No FATA - KP merger: We can sell the national interest for few votes

No FATA - KP merger: We can sell the national interest for few votes

ISLAMABAD: Nawaz Sharif led PMLN government has decided not to merge FATA with KP, after a year-long debate in the parliament on much-awaited merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The government on Wednesday passed the buck to the next government on the decision regarding the controversial issue.

It is believed that the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) made this decision apparently to avoid annoyance of its two allies — Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F (JUI-F) and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) — when general elections are just around the corner. JUI-F emir Maulana Fazlur Rehman and PkMAP president Mehmood Khan Achakzai have been strongly opposing the merger plan on the pretext that it is against the will of Fata people.

On the other hand, major opposition parties — the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) — are in favour of the merger.

Minister for States and Frontier Region (Safron) retd Lt Gen Abdul Qadir Baloch told the National Assembly on Wednesday that the coming government would execute the merger of tribal areas with KP.

“No legislation is being made in this regard and the present status of Fata will remain intact,” he added.