ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Thursday passed “Constitution (Thirty-First Amendment) Bill, 2018” with over two thirds majority envisaging merger of FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It was moved by Law Minister Chaudhry Mahmood Bashir Virk.
Two hundred and twenty-nine voted in favour of the constitution amendment while only one against it.
According to the constitution amendment, FATA will be granted sixteen general seats, four seats for women and one seat for non-Muslims in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly. Elections to these seats shall be held within one year after the general elections 2018.
The amendment reduces the number of seats in the National Assembly from three hundred forty-two to three hundred and thirty-six. The members of the National Assembly from FATA to be elected in 2018 election shall continue till dissolution of the Lower House.
According to the constitution amendment, the number of seats of Senate has been reduced to ninety-six from one hundred and four. The existing members of the Senate from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas shall continue till expiry of their respective terms of office.
The constitution amendment also envisages amendments in article 246 and repeals article 247 which place the tribal areas under the command and control of President.
The House has also passed Evening Courts bill, 2017.
It was moved by Law Minister Chaudhry Mahmood Bashir Virk.
Earlier, taking the floor, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbassi said the constitution amendment on FATA is a joint bill of the government and opposition.
He said it is aimed at changing one hundred and fifty years old system in the tribal areas.