PESHAWAR: In a historic move on Saturday, the government has allowed domiciles for members of religious minority communities in the country’s northwestern tribal areas. The move came about as Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sardar Mehtab Khan approved a summary forwarded by the secretariat of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) in this regard.
Minorities in Fata can now get domiciles issued wherever they may be residing, sources said.
Before the summary’s approval, members of religious minority communities living in Fata were only allowed resident certificates. However now, members of the Hindu, Sikh and Christian communities can submit domicile forms to concerned political agents.
In 2010, minority communities living in Fata had demanded that the government should give them the right of getting domicile certificates in order to avail job opportunities in their areas.
They had said that the minority members were not allowed to purchase land in Fata despite the fact that they had been living in the region for decades and had no intention of shifting elsewhere.
They had also complained that they could not avail government jobs and most of them were either working in private schools or different kinds of businesses to earn a livelihood.
Referring to ordeals of internally displaced persons from different tribal areas, the minority members had said that Muslims had been provided camps, relief items and registration facilities, but members of minority communities had been kept deprived of these.