PESHAWAR: In the final phase, a session of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly passed on Sunday the KP-FATA merger bill with two-thirds majority, after it is being already approved from the lower and upper houses of the Parliament.
The session held to vote for the bill was presided over by KP Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, where KP Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak was also present.
The vote count showed that 92 provincial lawmakers voted in favour of the bill while seven in opposition.
At the beginning of the session, minority lawmaker Baldev Kumar took oath administered by speaker of the assembly.
The House proceeded to discuss the bill, where Jamaat-e-Islami’s parliamentary leader Anayatullah addressed the assembly.
The JI lawmaker said that Malakand should be given an extensible tax amnesty for 10 years and Rs100 billion annual development package should be given to KP similar as FATA.
The Chief Minister, Pervaiz Khattak also addressed the KP Assembly, where he said people have been accusing him of taking bribe from caretaker Chief Minister.
“Please don’t bring up allegations,” said Pervaiz Khattak, adding that those levelling blame should provide evidence as well.
A resolution was approved in the assembly to exempt Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) from taxes for a time period of 10 years.
The resolution was presented by Dr Haider Ali in the House, which was signed by all the parliamentary leaders of the political parties except for the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl.
The resolution demanded a development package of rs 100 billion for the PATA, same as the FATA region. It also demanded subsidy on electricity.
The resolution also asked for continuation of Sharia justice system in the Malakand Division.
Earlier, protesters clashed with police outside the KP assembly over the merger bill. The police are said to have baton-charged the protesters to stop them from entering the assembly building. The police also shelled tear-gas and used water cannons to disperse the protesters.
However, the protesters, who are reported to be members of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl, pelted stones at the police officers.
Five people have sustained minor injuries while as many as 20 people have been detained.
The JUI-F lawmakers had reached the assembly building Sunday morning to besiege it in protest.
Earlier, lawmakers of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl and Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) had expressed their reservations over the FATA-KP merger bill.
In wake of the situation, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led provincial government had approached the lawmakers to resolve the building crisis.
It was learnt that 24 MPAs from Malakand Division had expressed their reservations over the content of the bill.