PM Abbasi terms KP-FATA merger Bill passage as a beginning towards FATA mainstreaming

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Thursday has said that the historic bill passed by the National Assembly for merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would have positive outcomes for Pakistan, Newsone reported.

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Addressing the National Assembly after the House adopted a landmark bill by two-third majority, the prime minister said both the treasury and opposition benches had shown a great spirit by supporting the government to enact the legislation.

He said the government had been striving to make the legislation for the last four years and had formed a FATA Reforms Committee led by Sartaj Aziz.

He thanked opposition leaders Syed Khurshid Shah, Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Farooq Sattar for supporting the government.

The prime minister viewed that Pakistan could not afford any delay in elections as the incumbent government would continue till May 31, 2018 that required constitutionally to hold general elections within 60 days.

Prime Minister Abbasi said the passage of the bill was just a beginning of a process for the uplift of FATA. “We have to win the trust of people in FATA, not through mere slogans but actions and development in FATA,” he added.

Earlier today,  following the voting of members from different political party, the National Assembly on Thursday has passed the bill pertaining to the merger of FATA with KP province.

Th bill was tabled by the Law Minister  Chaudhry Mehmood Bashir Virk.

Voting on each clause of the bill was concluded in the afternoon. The bill required two-third majority to be passed.

As NA Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq called for voting on the clauses of the bill, 229 lawmakers voted in favour of the first clause while 11 opposed it. Meanwhile, the second clause was favoured by 229 lawmakers and opposed by three.

The bill has been supported by every party in the assembly except  JUI(Fazl-ur Rehman) Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party members.

On Tuesday, parliamentary committee  agreed on the constitutional amendment pertaining to bring FATA within the legal ambit of Pakistan.

Furthermore, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan attended the NA session.

It is pertinent to mention that by passing of this bill it is the 31st constitutional amendment.

The seats for the KP assembly will increase to 147 from the current 126 after the province’s merger with FATA.

The general seats of the provincial assembly will increase from 99 to 117. The seats for women will increase from 22 to 26, and religious minorities’ seats from three to four.

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