PESHAWAR, 15 September: The federal government on Friday introduced a Bill in the National Assembly to extend the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the Islamabad High Court to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

Federal Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid tabled the bill [The Supreme Court and High Court (Extension of Jurisdiction to Federally Administered Tribal Areas) Bill, 2017] in the house.

The house could not take up the bill for discussion as Speaker Ayaz Sadiq adjourned the session for four days after Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai pointed out lack of quorum.

It merits a mention here that the federal cabinet on Tuesday approved the bill pertaining to extension of the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) as a first step towards implementation of the FATA reforms.

Apart from the PMAP, JUI-F is the only other party which has been opposing Fata’s merger into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The two allies of the PMLN government demand a separate council for Fata and its own governor. They had been advocating that the people of Fata should be asked whether they support merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa or want a separate province.