Allaying lawmakers concerns

It is quite appreciable that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on return home from Istanbul, Turkey, after attending OIC Emergency Summit on Jerusalem there has held a session in Islamabad on Friday with the party heads represented in Parliament to end the stalemate over FATA Reforms bill to bring the tribal areas in the national judicial system.
Some confusion had somehow arisen after FATA Reforms bill being placed on the agenda of the National Assembly for consideration and passage and then its sudden withdrawal at the last minute. Quite obviously, everyone is in favour of bringing the tribal areas people into mainstream and letting them enjoy fundamental rights, laws and other facilities like all other Pakistanis.
The federal cabinet under the chairmanship of the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had considered the Sartaj Aziz FATA Reforms Committee recommendations earlier this year and decided on a number of steps mainly being the FATA merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Merger FATA as such is not an easy process, it involves somewhat lengthy procedures.
When it was announced that the federal government is bringing a bill in the next National Assembly session extending the jurisdictions of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and Peshawar High Court to the tribal areas, this was duly welcomed by all. But when the bill was suddenly withdrawn, this had led to opposition boycotting the NA session. Apparently the bill was withdrawn without taking the legislatures from both sides of the House into confidence about the reasons for sudden withdrawal.
Asim Munir

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