Tuesday, September 28, 2021

FATA merger: KP Assembly summons key assembly session on Sunday


PESHAWAR: Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has summoned the session of provincial assembly tomorrow (Sunday). The session will likely vote for the Constitution (Thirty-First Amendment) Bill — also known as the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) Reforms Bill, 2018.

Both the houses of the Parliament have already passed the bill with two third majority for merger of FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) has threatened to disrupt the session.

After the provincial assembly’s approval the landmark bill will bring the tribal borderlands, comprising seven agencies and six Frontier Regions, to the mainstream and will be merged with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Tribal people will get representation in the KP Assembly through the amendment.

According to the amended bill, the number of seats in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly will increase to 145 from existing 124. Fata will be granted 16 general seats, four seats for women and one seat for non-Muslims in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.

Elections on these provincial legislature seats shall be held within one year after the general elections 2018.

The amendment reduces the number of seats in the National Assembly from 342 to 336. The members of the National Assembly from Fata to be elected in the 2018 election shall continue till dissolution of the Lower House.

According to the constitutional amendment, the number of seats of Senate will be reduced to 96 from existing 104.  The existing members of the Senate from Fata shall continue till expiry of their respective terms of office.

The constitution amendment also envisages amendments in article 246 and repeals article 247 which place the tribal areas under the command and control of President.


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