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Opposition stages walkout from NA over Fata reforms bill

ISLAMABAD: Taking a strong exception to the government’s dilly-dallying to present the much-awaited Fata reforms bill, the Opposition on Tuesday staged walkout from the National Assembly.

Leader of the opposition Syed Khursheed Shah took the government to task for dragging its feet to introduce the legislation for the merger of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

After the opposition members boycotted the proceedings of parliament, the session was adjourned till tomorrow due to lack of quorum to run house.

Speaking on the floor of the assembly, Shah said the government has not taken the opposition in the loop over withdrawal of the bill from the session’s agenda.

If the bill was held back owing to technical issues, the government should have apprised the opposition of it, he lamented.

The opposition leader, annoyed by the government’s attitude, said that the government is undermining the parliament. “We want restoration of its respect and sanctity and will stage walkout for the purpose,” he said.

Federal Minister Sheikh Aftab Ahmed tried to pacify the opposition, saying Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had already discussed the Fata reforms bill at length and the government desired to present the bill in parliament after developing consensus among all the parties.

The premier is going to Turkey on a visit and will return on Thursday, he said, adding that after his return, he will hold discussions with all stakeholders to amicably resolve the matter.

The opposition should wait until Friday, he advised.

If the premier will leave for Turkey in the evening he should have attended the session, the opposition leader said.

The issues would get complicated if the government will run away from them instead of finding a solution, he said.



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