Islamabad – The federal government is to merge Federally Administered Tribal Areas into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province after an approval of the parliament.

As the federal cabinet managed to take both the opposition and allies on board over the merger plan, the process of bringing FATA under the administrative control of the KP government will begin after Parliament’s approval.

The proposed merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was finalized at a meeting, presided over by President Mamnoon Hussain, at the Presidency earlier this month.

Under the proposed plan, Fata would be put under the control of the provincial government through amendments to the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) which would be replaced with the “Riwaj Act”.

An annual grant of Rs. 100 billion has also been proposed for Fata development under the proposed merger and the amount will be given from the federal divisible pool.

Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI) Fazalur Rehman and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party )PkMAP) had expressed their reservations over FATA’s merger but the government has managed to persuade them for the merger. All other political parties including Pakistan People’s Party, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Jamat-i-Islami have already demanded FATA’s merger with KP.

The governing party in KP, PTI’s chief Imran Khan had said last year in December, “The best option is to become part of KP.”

KP’s assembly has also adopted a resolution in favor of FATA’s merger with the province on December 15, 2016.

“The house calls upon the federal government to merge the tribal areas into K-P according to the wishes of people, so that the area can reap the benefits of development,” it stated.

However, Imran Khan had warned against taking decisions rashly and said changes should be made in phases. “The change in the administrative setup during the merger of Swat and Buner with K-P caused the birth of the Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat in the region,” he reminded.

Fata is being governed by the British-era law called Frontier Crime Regulation (FCR) Act which legal experts say is a violation of universal human rights and contradicts the 1973 Constitution.

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