Peshawar — The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly passed the landmark Fata Reforms bill with the required two-thirds majority on Sunday.
The bill required 83 votes to reach a two-thirds majority, to mainstream the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). However, Total 92 members of the 124-seat provincial assembly voted in favour of the bill.
The provincial assembly’s approval means that the tribal borderlands, comprising seven agencies and six Frontier Regions, have been merged with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Tribal people will get representation in the KP Assembly through the amendment.
After the approval by the provincial assembly, Fata comprising seven agencies and six Frontier Regions (FRs) have been merged constitutionally with KP. The people of former Fata will now have a 21-seat representation in the KP provincial assembly.
Large contingents of police were deployed outside the KP assembly building where Speaker Asad Qaiser presided over the session and Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, opposition leader Maulana Lutfur Rehman, and other lawmakers were in attendance.
KP Assembly is completing its 5-year term tomorrow, a day later after the today’s session.
Earlier CM Pervez Khattak said, he informed Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, in a meeting on FATA Reforms 10 days ago, that, “If you don’t do it [Fata merger] now you will leave a problem for future.”
Today you will not leave unless the decision of FATA merger is not taken: COAS to CM KP
He said Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa told him that, “Today you will not leave the meeting unless the decision of FATA merger is not taken.” The CM further added that those who are not affected by the draconian law FCR are protesting against the merger.
Both the National Assembly and Senate of Pakistan has already approved the bill, however, Article 239(4) of the Constitution says that the president cannot assent a constitutional amendment bill which affects geographical boundaries of a province without approval by the assembly of that province.
The JUI protest against the merger
Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam – Fazlur Rehman (JUI-F) workers, most of them came from Fata, had gathered outside the KP assembly since early morning and had threatened to put padlocks on the assembly gates so that no one could make it inside the premises for the session that was scheduled for 2 PM.
At least 14 people have been injured and 20 protesters have been arrested as police clear Khyber and Jail roads. The injured include three policemen, two journalists and nine protesters.