ISLAMABAD: The 31st Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2018 for merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been passed by National Assembly on Thursday.

According to details, the bill was moved by Law Minister Chaudhry Mahmood Bashir Virk. Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUIF) and Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) opposed the bill however; MQM announced its support for the sake of political unity. 

As many as 229 members voted in the favor of the bill while 11 opposed it. The bill was approved clause by clause.

With the passing of the bill, KPK laws will be immediately enforceable in FATA and it would also get Rs. 100 billion under NFC award.

Under the bill, the laws of Pakistan will be applicable in FATA. In addition, FATA will get Rs1 billion every year for 10 years which will exclusivley be for development in FATA. Also, FATA will now be a part of KPK.

According to Barrister Zafarullah, 12 national and 6 provincial seats will remain intact till the elections of 2023. He further said that Frontier Crimes Regulations will be abolished and it will be replaced with an interim governance system till the inclusion of the region with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The seats of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the National assembly will be increased from 48 to 60 after the merger of FATA. The seats for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly will increase to 147 from the current 126 after its merger with FATA.

PTI supremo Imran Khan is also attending the session along with most of his party MNAs. On this occasion, Khan said that he could not recall when was the last time he came to the assembly. He asserted that had the government run the Parliament the right way, he would have shown up more frequently.

PPP Chairman has also asked party members to ensure the passing of the historic bill.