PESHAWAR: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday called for the merger of federally-administered tribal areas (FATA) into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in order to effectively combat terrorism in the restive region.

“Right now, there is a vacuum in FATA due to lack of developments and it can only be filled with its speedy merger into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” Khan told a news conference at Hayatabad Medical Complex. “I am afraid that if we don’t speed up the process of FATA’s merger into KPK, the gains of Zarb-e-Azb operation will be reversed,” he warned.

He suggested that local government system should be brought to FATA to lay the foundation for the impoverished region's uplift. The PTI chief also condemned the suicide attack in Peshawar.

“Cowardly acts of terrorism cannot deter our resolve to restore peace,” he said. He directed the provincial government to investigate the terrorist attack from all angles and bring the perpetrators of the violence to justice. Khan said that federal and provincial governments will have to spend funds on uplift of FATA.