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NA passes 31st Constitutional Amendment Bill to merge FATA with KPK

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The National Assembly on Thursday passed the Constitution (31st Amendment) Bill 2018 for much-awaited merger of Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, bringing an end to Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) in the tribal region.

The Federal Minister for Law and Justice Chaudhry Mahmood Bashir Virk moved the FATA-KP merger bill in the Lower House.

The lawmakers belonging to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) staged a walkout from the assembly when the voting started.

As many as 229 members of the assembly voted in favour of the Constitution (31st Amendment) Bill 2018 while one member voted against it.

Now the Constitution (31st Amendment) Bill 2018 (Fata Merger Bill) would be
tabled in the Senate on Friday.

According to the 31st Constitutional amendment, FATA will be granted 16 general seats, four seats for women and one seat for non-Muslims in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly.

Elections to these seats shall be held within one year after the general elections 2018.

The amendment reduces the number of seats in the National assembly from 342 to 336. The members of the National assembly from FATA to be elected in 2018 election shall continue till dissolution of the Lower House.

According to the Constitutional amendment, the number of seats of Senate has been reduced to 96 from 104. The existing members of the Senate from the FATA shall continue till expiry of their respective terms of office.

The Constitutional amendment also envisages amendments in article 246 and repeals article 247 which place the tribal areas under the command and control of President.

Earlier while speaking on the floor of the House, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the Constitution amendment on FATA was a joint bill of the government and the opposition.

The prime minister said it was aimed at changing 150 years old system in the tribal areas.

Earlier the House – Chaired by the Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq – passed with majority of the vote, four bills related to nationalization of banks, investment corporation, State Bank of Pakistan Banking Service Corporation and agricultural and commercial loans.

Mati
Mati-Ullah is the Online Editor For DND. He is the real man to handle the team around the Country and get news from them and provide to you instantly.

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