PESHAWAR - To endorse the merger of Federally-Administered Tribal Areas with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa as approved by the National Assembly, a meeting of the KP Assembly will be called within couple of days as tenure of the provincial assembly is going to end by May 28.
The Fata-KP merger bill is also expected to sail through the Upper House of the Parliament on Friday (today), after which the KP Assembly will have to endorse the move. As the KP Assembly has only a few days more, it is expected that a meeting of the assembly will be summoned on Saturday or Sunday to approve the merger plan as passed by the national legislature.
As per Article 239(4) of the Constitution, the president cannot assent a constitutional amendment bill which affects geographical boundaries of a province without approval by the assembly of that province.
Article 239(4) of the Constitution reads, “A bill to amend the Constitution which would have the effect of altering the limits of a province shall not be presented to the president for assent unless it has been passed by the assembly of that province by votes of not less than two-thirds of its total membership.”
If the bill does not get through the KP Assembly, then the fate of Fata merger will be in the hands of new representatives to be elected in the coming general elections. Even after its passage from the National Assembly and the Senate, the president will have to wait to give his assent till the installation of the new assembly.
In a relevant development, following the passage of the much-awaited bill of Fata-KP merger, the PPP lawmaker in the KP Assembly Ziaullah Afridi took his no-confidence motion back against the Speaker KP Assembly Asad Qaiser so that to make way for him to preside over the assembly proceedings.
Due to the no-confidence motion against Asad Qaiser, he was unable to preside over the session. Talking to media persons on the premises of KP Assembly, Ziaullah Afridi said that he took back his motion in the best interest of the tribal people.
Moreover, he said that the PPP leadership had also asked him to take the motion back to ensure smooth passage of the Fata-KP merger bill from the KP Assembly.
In the same breath, he said that it was clear that the PTI-led KP government had failed on all fronts in the province and the coalition leader party had lost majority in the house due to which it was using delaying tactics in summoning the session of the provincial assembly.