General

KP-FATA merger bill presented in Senate

The constitutional amendment bill on the merger of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas was presented in Senate on Friday.
The bill titled Thirty-First Amendment Act, 2018 was presented by Minister for Law and Justice Chaudhry Mahmood Bashir Virk, while the session is being headed by Senate Chairperson Sadiq Sanjrani.
The speaker announced voting on the bill would be carried out after Friday prayers.
After the approval from the Senate, President Mamnoon Hussain will sign it turning into a law.
The National Assembly on Thursday passed the constitutional amendment bill with over two- thirds majority paving the way for the merger.
Two hundred and twenty-nine members parliamentarians voted in favour of the constitution amendment while one voted against it. The bill was opposed by government-allied parties Jamiat-e-ulema-Islam (JUI-F) and Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP).
The amendment will bring an end to colonial-era laws governing the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), extending the writ of Pakistani courts to its districts and increasing development assistance to its residents.
Moreover, the KP assembly has summoned a session at 2pm on Sunday to mull over merger strategy. However, JUI-F have announced to surround the provincial assembly to protest passage of bill.
‘Bill passed with national consensus'”Today this house has approved a historic bill, which will have very positive effects for Pakistan. I thank the opposition for their support,” Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi told legislators after the vote.
“We need to provide (FATA residents) with all those facilities which are available to the people in the rest of Pakistan,” he added.
PM Abbasi also said that a committee worked for over two years and presented a report that had led to the constitution of the FATA implementation committee.
“The committee report was assessed by civil and military leadership including the army chief,” he said, adding that the bill was approved with a consensus of the government and opposition members.
“I am thankful especially to Khursheed Shah, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, and Farooq Sattar,” he said.