No more FATA or PATA likely

The 31st constitutional amendment is not only aimed at merging the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) but also at merging the

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The 31st constitutional amendment is not only aimed at merging the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) but also at merging the Provincial Administered Tribal Areas (Pata) with their respective provinces of K-P and Balochistan.

A copy of the draft amendment available with The Express Tribune shows that parts of Pata in Malakand Division will be merged into K-P while parts of Pata in Balochistan will be merged into Balochistan. Fata will be merged into K-P by amending Article 246 of the Constitution.

As per Article 247, president is the executive authority for Fata and the post of governor for Pata will be entirely omitted. The clause empowers president to restrict or extend laws to Pata or Fata wherever he deems it necessary, while it also nullifies the power of jurisdiction of the apex and high courts into the tribal areas.

The 31st constitutional amendment is not only aimed at merging the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) but also at merging the Provincial Administered Tribal Areas (Pata) with their respective provinces of K-P and Balochistan.

A copy of the draft amendment available with The Express Tribune shows that parts of Pata in Malakand Division will be merged into K-P while parts of Pata in Balochistan will be merged into Balochistan. Fata will be merged into K-P by amending Article 246 of the Constitution.

As per Article 247, president is the executive authority for Fata and the post of governor for Pata will be entirely omitted. The clause empowers president to restrict or extend laws to Pata or Fata wherever he deems it necessary, while it also nullifies the power of jurisdiction of the apex and high courts into the tribal areas.

The MNA, who was part of the consultation, also explained that it was decided in principle that the 23 provincial assembly seats, including 18 general, one minority and four women seats, would also be part of the election to be held later this year.

When asked if the delimitation of the new seats for Fata would be a hindrance, he replied that they had been guaranteed that it would be sorted out in two weeks.

Constitutional glitch

A bill to amend the Constitution, which would have the effect of altering the limits of a province, cannot be presented to President for assent unless it has been passed by the provincial assembly by the votes of not less than two-third of its total membership, states Article 239 of Constitution.

While the K-P government wraps up on May 28, the government has neither presented the budget it wanted to, while it has managed to avoid calling an assembly session that was postponed thrice.

There is also a no-confidence motion against K-P Chief Minister Pervez Khattak. For the bill to sail through the K-P Assembly, there has to be widespread consensus without the house going down in flames.

The PTI-led government has clearly lost its majority in the house after it took action against its MPAs allegedly involved in horse-trading during the Senate polls.

via Express Tribune