties at risk of attack. Large public gatherings or rallies should be notified one week in advance. No permission should be required. Political parties should be given free and open access and also necessary security to travel to and operate in Fata. Political parties should include Fata democracy and Fata reforms in their national party manifestoes for general elections. Political parties must not "sell" tickets for MNA seats. The Election Commission should implement and enforce a ban on this anti-democratic activity. 

Reserved MNA seats for Fata women should be made, giving them the same special representation of 33 percent as in the rest of Pakistan. To ensure increased women's participation in elections, women's polling stations should be set up in all agencies and frontier regions. Pemra's jurisdiction should be extended to Fata. Access and security should also be provided to media so that they can enter Fata freely and better cover elections and political parties. 

The political parties Code of Conduct published by the Election Commission of Pakistan must also apply to elections in Fata. All of these recommendations should be implemented and enforced immediately, prior to the day of general elections 2013. Ajmal Wazir said that these recommendations will be submitted for immediate consideration and action to the new caretaker government as well as the President of Pakistan, the Election Commission, NADRA, the SAFRON Ministry, the governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the FATA Secretariat.


Via @PakistanWeekly
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Political parties must trust voters

Whenever a political party finds itself in a self-created crisis, the common diagnosis is that its ills are a product of the public losing trust in that party. This is true of the Conservatives in the 1990s, of Blair’s Labour Party in the aftermath of the Iraq invasion and the Scottish Liberal Democrats following their electoral annihilation in 2011.

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Joel Denney's comment, March 22, 2013 5:51 PM
After the last 16 years, with Presidential approval (along with Congressional approval) in the tank, I'm not surprised. Politicians have simply not been able to get their act together, and society does not trust them anymore. I think the problem is that there are very few influential people in the middle of the aisle; both parties are becoming more extreme--or at least, the more talkative/influential people in both parties are. A real centrist party would be great, but I feel as though it'll never gain political power.
Chris Grimm's comment, March 23, 2013 2:34 PM
I agree with Joel that I am not surprised that politicians don't trust voters despite the fact of how sad I think it is. I think that part of the problem is that voters don't trust most of what politicians say because we don't have the capability of understanding what they say is true and what is bent and twisted truth. Amazing the kind of mess America has been able to find itself in
Tanner Schatzel's comment, March 24, 2013 8:31 AM
I think that political parties need to trust voters because that is who elects them in to the positions that they are in. I understand why they might be weary, but I still think that they need to be trusted.
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Colo. Company Leaving Over New Gun... - ABC News

Colo. Company Leaving Over New Gun... - ABC News | Gov & Law Skinny | Scoop.it
TIME
Colo. Company Leaving Over New Gun...
ABC News
Colo. Company Leaving Over New Gun Magazine Law. ERIE, Colo. March 21, 2013 (AP).
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EU law prohibits animal-tested cosmetics - This Dish Is Veg

EU law prohibits animal-tested cosmetics - This Dish Is Veg | Gov & Law Skinny | Scoop.it
This Dish Is Veg
EU law prohibits animal-tested cosmetics
This Dish Is Veg
The EU passed a ban, effective immediately, that prohibits the sale of cosmetics produced with ingredients tested on animals in all 27 member nations.

Via Ingrid Long
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brittany carver's comment, March 27, 2013 1:22 PM
All of china's cosmetics must be tested on animals before they are sold inside the country.
brittany carver's comment, March 27, 2013 1:23 PM
And how does the United States fair by comparison? Not too well. While there are no laws that mandate animal testing in cosmetics, it is still legal, and many corporations choose to continue inhumane testing in the absence of cheap alternatives."
Ingrid Long's comment, March 27, 2013 5:49 PM
Thank-you for your comments Brittany, I agree with you, if only other countries would follow the EU's example.
The treatment of animals in the cosmetics industry has been very cruel.
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Legislative briefs: Cleanup fees, law school pay, UIL membership - Dallas Morning News

Legislative briefs: Cleanup fees, law school pay, UIL membership - Dallas Morning News | Gov & Law Skinny | Scoop.it
Legislative briefs: Cleanup fees, law school pay, UIL membership Dallas Morning News Dallas' Helen Giddings and other Democratic House budget writers complained Tuesday that a $6 air pollution cleanup charge added to annual car inspection fees...
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Arkansas adopts US's most restrictive abortion law - U.S. News & World Report

Arkansas adopts US's most restrictive abortion law - U.S. News & World Report | Gov & Law Skinny | Scoop.it
Politico
Arkansas adopts US's most restrictive abortion law
U.S. News & World Report
LITTLE ROCK, Ark.
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Ben Johnson's comment, March 12, 2013 12:36 PM
My view on abortion is that you should be able to make your own decisions and nobody should judge you by how you proceed those decisions. But on the other hand I also think that abortion is the worst possible way to do things..
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Vicious dog case points to hole in law - Boston Globe

Vicious dog case points to hole in law
Boston Globe
The law states only that a town “may'' request an order for impoundment. That's too much leeway.
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Nothing stops a bullet like a job

Nothing stops a bullet like a job | Gov & Law Skinny | Scoop.it
Van Jones says of course we need gun control. But we also must face that a lot of violence is linked to economic desperation and despair.

