In a historic day, the National Assembly on Monday (May 13) passed the 26th Constitutional Amendment Bill, moved by Religious Affairs Minister Noorul Haq Qadri and Member of National Assembly (MNA) Mohsin Dawar with two-third majority. The amendment bill aimed at formalized an increase in the number of seats for the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) in the National Assembly and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.
The bill was passed with 288 votes after speeches from the representatives of all the parliamentary parties. As per details, Article 51 and Article 106 of the Constitution were amended , to increase the seats for the newly-merged tribal districts to 12 in the National Assembly and to 24 in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, who was present in the house, briefly spoke on the bill and took part in the voting process. He praised the lawmakers’ unity on the bill and said “I am very happy that the entire House has supported this constitutional amendment. This [bill] will give the people of the erstwhile tribal areas that they are important to us and their voice will always be heard in Pakistan”.
“I urge all provinces to give three per cent from their NFC share for the development of the erstwhile Fata areas. I know it’s a difficult task given the current economic situation but it is essential because the damages incurred due to the war on terror have been immense.” “East Pakistan was separated because the people felt a lack of inclusion and representation. No one today should feel that they are not valued in Pakistan and that we do not see them as our own. This feeling has been and is being exploited by our enemies,” said PM Imran.
“We must now ensure that our development efforts are inclusive; areas that lag behind must be brought to the same level as the rest of the country. No region or people should feel they are not part of Pakistan. This bill tells the people of the tribal areas that they are as Pakistani as us all,” asserted the premier.
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