NA clears bill extending SC, PHC jurisdiction to Fata
ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly has passed a bill extending the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and Peshawar High Court (PHC) to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).
Law Minister Chaudhry Mehmood Bashir Virk moved ‘The Supreme Court and High Court (Extension of Jurisdiction to the Fata) Bill 2017.”
Except for the Jamiat Ulema-eislam-fazl (JUI-F), the government and opposition parties supported the legislation.
Before moving a list of amendments rejected by the House, JUI-F lawmaker Naeema Kishwar made a failed attempt to disrupt proceedings by pointing out lack of quorum though the required strength was present on THE loor. SHE also staged a two-minute token walkout against the legislation.
She called for substituting words “Peshawar High Court” with the “Islamabad High Court.”
The government assured the lawmakers of bringing other reforms too, including the merger of Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) as per recommendations of the Fata Reforms Committee. The bill for merger of Fata with the KP still hangs in the balance due to opposition from the JUI-F and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP).
Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch said the bill for the Fata-kp merger would be introduced at an appropriate time. He said credit went to the government for abolition of the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) and extension of superior courts’ jurisdiction to the tribal areas. “Today all the political parties are united on mainstreaming of tribal areas. The tribal areas will also be merged with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at an appropriate time as per the recommendations of Fata Reforms Committee,” he said.
Opposition Leader Syed Khursheed Shah termed it a step towards mainstreaming of the tribal areas. “Another step towards the merger of Fata with the KP should also be made,” he said.
Shah said the people of tribal areas HAD GIVEN numerous SACRIICES AND they should be rewarded by merging Fata with the KP province.