Via Ben Johnson, Riley Hanson
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Riley Hanson's comment, February 27, 2013 6:34 PM
I think banning guns especially assault riffles would be a good thing, unfortunately it can't happen because they can't take away the right to bare arms.
Riley Hanson's curator insight, February 27, 2013 6:38 PM

Banning guns to me would be a really good tihng, but unfortunately i know they cannot take away the right to bare arms.  I think there should be something done about gun control!!! 

MsHaeussinger's comment, February 27, 2013 6:44 PM
While the government cannot take away 2nd Amendment rights without re-amending the Constitution, they are able to limit it with laws.
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Man Holds Elderly Mother-in-Law Hostage | KTLA 5

SANTA MONICA -- A man is reportedly holding his 87-year old mother-in-law hostage inside a home in Santa Monica. Police say the 47-year old man's wife and son escaped unharmed. Glen Walker has more on the stand-off.
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Health law doubts impacting Massachusetts Senate race - Washington Times

Health law doubts impacting Massachusetts Senate race - Washington Times | Gov & Law Skinny | Scoop.it
Washington Times Health law doubts impacting Massachusetts Senate race Washington Times Mr. Callahan and Edward Kelly, head of the 12,000-strong Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts, which also endorsed Mr.
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Colorado needs felony DUI law - Denver Post

Colorado needs felony DUI law - Denver Post | Gov & Law Skinny | Scoop.it
Colorado needs felony DUI law Denver Post House Minority Leader Mark Waller, R-Colorado Springs, succinctly sums up why the legislature should pass a bill he's sponsoring that hikes the penalty for some DUIs.
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Jordyn Prouty's comment, February 28, 2013 12:00 PM
I think, every state should have a DUI law.
Ben Johnson's comment, February 28, 2013 12:04 PM
I think that it should become a felony if it happens over and over but usually once someone does receive a DUI they end up getting another, and maybe even another one after that. Not all people are that way, but if they could have a possible felony charge over their shoulders then they might shape up and get their act together.
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Shortcomings of Political Parties Act: FATA politicians call for quick reforms before polls

Political parties have vowed to continue their election campaign in the tribal areas and have made 40 recommendations for free and fair polls in the region.

 

The political parties’ joint committee on reforms for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), known as the Fata Committee, met on Thursday to present its assessment of the pre-election environment in the tribal areas and its vision for further political progress.

 

The Fata Committee comprises representatives of 11 political parties, including the Awami National Party, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl, Muttahida Qaumi Movement, National Party (NP), Pakhtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Qaumi Watan Party.

During the meeting, various party leaders indicated that political agents, the security establishment and militants were all responsible for restricting them from operating freely in Fata for election campaigns. They stated intelligence agencies regularly intimidate them and their political workers.

 

The members pointed out voters in Fata do not enjoy the same legislative representation or accountability as other citizens because Article 247 of the Constitution prevents Fata MNAs (and all members of the National Assembly) from legislating for their area.

 

The committee also convened 53 political party leaders from seven agencies and frontier regions to discuss the realities of campaigning and the status of implementation of the 2011 Fata reforms, including amendments to the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR).

 

Talking to The Express Tribune, PPP leader and Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) Advisor Mirza M Jihadi said with the exception of South Waziristan and Bara, peace has been restored in the region and his party will contest elections from the area.

 

NP Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) President Mukhtar Bacha said all parties have agreed that despite deteriorating law and order they will take part in the election. He demanded the elections should be held in the supervision of the judiciary instead of the political administration.

 

JI Provincial Amir Professor Mohammad Ibrahim said displaced by conflict, the internally displaced persons (IDPs) deserve the same right to vote as all Pakistanis.

 

PML-N spokesperson Arsallah Khan Hoti welcomed the extension of the Political Parties Act to the tribal areas and said they had received a large number of applications from Fata despite security problems in the area.

 

The meeting highlighted the shortcomings in the implementation of the Political Parties Order extension and obstacles to their operations in the tribal areas.

Tribal leaders said the 40 recommendations should be approved before the general elections. The recommendations will be submitted for immediate consideration to the new caretaker government as well as the President, the election commission, NADRA, SAFRON ministry, K-P governor and the Fata Secretariat.

