PESHAWAR - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Tuesday passed The Local Government (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015 amid walk-out of JUI-F legislators to pave way for the establishment of district and tehsil councils in all districts of the province. The assembly was met with Speaker Asad Qaiser in the chair. Senior Minister for Local Government Inayatullah Khan presented the Bill namely The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Local Government (Second Amendment) Bill- 2015 in the house.

The Bill was also included the proposed for establishment of two different district councils for districts Kohistan and newly curved out district of Kohistan Lower.

Maulana Asmatullah, JUI-F legislator, said that the proposed amendment is against the constitution of 1973, saying the area is provincially administered tribal area and no legislation would be made for them without the approval of the President of Pakistan. Furthermore, he also termed the matter as subjudice.

Leader of Opposition Maulana Lutfur Rehman also stood in the support of his colleague and proposed the constitution of a committee for carrying out detailed review of the legislation to come out with a unanimous solution to the matter.

The minister however declined to pay any heed to the proposals of the opposition legislators and said that the provincial assembly has been mandated to make legislations for the districts of the province while districts are made on administrative basis. He said that as the Local Council is responsible for holding elections in all districts and tehsils, therefore, they are bringing the proposed amendment in the Local Government Act. He said that new district in Kohistan had already been made where Deputy Commissioner (DC) and District Police Officer (DPO) are also posted.

Regarding the contentions that the matter is subjudice, he said a petition in this regard has already been rejected by the Abbottabad Bench of Peshawar High Court. He dispelled the impression that the matter is repugnant to the constitution.

He said that after the passage of the bill from the provincial assembly, a summary will be sent to the Governor House and after his approval it would be sent to the President of Pakistan through the Department of Home and Tribal Affairs.

Defending the amendment, he termed the proposed legislation must for the Local Bodies’ polls scheduled in May this year in the province. Otherwise, he said it will affect the whole process.

Provincial Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Imtiaz Shahid Qureshi also supported the amendment and said that as none of the court had issued stay order, therefore there is no restriction on making legislation in this regard.

Abdul Sattar Khan, a PML-N legislator from Kohistan also supported the government and said that the issue is more political than legal. He requested the chair for passage of the bill.

The speaker later put the bill for vote and the house adopted it amid the walk-out of the opposition JUI-F legislators from the house. The speaker later adjourned the session till 2pm Friday.