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FATA reforms: Opposition walks out over govt’s failure to table bill in NA

The opposition staged a walk out in the in National Assembly on Tuesday after the government failed to table a bill pertaining to reforms in the tribal areas.
During the assembly session, chaired by Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah criticised the callous attitude of the government regarding the bill.
He remarked that the government is not serious about the implementation of the FATA Reforms Bill.
“Seventy years have passed, we must work towards solving the problems of people of FATA,” he said, adding “we hope that FATA Reforms Bill is part of the assembly agenda tomorrow [Wednesday].”
“Our stance was very clear, if you don’t do this [table the bill] then it is an insult of the Parliament,” he said, adding “we want the Parliament to be respected.”
The opposition leader further said that they will continue to stage walkouts till a clarification is given for delaying the matter.
After the opposition walked out, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Hamid-ul-Haq pointed out the lack of a quorum due to which the session was adjourned until 10am Wednesday (tomorrow).
The recommendations to bring FATA at par with the rest of the country were approved by the federal cabinet on March 2.
Once FATA is made part of KP, the province’s share in the National Finance Commission will increase, as 3 per cent will be earmarked for the region.
Read more: Opposition irked by govt failure to present FATA Reforms Bill in NA
The KP Assembly had adopted a resolution on December 14, 2016, in favour of merging FATA with KP, that would help rehabilitate and reconstruct the infrastructure including roads, communications, power lines, water supply, education and health facilities.
The government on Monday failed to table the bill, drawing the opposition’s ire over the delay.
Lawmakers from the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), PTI and those from FATA tore copies of the assembly agenda in protest over the delay.
MNA Shahabuddin, who is also a member of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) from Bajaur Agency, protested over the change in the assembly agenda. He was joined by other lawmakers from the tribal areas.
The parliamentary affairs minister said the debate on FATA reforms was temporarily postponed and the matter would soon be made part of the assembly agenda.
“There is further consultation required on the bill, which is why it was not tabled,” Aftab explained.
Murtaza Javed Abbasi, the deputy speaker of the assembly, intervened and attempted to defuse the situation.
“The minister for parliamentary affairs has given an explanation and the bill would be tabled in the house in the next two to three days,” Abbasi said, adding that the bill could not be included in the agenda on “technical basis.”