PESHAWAR - Tribal elders from FATA region here Friday have demanded of the government either to declare FATA as fifth province or establish there immediately an independent legislative council on the pattern of Northern Areas. They said this while hailing the abolishment of FCR and government's efforts for peace in the FATA region in a press conference here Friday. They said that dialogue for resolving the issue of militancy was better than using the guns. However, they said that illiteracy and poverty are the real issues, which need to be addressed immediately and they also demanded of the government that projects for the uplift of FATA region should be initiated forthwith. The elders who spoke on the occasion were Mohammad Ismail from Aurakzai Agency, Sahibzada Younis Khyber Agency, Yousaf Khan Mohmand Agency, Mohammad Rafiq Kurram Agency and Said Rehman Bajaur Agency. They unanimous supported the steps of the newly elected federal government for peace in the region. They said that FATA reforms package should be implemented at once; however, in the same, they stressed the need for implementing Islamic Shariah in the tribal belt instead of the FCR. On their behalf, Mohammad Ismail said that they were confronting numerous challenges, and the new government had not only listened to their enormous problems, but also started taking steps for resolving them. On the announcement  about the abolition of Frontier Crimes Regulation, he said that tribesmen fully supported the government steps whether to do away with the FCR or to amend it. "We are welcoming the government efforts about the peace process. We want peace on our land and would support the government for maintenance of tranquillity in the region. With the efforts of the govt peace would be restored in tribal area and life would return to the belt," Ismail said. Listing a number of demands, he said that the government should take special measures for promotion of higher education in the tribal areas, by setting up degree, commerce, technical and vocational colleges both for men and women in every tehsil. The establishment of a medical college and engineering and general universities in the tribal areas was their longstanding demand, which should be fulfilled, he remarked and added that unemployment in the tribal areas was increasing with each passing day, so proper attention to solve this problem should also be given. Similar to other parts of the country, the federal government should increase jobs quota for the youth of FATA, and they should be engaged in development work, the tribal elder remarked. Also, he called upon the government to link all the tribal agencies with each other through a network of highways, which would usher in an era of progress and development in the region. The families of the affected people in the military operations in the tribal belt must be compensated, and the Political Parties Act should be extended to FATA, which he termed as necessary for freedom of expression for the tribal people. It is worth mentioning that tribal elders of both the South and North Waziristan Agencies were not present at the press conference; however, they said that they fully supported the above said views.