Afghanistan government disgusting response surfaces over merger of FATA with KP province of Pakistan
*ISLAMABAD: Afghanistan has responded to the merger of the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas of Pakistan into the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.*
*The disgusting response has surfaced in the backdrop of the illogical view of the Afghanistan government which says that the Durand Line is not the recognised border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.*
Earlier a day after the National Assembly passed the historic 31st Amendment Bill, paving the way for the merger of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the Senate on Friday endorsed the bill and passed it with a significant majority.
During voting, 71 Upper House members voted in favour while five Senators from the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) opposed it. The bill needed a total of 69 votes to pass. PkMAP Senators also staged a walkout.
After getting approval from both houses of the Parliament, the bill will now be presented before the K-P assembly.
Taking the floor, senior Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Raza Rabbani claimed the lawmakers did not act on their own in terms of the reforms bill, rather they acted as ‘puppets’. “Although it is a positive step, it would have been better if the initiative had been taken by the Parliament.”
“We had proposed reforms in 2009 through the office of then President Asif Ali Zardari but we were stopped.”
Reflecting on the recent commotion over a separate province in Sindh, Rabbani warned that even though the Lower House of the Parliament had asserted that the 31st Amendment Bill shall lead to more administrative units, “division of provinces on the basis of administrative needs will not be allowed.”
“Every province has a heritage, language, culture and history – a new province will not be allowed without the presence of such ingredients.”
Contradicting Rabbani’s statement that the parliament was acting on ‘directives’ instead of relying on itself, Leader of the Opposition Sherry Rehman said: “At least PPP has its own history and struggle to prove otherwise.”
Rehman maintained that the first committee on Fata was constituted by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. “Benazir Bhutto even moved the top court for the rights of the people of the tribal areas.”
Voting in favour of the bill, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) senator Barrister Saif pointed out that certain articles had been circumvented.
Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Chief Sirajul Haq stressed that the merger will strengthen K-P with additional representation in the Parliament. Condemning the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR), he said a British officer had termed the law “worst”.
Opposing the bill, JUI-F’s Ghafoor Hyderi said there was no logic in the decision. “Since the matter is about the people of Fata and their identity, they should have been asked what they wanted. There were three better options: separate province, repealing of FCR or a council system.”
Meanwhile, PkMAP’s Usman Kakar alleged that the bill was passed in a hurry due to the uncertainty of the upcoming general polls. “I can guarantee that elections will not be taking place.”
Ahead of the Senate session, PPP parliamentary committee reviewed its strategy on the reforms bill for Fata. Rehman, while chairing the meeting, directed all party Senators to ensure their presence in the Upper House of the Parliament. The meeting was attended by Senators including Raza Rabbani, Rehman Malik, Sassi Palejo, Maula Baksh Chandio, Rubina Khalid, Krishna Kumari and others.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreeke-e-Insaf also decided to demonstrate full strength during the session. “Everyone will attend the session on Fata reforms bill on special directions by chairman Imran Khan,” said Faisal Javed Khan.