Mohsin Dawar
Mohsin Dawar (File photo)

The National Assembly is likely to pass the constitutional amendment bill on Monday for increasing seats of the newly merged tribal districts in National and KP assemblies.

The government and opposition reached a consensus on amendments in the Articles 51 and 106 of the Constitution.

Pashtun Tahafuz Movement’s top leader, and MNA from North Waziristan Mohsin Dawar tabled the 26th Constitution bill on Friday and both the opposition and government backed it in unison.

Mr. Dawar said on Friday after the bill was tabled, “Standing Committee on Law and Justice had approved the bill with amendments and proposed to increase KP Assembly general seats from 16 to 20 and National Assembly seats from six to nine.”

Mohsin Dawar will be the first lawmaker who brought the first constitutional (amendment) bill in Imran Khan’s government.

After Fata’s merger with KP, number of NA seats were reduced to six. Mohsin Dawar had suggested to retain 12 seats of NA and increase general seats for KPA from 16 to 24 seats.

Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak while supporting the bill said people of Fata always expressed their affiliation with Pakistan, adding it was satisfying that the black law like Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) which was used to oppress people, had been abolished.

He said the proposal to give three percent share of National Finance Commission (NFC) award to erstwhile Fata should be supported, adding the tribal areas would get funds of Rs1000 billion in ten years after allocation of share through NFC.

Parliamentary leader of Pakistan Muslim League-N Khawaja Asif said the tribal areas went through great difficulties in the last four decades and were ravaged by war, terrorism and chaos. In the decade of 1980s, he said Pakistan was affected due to proxy wars of super powers and war across the border in Afghanistan.

“Through passage of this bill seeking amendments in the Constitution, we should also give a message that now we will not become tool in hands of any super power,” he said.

“First time the House would pass an amendment bill in the Constitution which moved by a member as private member bill.”

Khwaja Asif

MNA Mufti Shakoor thanked all the parties for supporting the bill for increase in seats. He pointed out that people of Fata had faced bloodshed and difficult conditions as several operations including Rudul Fasad and Zarbe Azab and combing operations were conducted by security forces. He pointed out that these areas urgently needed building of basic infrastructure of hospitals, schools, universities and roads.

Ali Wazir welcomed support of the parties for the bill and for doing away the 1901 Frontier Crimes Regulation and said the new constitutional arrangement would remove deprivation of the people. He demanded that elections should be held on seats in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly within six months.

The present assembly under PTI’s and its allies government has not passed any Constitutional bill yet. If NA passes Dawar’s bill, it will be the first amendment of this assembly.

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