Opp boycotts NA over Fata reforms issue

ISLAMABAD – The government for the ninth consecutive day on Thursday could not resolve the Fata reforms issue in the National Assembly, on which the opposition staged a walkout from the house and did not budge an inch from its demand.

The issue began when the government side threw out the Fata reforms bill from the NA agenda despite assurance given to the opposition.

The joint opposition, after the government’s move of not including the Fata reforms issue in the agenda, preferred to stay away from the proceedings.

On Thursday, the last day of the 50th session, the opposition stuck to its stance and, after strongly criticising the government, staged a walkout from the house.

However, the government says it is committed to bringing Fata reforms bill soon after some deliberation on it. “This impression is wrong that the government will table Fata reforms bill on the pressure of the opposition,” said Safron Minister Abdul Qadir Baloch, mentioning the deliberation on the bill had almost reached its last stages. He said the government would table the Fata reforms bill at all cost. “We will take decision in favour of tribal areas, but this matter will not be resolved in haste,” he said.

Earlier, PPP’s Naveed Qamar said the opposition would continue its boycott as the government had not table the Fata reforms bill, despite giving assurance to them. “This is shameful as despite assurance government did not come up to the expectation,” he said. Qamar said the opposition would stick to its stance and opt to stay away from the proceedings of the house.

The house witnessed very thin presence throughout the day as nearly 40 MNAs were present. PPP lawmaker Ramesh Lal, soon after the two speeches, pointed out quorum on which the chair suspended the proceedings for half an hour. The house, after half an hour, again counted the lawmakers, but the required strength (86 MNAs) was not present.

The chair, without taking a single agenda item, prorogued the 50th session.


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