Cabinet okays amendment for FATA-KP merger

Zahid Chaudhary

Islamabad

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 who chaired the meeting approved the presentation of the amendment draft before the parliament.
This comes after the National Security Committee (NSC) chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Saturday evening had endorsed FATA’s merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa along with the introduction of the administrative, judicial institutional structures and laws of the province, said a communique issued after the meeting.
Participants of the NSC meeting had directed the concerned ministries to work out the constitutional, legal and administrative modalities for the merger in consultation with all parties in the Parliament.
According to sources, the constitutional amendment envisages increase in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to 147 from the current 126 after its merger with Federally Administered Triba Areas.
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.
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.
Maximum retail prices of drugs were also approved during the meeting. It approved national technical and vocational education and training policy besides Digital Pakistan Policy.

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