A view of the KP Assembly.
A view of the KP Assembly.

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly passed a bill allowing to continue all the laws, rules and regulations enforced in Provincial Administered Tribal Areas before the 25th Constitutional Amendment.

The act titled “Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Continuation of Laws in Erstwhile Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) Bill, 2018” passed amid opposition’s protest on Friday. The bill was moved by Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Sultan Muhammad Khan.

After the message of the 25th Amendment for the merger of tribal areas with the province, all the laws, regulations, bylaws, rules and notifications in Provincial administrated Tribal area lost their legal ground when Article 247 was omitted.  But the government had issued an ordinance in May to give them legal cover in order to run administrative affairs in the areas formerly under Pata.

The opposition refused to become part of the legislation and did not move amendments in protest because they said the government was forcing the passage of the bill. Members of the opposition from the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, Pakistan People Party and Awami National Party strongly opposed the bill, asking the government to provide details of the laws and regulations given cover under the bill.

“We should be provided details of the regulations so we thrash them out and see whether or not they are in violation of the fundamental rights,” said Inayatullah Khan of Jama’at-e-Islami. The ANP’s parliamentary leader, Sardar Hussain Babak said that “The law minister has made a primary school of the assembly. He made a commitment that the bill will be discussed in detail with the members but he backtracked on his commitment.”

Though the opposition announced they would abstain from becoming part of the legislation, the law minister insisted that the bill must be passed and asked the speaker, Mushtaq Ghani to continue with the legislation and put it in the house for a vote.

The government passed the bill with the majority.

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