ISLAMABAD - The government has decided to also merge Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa along with FATA.

The bill in this regard will likely to be tabled before the Parliament for legislation tomorrow.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday held a meeting with heads of Parliamentary parties in his chamber and issues relating to FATA and PATA merger in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa came under discussion.

It was further decided in the meeting that Federal Crimes Regulation (FCR) would not be revoked at once and the government would remove some of its draconian clauses to make it acceptable till the time the administrative and judicial infrastructure would be set up in these areas.

The timeline for the merger would be one year but the exercise would most likely to be completed much earlier. After the merger of both FATA and PATA the people of these areas would be given representation in provincial legislature.

The elections to the provincial assembly seats would be done after the delimitation of the constituencies and once the exercise is complete the elections on these seats would be held and the MPs from these areas would join the provincial assembly by next year.

According to the proposed 30th constitutional amendment bill, these areas would be getting 23 provincial assembly seats in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.

The meeting was attended by Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Sherry Rehman, Leader of Opposition in Senate, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Syed Naveed Qamar, Shireen Mazari, Sartaj Aziz, Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, Alhaj Shah Jee Gul Afridi, Sahibzada Tariqullah, Mir. Hasil Bizenjo, Zahid Hamid, Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, Lt. Gen. (R) Abdul Qadir Baloch, Barrister Zafarullah Khan, Mahmood Bashir Virk, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqi, Bilal Rehman and Syed Ghazi Gulab Jamal.

In a related development, the federal cabinet on Tuesday approved an amendment in the Constitution seeking the merger of the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas into the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chaired the meeting of the federal cabinet at PM’s Office.

“The cabinet approved placement of draft Constitutional Amendment before the Parliament for the merger of FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” said an official statement.

Prime Minister Abbasi could not convince Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Pakhtunkhaw Mili Awami Party leader Mehmood Khan Achakzai on the merger issue. The JUI-F chief quit the government amid ‘tension’. The PM, who has only a few days left in the office, is however, confident to finalise the merger before bowing out.

A participant of the meeting told The Nation that Abbasi briefed the ministers about the support by the opposition parties on the merger. “It will be done smoothly. We regret that the JUI-F has taken the issue too far,” he said, quoting the premier.

The cabinet was informed that the Gilgit-Baltistan Council will be retained as advisory body towards the functions of the federal government. 

It was also informed that with the devolution of greater administrative and financial powers to the government of Gilgit-Balitistan, all the rights will be available to the citizens in GB as available to the people in other provinces of Pakistan.

The meeting ratified the decisions of the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet taken during in its meetings held on 08-05-2018 and 11-05-2018.  Decisions of the Cabinet Committee on Energy taken during its meeting on 12-10-2017 were also ratified.

“The federal cabinet ratified the agreement between Pakistan and Bosnia and Herzegovina on co-operation in the sphere of Defence Industry.”

The cabinet approved signing of the memorandum of understanding between the Board of Investment, Pakistan and Business France.

The cabinet approved signing of an MoU between Educational Scientific Productive Complex “International of Kyrgyzstan” Kyrgyz Republic and Allama Iqbal Open University in the field of distance education.

The cabinet approved appointment of Ashtar Abbas, Judge District and Sessions as Judge, Banking Court-IV, Lahore.

The cabinet approved repatriation of Syed Zulfiqar Ali Shah, Judge Banking Court-IV Karachi to High Court of Sindh. Ijlal Hyder Memon, District and Sessions Tando Mohammed Khan has been appointed in his place.

The cabinet approved extension in tenure of Obaid Ahmed Khan, District and Sessions Judge as Special Court (Control of Narcotics Substance-II) Karachi for a further period of two years from 07-05-2018.

Appointment of Justice Chaudhry Shahid Saeed (retd) as Chairman Copyright Board in Intellectual Property Organization -Pakistan was approved.

The meeting approved re-constitution of the Board of Directors of Pakistan National Shipping Corporation and also granted ex-post facto approval for appointment of Chairman, Pakistan National Shipping Corporation, Karachi. Maximum Retail Prices of Drugs were also approved during the meeting.

A proposal for inclusion of various Items in the Compulsory Certification Mark Scheme of Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority was also approved.

The cabinet also approved Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority Gas (Third Party Access) Rules, 2018. The meeting approved National Technical and Vocational Education and Training Policy. The federal cabinet also approved Digital Pakistan Policy.

The cabinet approved signing of Agreement for provision of Grant Facility for $ 14 million to Somalia. The cabinet also approved a proposal for creation of Jinnah Visiting Professorship at London School of Economics.

Reconstitution of Board of Directors, Pakistan Expo Centres was approved. The cabinet also approved nomination of private sector members for the Board of Directors of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan.



PATA also to be merged into KP