General

Federal cabinet approves constitutional amendment for KP-FATA merger

The Federal Cabinet on Tuesday approved an amendment in the Constitution for the merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had chaired the meeting held in the federal capital earlier today. 
The cabinet also approved the presentation of the amendment draft to the Parliament. 
It was decided in the cabinet meeting that monetary and administrative powers will be transferred to the Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) government, whose council will serve as the advisory board.
Gilgit-Baltistan will have constitutional rights like other provinces, it was approved.
The amendment bill for the merger was expected to be presented to the National Assembly on Wednesday. The drafting of the bill was reportedly completed. 
The government and opposition had also instructed their members to ensure attendance in Wednesday’s session, sources had further said.
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 amendment, which would serve as a means to merge FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, will be presented before National Assembly’s Standing Committee for Law and Justice for approval today.
The general seats of the provincial assembly will increase from 99 to 117, the bills states. Moreover, the seats for women have been increased from 22 to 26, while religious minorities’ seats from three to four.