Day 1 of a new Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, throw out the old maps

Day 1 of a new Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, throw out the old maps

ISLAMABAD: Today, May 28, is the first day of a new Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Federally Administered Tribal Areas or Fata is history. This means the entire map of the area will look different. The people’s CNICs will also carry a new address as will their passports eventually. In fact, an entirely new way of talking about this part of Pakistan will begin.

Celebrations broke out across the region on Sunday night with spectacular fireworks at the Bab-e-Khyber.

On Sunday, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly passed the FATA merger bill, as scores of JUI-F protesters clashed with police outside the assembly in an attempt to prevent the bill from becoming law. Still, as journalist Murtaza Solangi put it, it was a “rare occasion when the far right, far left, right of the center and left of the centre, religious, secular, civil and military were all are united” on changing the law.

The only dissenting front came from the JUI-F whose workers  rioted on the road outside the assembly building. The area was turned into a battleground as JUI-F workers tried to barge into the assembly building and attempted to stop lawmakers from attending the session.

The provincial assembly dissolves on Monday after the completion of its five-year term.

The Senate and the National Assembly have already passed the FATA merger bill. A tw-third majority is now required in favour of the bill at the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly to clear the way for the merger.

A clash took place between the protesters and law enforcement agencies after stones were thrown at the security team. Police fire tear-gas to disperse the protesters who staged a sit-in and set pro- FATA merger bill banners ablaze.

After the passage of the bill, FATA will get 16 general seats, four seats for women and one seat for non-Muslims in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly. Elections on these seats will be held within a year after the 2018 general elections.

The amendment bill reduces the number of seats in the National Assembly from 342 to 336.

The bill also reduces the number of seats in the Senate from 104 to 96. The existing members of the Senate from FATA will continue to serve until expiry of their respective terms of office.

The constitutional amendment repeals Article 247, which places the tribal areas under the command of the President. APP