ISLAMABAD: The members of opposition parties staged a walkout from the National Assembly (NA) on Thursday in a bid to press the government to introduce the FATA Reforms Bill.
The recommendations to bring the tribal areas at par with the rest of the country were approved by the federal cabinet on March 2 but the matter has been delayed since then.
As the NA session went under way, after being adjourned for three days in a row due to a lack of quorum, NA Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi allowed members of the opposition to speak first.
Addressing the house, Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah said the government wants to sideline the FATA reforms and the area’s merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He stated that the people of tribal areas want their rights. Pakistan Peoples Party’s Naveed Qamar said the government is being blackmailed to not present the bill in Parliament.
Later, an ally of the ruling party and chief of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami League Mahmood Khan Achakzai said everyone wants to solve the issue.
Achakzai, whose party along with another government ally Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl has been opposing FATA’s merger with KP, said the Frontier Crimes Regulation in the tribal areas should be abolished first.
He also called for the formation of a committee with all stakeholders to debate over the matter and demanded a separate governor for FATA.
Later, as Qaumi Watan Party chief and former interior minister Aftab Sherpao was speaking, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MNA Ali Muhammad said he who wants to “talk about Kabul should go there”.
Then, the opposition members walked out saying until the bill is presented they will not attend the NA sessions. INP