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National Assembly Passes Landmark KP-FATA Merger Bill

The National Assembly of Pakistan on Thursday passed the much awaited constitutional amendment bill seeking merger of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) with KPK. The Senate is expected to give its assent on Friday.

The bill was presented by Imran Khan’s PTI and 229 members of the parliament voted in favour of the bill while 8 votes were in opposition. Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUIF) and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) members were not in favour of the bill so they walked out as the voting started. The Law Minister Mahmood Bashir Virk presented the bill in assembly with only eight days remaining in tenure of the current assembly. 

JUI-F and PkMAP were expected to oppose the bill and they walked out from the parliament while MQM members voted in favour after expressing their reservations. The MQM leader Farooq Sattar talked to the media after voting and had to say the party supported the bill and believes in political unity. However, he added, their party believes FATA should be declared a separate province and it would be a lot difficult once FATA is merged into KPK. 

Abdul Qahar representative of PkMAP in the NA defended the party stance and said his party has always believed the bill is controversial. He said his party believes the people of FATA should be given the right to decide their future. He took a jibe at Imran Khan and Sheikh Rasheed saying those who cursed the parliament are now sitting in it. While the JUI-F representative Jamaludin said today is the black day in the history of Pakistan as the assembly is to remove the word FATA from the constitution. He further added that PML-N and PTI have been cursing each other but now they joined hands to usurp the rights of FATA’s people.

JUI-F have always opposed the bill and talking about this party’s stance an independent MNA from FATA revealed that Fazzul Rehman and Mehmood Khan Achakzai were not in favour of the bill as they were aware of the fact that after FATA-KP merger they will not get any funds.

  • FATA Merger
  • National Assembly