 

Salient recommendations

 

1.     The government should ensure proper implementation of FCR amendments and Political Parties Order 2011

 

2.     Political parties should be permitted to hold meetings without restrictions or advance notice


3.     Any ‘vote-buying’ activities should be punishable by law, including the disqualification of candidates violating the regulation

 

4.     Reserved MNA seats for women of Fata should be established, polling stations for women should be set up in all agencies and Frontier Regions

 

5.     Access and security should be provided to the media so that they can enter Fata and freely cover elections and political parties

 

6.     Fata should be represented in the federal cabinet of the caretaker government

 

7.     The governor must not interfere in or influence elections

 

8.     The army is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

 

9.     All of these recommendations should be implemented and enforced immediately, prior to the day of general elections 2013


Via @PakistanWeekly
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Removing the 'R-word' from law - USA TODAY

Removing the 'R-word' from law - USA TODAY | Gov & Law Skinny | Scoop.it
Removing the 'R-word' from law
USA TODAY
Removing the 'R-word' from law. A massive movement to stop using the R-word word for people with intellectual disabilites takes a legal turn in Florida, where advocates want the word removed from state law.
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Jordyn Prouty's comment, March 21, 2013 1:27 PM
I think what this little girl is doing is really good, The R-Word is a very bad representation for having people have a meaning for them, what im trying to say is that the R-Word should get banned for good from the dictionary and be replaced by more nicer words or as nice as they can go.
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Microsoft Releases Report on Law Enforcement Requests - New York Times

Microsoft Releases Report on Law Enforcement Requests - New York Times | Gov & Law Skinny | Scoop.it
ZDNet Microsoft Releases Report on Law Enforcement Requests New York Times BERLIN — Microsoft on Thursday disclosed for the first time the number of government law enforcement requests it had received for data on its hundreds of millions of...
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Ark. panel considers school choice law rewrite - San Francisco Chronicle

Ark. panel considers school choice law rewrite - San Francisco Chronicle | Gov & Law Skinny | Scoop.it
KTBS
Ark. panel considers school choice law rewrite
San Francisco Chronicle
Johnny Key's proposal to rewrite a 1989 school choice law that a federal judge struck down last year.
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Ben Johnson's comment, March 14, 2013 12:22 PM
I think all kids should just be treated EQUALLY! No segregation needed, that's just not right at all.. They shouldn't even feel like that could happen, it's 2013!!
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BHP Billiton denies breaking law in Olympics deal - NBCNews.com

BHP Billiton denies breaking law in Olympics deal - NBCNews.com | Gov & Law Skinny | Scoop.it
NBCNews.com
BHP Billiton denies breaking law in Olympics deal
NBCNews.com
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -Global mining giant BHP Billiton is under investigation by U.S.
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Winston, Venable, SNR Denton, Mayer: Business of Law - Bloomberg

Winston, Venable, SNR Denton, Mayer: Business of Law - Bloomberg | Gov & Law Skinny | Scoop.it
Winston, Venable, SNR Denton, Mayer: Business of Law
Bloomberg
Winston & Strawn LLP is opening a Brussels office in June, which will be led by antitrust and competition lawyer Peter Crowther. It will be the firm's 16th office and the fifth in Europe.
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Washington gay couple who married under new law now seeks pot license - Fox News

Washington gay couple who married under new law now seeks pot license - Fox News | Gov & Law Skinny | Scoop.it
Washington gay couple who married under new law now seeks pot license Fox News While marijuana remains illegal under federal law, both states legalized the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana last November and are setting up rules to govern...
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Ben Johnson's comment, March 12, 2013 12:48 PM
Honestly, I feel as though marijuana is no problem.. That's just how I feel about it, though, I know other people have different views I see no problem, same with the game marriage as far as that goes, i think people that don't agree with it, then just ignore it.
Ben Johnson's comment, March 12, 2013 12:48 PM
gay*
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'Law-Abiding, Taxpaying' Gun Owner Defends Ownership of AR-15 ...

'Law-Abiding, Taxpaying' Gun Owner Defends Ownership of AR-15 ... | Gov & Law Skinny | Scoop.it
Joe Minney, of Chillicothe, Ohio, is a self-described law-abiding, taxpaying American citizen who owns an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. He selected the weapon for a number of reasons, including home defense, hunting and ...
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Boehner Calls Tax-Law Rewrite One of 'Highest' Priorities - Bloomberg

Boehner Calls Tax-Law Rewrite One of 'Highest' Priorities - Bloomberg | Gov & Law Skinny | Scoop.it
Bloomberg Boehner Calls Tax-Law Rewrite One of 'Highest' Priorities Bloomberg U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said one of his “highest” priorities is to overhaul the U.S. tax system.
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Pro-gun-law forces cancel showdown - New York Post

Pro-gun-law forces cancel showdown New York Post A Potentially explosive confrontation over Gov.
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