FATA Reforms Bill: Opposition, tribal MPs make hat-trick of NA boycott

 ISLAMABAD –  Opposition and FATA lawmakers Wednesday scored a hat-trick of their boycott from the National Assembly session over the dropping of ‘FATA reforms bill’ from the agenda by the government.

The opposition side warned the government of en-masse resignations of FATA MNAs from the National Assembly if the government does not put the bill on the agenda in the upcoming proceedings.

The house could not dispose of even a single agenda item and was abruptly adjourned due to lack of required strength.

PPP’s Naveed Qamar, with the start of proceedings, made it clear to the government to put the ‘FATA reforms bill’ on the agenda. “We (opposition) will not become part of the proceedings till the government put the bill in the agenda,” said Qamar while announcing to boycott the house.

AML Chief Sheikh Rashid, on his turn, said that FATA members could deliberate to tender resignations from the lower house over dropping the bill from the agenda. He said that they might support the step of FATA members. “The government has damaged sanctity of the parliament by dropping the bill from the agenda of proceedings,” he said, mentioning that this bill was being dropped on the will of ‘two personalities’.

About ‘Daesh’ known as ISIS, Rashid said, the government should take proper precautionary measures as ‘Daesh’ is being shifting itself near the border of Pakistan.

Speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq, sensing the intentions of opposition, asked them to initiate discussion on crop of sugarcane. “The reforms in tribal areas are an important matter and deliberations are taking place to resolve the matter,” he said.

Shah Jee Gul Afridi from FATA, seemingly ready to disrupt the proceedings of the house, pointed out lack of quorum. As a result, the house, without taking a single agenda item, was adjourned. The house at the onset of proceedings saw very thin presence on both sides of the aisle.

The current assembly session was adjourned for the fifth time on quorum issue. The government side has continuously been failed to gather even 86 MNAs out of 188 MNAs (required strength) to smoothly run the proceedings.

The FATA parliamentarians had a number of times threatened the federal government to fully implement the proposed ‘FATA reforms’, as otherwise they would not allow to run the parliament and other main institutions. FATA lawmakers had asked the government to take practical steps for FATA reforms, including representation of FATA in 2018 general elections, proper share in National Finance Award (NFC) award etc.

They had also threatened that people from tribal areas might gather in the federal capital for staging a sit-in. Both the allied parties – JUI-F and PkMAP – the allied parties of PML-N had reportedly opposed the FATA reforms bill.


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