National Assembly passes FATA-Khyber Paktunkhwa merger bill

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ISLAMABAD (Pakistan Observer) – The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa merger under the 31st Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2018 has been passed by National Assembly on Thursday.

Law Minister Chaudhry Mahmood Bashir Virk moved the bill, however, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUIF) and Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) opposed it.

The bill was approved clause by clause as 229 members voted in the favor while 11 opposed the bill. FATA will be entitled to get Rs. 100 billion under NFC award as the passing of the bill; KPK laws will be immediately enforceable in FATA.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari assures his party’s support for the bill and instructed party members to ensure the passing of the historic bill.

Under the bill, the laws of Pakistan will be applicable in FATA. In addition, FATA will get Rs1 billion every year for 10 years which will exclusively be for development in FATA. Also, FATA will now be a part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

12 national and 6 provincial seats will remain intact till the elections of 2023. He further said that Frontier Crimes Regulations will be abolished and it will be replaced with an interim governance system till the inclusion of the region with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said Barrister Zafarullah

The seats of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the National assembly will be increased from 48 to 60 after the merger of FATA. The seats for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly will increase to 147 from the current 126 after its merger with FATA.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan also attended the session along with most of his party MNAs. He said that “he could not recall when was the last time he came to the assembly”

FATA-Khyber Pakhtunkhwa merger is a very great step for the prosperity of Pakistan.

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