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Consultations over FATA Reforms Bill will continue, says Fazl

ISLAMABAD:  Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam- Fazl (JUI-F) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Tuesday said that further consultations for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) Reforms Bill will continue to be held.

“We will continue to hold discussions with the government over FATA Reforms Bill,” Rehman said, adding that additional meetings with the military leadership will not be required.

“The prime minister, Minister for States and Frontier Regions Qadir Baloch, and National Security Advisor Lieutenant General (retired) Nasser Janjua visited my residence last night. We had a detailed discussion and decided to continue discussions,” Rehman told the media.

The JUI-F said that he met the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa in the prime minister’s chambers Tuesday after he was informed that the latter wished to meet him.

“We presented our stance to them which was to gain the approval of the FATA supreme council,” he said. “Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi agreed to our request to meet the supreme council and try to get them to agree on the matter.”

The JUI-F chief met with the COAS General Bajwa to discuss the FATA Reforms Bill on Tuesday, according to sources.

During the meeting, which lasted for an hour and a half and was attended by the Director-General of the Inter-Services Intelligence and Director-General of Military Operations, Rehman expressed his reservations over the FATA Reforms Bill and was assured by the army chief that the reservations will be addressed, said sources.

Following the meeting, Rehman expressed his satisfaction at the meeting with the army chief.

According to sources, the meeting was arranged by the prime minister, however, the JUI-F chief refused to make a comment.

“We are working as per our schedule but I can’t say anything about the approval of FATA Reforms Bill during this session,” Rehman said.  INP

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