PESHAWAR: The Federal government on Tuesday issued an ordinance to complete the legislative work for the delimitation process in the newly-merged districts of the province.

Sources said that President Arif Alvi has promulgated the ordinance empowering the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to carry out the delimitation process for national and provincial assembly elections. The ordinance that will need parliamentary approval at some stage, will make ECP in a position to hold the national and provincial assembly elections within one year.

According to the ordinance, the areas formerly known as the Frontier regions (FRs) would be accommodated into one national assembly constituency. The ordinance will remove the legal weaknesses in the election law due to which work on the delimitation process for the newly-merged districts remain stopped.

The ECP had announced that all the arrangements were completed for the delimitation process in erstwhile FATA but a legal framework was required. The ECP has asked the Federal government to extend and provide a legal framework for the delimitation process at the earliest to complete tribal areas delimitation.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had divided seven tribal districts of the erstwhile FATA into 702 villages and neighbourhood councils to introduce local body system there. The erstwhile frontier regions (FRs), which have been merged with the adjacent districts of the province, have also been divided into villages and neighbourhood councils.

According to official data, the erstwhile FR Kohat has been divided into 16 councils including 13 villages and three neighbourhood councils and FR Dera Ismail Khan into 12 councils, 11 villages and one neighbourhood council.

The erstwhile FR Peshawar has 11 village councils, FR Tank has eight village councils, FR Bannu has six and FR Lakki Marwat has five councils while none of these FRs has any neighbourhood council. According to the existing KP local government system, the minimum population of a village or neighbourhood council should be 2,000 while its maximum population is 10, 000.

After the passage of the ordinance, the way for the provincial and national assembly elections has been cleared.