Committee on Fata reforms converted into cabinet body

The federal cabinet on Tuesday deliberated upon the Fata reforms issue and granted ex-post facto approval to the formation of National Implementation Committee on Fata Reforms, besides converting the committee into a cabinet body in order to expedite the process of mainstreaming the restive tribal areas.
Sources told that the decision to convert the already-constituted committee under Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi into a cabinet level body was aimed at providing sanctity to its decisions and would help expedite the process.
Defence Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Sartaj Aziz, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and the Peshawar corps commander have also been included in the high-level implementation committee headed by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.
The sources said the prime minister had reiterated the government’s commitment to abolishing the Frontier Crimes Regulations from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas as a first step towards bringing the war-torn tribal region on a par with other developing areas of the country.
The sources said that so far no decision had been taken for immediate merger of Fata with KP and the cabinet had decided to take steps in this direction after consultation with all the stakeholders.
According to the sources, the cabinet decided to take steps for implementation of a resolution passed by the Senate seeking enhancement of its role and powers to protect the rights of the provinces and provide a meaningful participation to the provinces and other territories in the affairs of the federation.
The cabinet also approved an amendment to the Schedule of FIA Act, 1974, aimed at bringing the offences of blasphemy and pornography under the ambit of Prevention of Electronic Crime Act, 2016.