ISLAMABAD -  Lawmakers yesterday urged the government to allocate seats in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly for Fata in the general elections 2018.

The National Assembly session, with a thin presence from both sides of the aisle, witnessed several suggestions and criticism about the report of Committee on Fata Reforms laid before the house a couple of days before.

It was suggested to abolish the outdated laws in Fata. The MNAs also raised objections over political agents system in the tribal area.

Taking part in the debate, PPP parliamentary leader Naveed Qamar said there was a dire need for Fata reforms in the area. “Women are not getting proper rights in these areas, as the old system of the British era was still practised in the region,” he said, stressing the need for abolishing the old laws.

He was of the view that the federal government had the power to abolish the existing laws only with a notification in Fata. He also spoke against the political agent system in the area. “Customs are respected, but there should not be any exploitation,” he added.

PPP-S leader Aftab Sherpao, on his turn, lauded the Fata reforms report. “It was being guessed that this report will not be different from that introduced in the past,” he said, lauding different recommendations of the report. He said there was no provision in the law to give Fata the status of province.

Sherpao asked the government to allocate seats for the people of Fata in the elections 2018.

ANP lawmaker Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour said there was a need to immediately introduce reforms for Fata. “The process of reforms should be introduced without any delay,” he said.

MQM’s Abdul Waseem said there was no need to merge Fata with KP. “It could be difficult for both KP and Fata due to plethora of issues,” he added. The house will continue the debate on the Fata reforms in its upcoming sittings.

The house passed ‘The Central Law Officers (Amendment) Bill, 2016’, ‘The Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils (Amendment) Bill’ and ‘The Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Bill 2016’ in not more than five minutes. All the three bills were introduced by Law Minister Zahid Hamid.