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Lawmakers demand provincial status for FATA

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Published: December 16, 2014 03:54 pm

fata naISLAMABAD: Lawmakers in the National Assembly have called for awarding provincial status to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

The demand was raised during a debate on a motion under Rule 259 in the recently-concluded National Assembly session. The motion was moved by the Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions to discuss issues faced by internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the wake of a military operation in North Waziristan.

The Federal Minister, Abbas Khan Afridi, remarked that the plights of IDPs were being ignored by the government. While powers have been devolved to the provinces under the 18th Constitutional Amendment, FATA is not being given its due share as the region does not have the status of a province, he remarked. He called for holding a referendum in the region for this purpose.

Another independent member from FATA sought giving legal status to FATA and called for formation of a joint force committee of Pakistan and Afghanistan on FATA.

A PML-N member criticized the 18th Amendment, saying that it had adversely affected governance in tribal areas. He highlighted the lack of infrastructure and basic facilities in the region, adding that there is no law for the people and no operational high court in the area.

Meanwhile, a member belonging to Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) criticized the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for not helping IDPs seeking refuge in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where the latter has formed a provincial government.

Rule 259 of the National Assembly’s Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business allows a member to move a motion in order to request any policy, situation, statement and other matter to be taken into consideration.

The motion was moved during the ninth sitting of the 16th session and debated by nine lawmakers including a senator, four of whom belonged to FATA with another three from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and two from Sindh.

Party-wise, two lawmakers from the ruling Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz, two independent legislators and one each from Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians, Qaumi Watan Party, Jamaat-i-Islami, MQM and PTI debated the motion for two hours and three minutes.

Posted by on December 16, 2014. Filed under Motions under rule 259,National Assembly. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry