ISLAMABAD: After staying at loggerhead for months, the treasury and the opposition members are group to jointly vote for the 26th Constitution Amendment Bill seeking a rise in the amount of seating for the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas ( Fata ) in the National Assembly and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly when the lower house of parliament will go into period after a two-day recess on Monday ( today ).
If all goes surely and the parties manage to ensure the presence of the needed two-thirds members ( 228 in the 342-member NA ) in the home, then it will be the 1st Constitution amendment which will be permitted by the present assembly that came into existence in August after the common elections in July a year ago. The bill had been released by a separate lawmaker from the country’s tribal places Mohsin Dawar, seeking to improve the variety of seats of the former Fata from 6 to 12 in the National Assembly and from 16 to 24 in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly. In the KP Assembly, there will be 4 reserved seats for women and one for minorities, thus creating the number of seats from erstwhile tribal places to 31.
The coalition govt led by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf ( PTI ) wanted to get the bill passed on Thursday soon after the appearance of the record on the bill by the chairman of the house committee on law and justice Riaz Fatiana, but it could not succeed in its plan after the opposition refused to vote for it without having a thorough debate on the problem in the home.
Moreover, the opposition also objected to the suggestions of the law and justice committee record which had suggested a rise of 3 seats, instead of 6, in the National Assembly and 4, instead of 8, in the KP Assembly. Mr. Dawar had agreed on the committee’s offer after viewing opposition to the bill by the subscribers of the ruling coalition who were of the view that he was demanding too much.
However, sources declared when the present members of the assembly from the tribal places met the leadership of the opposition parties to seek their cooperation on the bill, they were said to stick to their original bill seeking to almost twin their seats in the NA and the provincial assembly. When these subscribers said to the ruling party about the opposition’s provide, the ruling PTI also agreed to the proposal for the sake of consensus.
When contacted, Mr. Dawar confirmed that the members of the assembly would vote for the original bill and not the 1 presented by the committee. He declared since the committee’s bill had already been introduced before the home, he would have to shift amendments to the bill to get it restored to the original one. Mr. Dawar expressed the trust that the bill would sail through smoothly in the National Assembly as all the parties had assured him that they would help the bill during Monday’s sitting.
Prime Minister Imran Khan is also likely to attend Monday’s sitting as his presence will ensure the maximum attendance on the treasury benches. The Election Commission of Pakistan ( ECP ) has previously publicized plan for the election on 16 seats of the erstwhile Fata for the KP Assembly. The former Fata places will get the representation in the provincial assembly for the very first time after their merger with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province through the 25th Constitutional Amendment Bill on May 31, 2018, which was the final day of the previous govt of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz ( PML-N ).
Talking in the National Assembly on Friday, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak had stated that the govt wanted to end a sense of deprivation prevailing among the people of erstwhile Fata by providing them basic facilities of health, education, banks, and courts. He declared some Rs100 billion would be spent on erstwhile Fata each year for 10 years. “Of Rs100 billion, a sum of Rs30 billion will be given to the elected representatives under local govt system so that they could spend funds at the village level,” he added.
The defense minister said people of the erstwhile Fata who had safeguarded the country’s borders in the past would be able to take part in Pakistan’s growth as well after Fata’s merger. He declared Fata had 12 seats in the National Assembly and no seat in the provincial assembly of KP before the merger. He expressed the hope that treasury and opposition members would pass the bill with a two-thirds majority on Monday, giving a clear message to the people of tribal districts that nobody would be allowed to deprive them of their due rights.
The Election Commission of Pakistan ( ECP ) also recently granted a schedule for polling in Fata on KP Assembly seats on July 2. By the end of May, the ECP will problem election symbols to candidates. Mr. Dawar declared under the Constitution, the elections in erstwhile Fata places for the provincial assembly seats were to be held by July 25 this year. However, he declared that he would also be moving an amendment seeking a six-month extension in the deadline for holding of the elections.