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Friday Nov 09 2018

PM for foiling designs of forces acting against erstwhile FATA's merger

Prime Minister Imran Khan says the federal government will play its role in getting merged areas their share in the NFC award. — Geo News FILE

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Friday that some forces were acting against the merger of now-defunct Federally Administered Tribal Areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, urging the masses to foil their nefarious designs.

The prime minister said so while presiding over a meeting to review progress of administrative and other affairs relating to merged areas.

Officials gave a detailed briefing to Khan regarding these affairs. They informed that several departments, previously under the FATA Secretariat, had been handed over to the KP government, including education, zakat and ushr, social welfare and population welfare.

They said the transfer of other departments from the secretariat was also under way.

A special committee had been constituted for 10-year development planning of merged areas, the officials briefed the PM, which will be headed by KP chief minister.

They further said that consultation was ongoing with the federation for allocation of 3 per cent of National Finance Commission (NFC) award for these areas.

The prime minister was also briefed on progress of judicial and other affairs in merged areas.

Addressing the attendees, the prime minister said the merger was the tribal areas were merged with the province to bring a visible change in the lives of the residents of those areas.

"A few forces are acting against FATA's merger and misleading the masses for the sake of their ulterior motives," he said. "Together we have to foil their designs."

Khan directed that the reforms process should be such that it makes the people of these areas realise that the merger was meant for their betterment.

"The administrative and other reforms should not cause difficulties for the people," he told officials at the meeting.

The prime minister said the merged areas lag far behind other areas of the country in terms of development. "Everyone will have to come together and struggle for bringing these areas at par with rest of the country."

He also said the federal government will play its role in getting merged areas their share in the NFC award.

The premier further urged for posting officer with bearing good reputation in these areas.

In May 2018, the National Assembly, Senate and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly had passed a bill for K-FATA merger. The constitutional amendment bill was then signed into a law by the then president Mamnoon Hussain on May 31.

Thirty-First Amendment Act, 2018

The National Assembly and Senate had 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.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly had passed the bill with two-thirds majority. The vote count showed that 92 provincial lawmakers voted in favour of the bill and seven in opposition.


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