FATA reforms bill approval postponed in National Assembly

Opposition decides to put up strong protest in budget session

ISLAMABAD: FATA reforms bill approval was postponed in the National Assembly on Thursday which led to an uproar by the opposition in the lower house.
The session heated up after the aggressive speech of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai.
Opposition leader Khursheed Shah strongly condemned the government while accusing them of halting the bill through their allies.
Meanwhile, FATA parliament members have contacted Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leadership over the reforms bill.
They have expressed wish to meet the party’s co-chief Asif Ali Zardari to inform him about their reservations.
The members seek PPP’s assistance in raising the issue in parliament with full force. Sources say that a meeting is being arranged between Zardari and FATA assembly members.
Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch said that the government is committed to FATA reforms.
Replying to points raised by Leader of the Opposition Syed Khurshid Ahmad Shah and others on the issue in National Assembly , he said FATA Reforms Package comprising 36 points was formulated in consultation with all stakeholders.
The Minister said that the government believes in the supremacy of the Parliament, which is why the Tribal Areas Rewaj Act was laid before the House the other day.
He said mainstreaming of tribal areas and abolition of FCR are main points of the package.
Abdul Qadir Baloch rejected all rumours about the FATA reforms.
The National Assembly adopted an adjournment motion for discussion on recent incidents of unprovoked firing by Afghan forces on Pakistani villages in Chaman.
The motion was moved by Syed Naveed Qamar and others.
Minister of State for Education Muhammad Balighur Rehman laid before the House “The National Skill University Islamabad Bill, 2017”.
The National Assembly today passed “The Alternate Dispute Resolution Bill, 2017”. The bill was moved by Law Minister Zahid Hamid.
The Minister said that it is a historic bill aimed at ensuring speedy justice. He said it will help reduce backlog of cases in lower judiciary.
Responding to a calling attention notice moved by Rana Muhammad Hayat Khan and others, Parliamentary Secretary for Finance Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan told the House that the present government is giving priority to agriculture sector.
He said substantial allocations will also be made for the farmers in the next budget. He said that it will be our utmost effort to reduce lending rates and give maximum relief to the farmers. The House today passed several bills.
These are: “The Alternate Dispute Resolution Bill, 2017”, “The National Counter Terrorism Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2017”, “The Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill, 2016”, “The Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Bill, 2016”, “The Provincial Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill, 2015” and “The Representation of the Peoples (Amendment) Bill, 2017”.
On a point of order, Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif strongly regretted the procession led by an MNA outside PESCO office in Peshawar. He pointed out that there is 89 percent power pilferage in the feeder where the MNA resides.
Leader of the Opposition Syed Khurshid Shah said power pilferage is prevalent across the country but even those, who are paying their bills, are faced with power outages.
The Opposition staged a walkout from the House over the remarks made by the Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif on the PESCO procession.
The house has now been prorogued.



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