Wednesday Jun 13, 2018
ISLAMABAD: Tribal elders and natives of erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) Wednesday staged a protest in Islamabad demanding simultaneous elections in tribal areas and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
The protesters staged a demonstration outside the office of the Election Commission of Pakistan in the federal capital.
They demanded that elections for the provincial assembly seats should be conducted in tribal areas at the same time polls are held in KP.
Later, the participants held talks with a committee comprising officials of the district administration and the ECP.
The ECP officials briefed the protesters on administrative affairs of the tribal belt, after which they called off the protest.
According to the ECP, elections in tribal areas could not be held in July because of some administrative issues.
Last month, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly passed the KP-FATA merger bill with two-thirds majority, after it being already approved from the upper and lower chambers of the Parliament.
The session held on May 27 to vote for the bill was presided over by KP Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, where Chief Minister KP Pervez Khattak was also present.
The vote count showed that 92 provincial lawmakers voted in favour of the bill and seven in opposition.
Last week, the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also re-designated the positions of political agents with deputy commissioners (DCs) in the erstwhile FATA, according to a notification issued by the Home and Tribal Affairs Department.
Similarly, the posts of additional political agents and assistant political agents were also replaced by additional deputy commissioners and assistant commissioners respectively with immediate effect.
The National Assembly and Senate had already passed the bill titled Thirty-First Amendment Act, 2018. In the lower house, the bill was moved by Minister for Law and Justice Chaudhry Mahmood Bashir Virk.
Two hundred and twenty-nine parliamentarians voted in favour of the constitutional amendment, while one voted against it. The bill was opposed by government-allied parties JUI-F and Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP).
In Senate, 71 lawmakers voted in favor of the bill while five opposed the constitutional amendment.