The country celebrates the passage of a historic bill in the National Assembly, seeking extension of the jurisdiction of superior courts to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). This bill is especially welcomed by tribesmen and youth in Fata, who see this as the beginning of a new era.

One party is not celebrating however, and it is not the one you would think. Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has spoken against the bill, and its central media wing has issued a statement saying the party leaders at a meeting of their core group had “criticised the approval of the federal government’s bill to extend jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and Peshawar High Court to Fata, terming it insufficient.” PTI has warned the government that the party would resist if the demands for the rights of people of Fata were not fulfilled.

PTI’s motivations for lashing out against the bill are a mystery, considering the party itself was complicit in getting it passed. PTI’s members of the National Assembly were present when the bill was brought on the floor of the house, and none of them raised a single objection, while the bill was voted on unanimously. It is befuddling why PTI leadership, which had a role in drafting and approving the bill, would now break away from the unity of almost all political parties to deem it as incomplete.

Of course the bill is incomplete. The merger of Fata is a process-one that almost all political parties agree upon-and this historic bill, which will improve speedy justice for tribesmen, is just one step of mainstreaming the issue. Reminding the government of an important issue is important, but criticism for the sake of criticism, when all is said and done, is unwarranted, especially if the party’s members had not spoken up when the process was ongoing.