Wednesday May 23 2018

Parliamentary committee agrees on amendment for KP-FATA merger


ISLAMABAD: A session of the parliamentary leaders under Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was held on Wednesday, where the leaders finally agreed upon the amendment in the Constitution for the merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), sources said.

The session was attended by Barrister Zafarullah, Senate Opposition leader Sherry Rehman, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi, and Aftab Sherpao.

According to sources, earlier the government allies had a difference of opinion over the issue of FATA reforms.

The coalition partners demanded that their 12 seats should be allotted in the National Assembly, sources said.

The coalition members demanded that when the Internally Displaced People return to their homes, new census should be held.

The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party members boycotted the session.

The amendment bill for the merger is expected to be presented to the National Assembly on Thursday.

On Tuesday, the amendment was approved by the Federal cabinet in a session presided over by the prime minister.

The seats for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly will increase to 147 from the current 126 after its merger with Federally Administered Tribal Areas, according to the proposed 30th Amendment of the Constitution.

The general seats of the provincial assembly will increase from 99 to 117, the bills states. Moreover, the seats for women will be increased from 22 to 26, while religious minorities’ seats from three to four.

The KP Assembly had adopted a resolution on December 14, 2016, in favour of merging FATA with KP with the aim of rehabilitating and reconstructing the infrastructure including roads, communications, power lines, water supply, education and health facilities.

In a meeting on December 26, 2017, the federal cabinet approved the formation of a high-level national implementation committee for FATA reforms.