ISLAMABAD: Reforms bill for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) has been tabled in the Parliament .
The National Assembly is currently voting on the bill which was presented by Law Minister Chaudhry Mahmood Bashir Virk. A total of 229 members were in support of the resolution to table the 31st Amendment Bill 2017 while 11 opposed it.
Those in favour of include Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), PTI, Jamat-e-Islami and the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Lawmakers from the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) opposing the bill, staged a walkout from the session.
The 56th session of the Parliament was attended by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan – who, in a surprise move, also marked his attendance to vote for the merger of Fata with K-P.
Where the government lacked attendance, the opposition was in full strength. Despite JUI-F MNA Maulna Jamaluddin pointing out quorum, the house remained in order. Leader of the Opposition Khurshid Shah told Speaker Ayaz Sadiq that history will remember that for the first time opposition maintained the order of the house.
Earlier in the session, Shah highlighted that the government’s seriousness was depicted by the absence of the majority of its parliamentarians. He asked for the bill to be tabled if the numbers were complete. “The bill could have been passed if the cabinet members had shown,” noted Shah.