The Senate has approved the KP-FATA Merger Bill on Friday. The approval came after a day after National Assembly approved the constitutional amendment bill on the merger of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas with over two –third of majority.
71 lawmakers voted in favor of nine clauses of the constitutional amendment bill, and five voted against it during the session. 28 lawmakers were not present from the House during the session.
The constitutional amendment bill titled ‘Thirty-First Amendment Act, 2018’ was presented by Minister for Law and Justice Chaudhry Mahmood Bashir Virk. The session is headed by Senate Chairperson Sadiq Sanjrani.
Two hundred and twenty-nine members’ parliamentarians voted in favor of the constitution amendment bill whereas one voted against it. The bill was opposed by Jamiat-e-Ulema-Islam (JUI-F) and Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP).
After the approval of this amendment bill, colonial era laws of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) will come to an end. This will extend the summons of Pakistani courts to its districts and increases development assistance to its residents.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly has called for a session on Sunday 2 pm to consider merger strategy. JUI-F, on the other hand, has announced to surround the provincial assembly to protest on approval of bill.
KP-FATA Merger Bill passed with National Consensus
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also expressed his verdict on this merger. He said,
“Today this house has approved a historic bill, which will have very positive effects for Pakistan. I thank the opposition for their support. We need to provide (FATA residents) with all those facilities which are available to the people in the rest of Pakistan.”
PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also said that a committee worked for over two years and presented a report that had led to the constitution of the FATA implementation committee.
PM Abbasi also said that the report of the committee was also assessed buy civil and military leadership including the army chief. The bill was approved with a consensus of the government and opposition members. He further thanked Farooq Sattar, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, and Khursheed Shah for their support.