NA approves bill extending SC, PHC jurisdiction to Fata

PESHAWAR, 12 January: The National Assembly on Friday passed a bill pertaining to the extension of jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the Peshawar High Court to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).

The passage of the bill by the National Assembly is viewed as the landmark development in the proposed merger of Fata in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The bill, which was part of the supplementary agenda, was tabled by Minister for Law and Justice Bashir Virk amid opposition from the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F).

JUI-F lawmaker Naeema Kishwer, while protesting against the bill, suggested certain amendments in it, which were rejected by the House. She suggested making Islamabad High Court the court of jurisdiction for Fata.

She further said that enough time had not been given to the members to debate the bill. She also pointed out lack of quorum of the required 86 members in the 342-seat parliament but after counting, it was found complete. The house passed the bill with simple majority.

Opposition leader Syed Khurshid Shah congratulated the house and the people of Fata on the passage of the bill. He said that it was an historical day for the people of Fata. He hoped that the government would also table the Fata reforms bill as well as the one related to the merger of Fata in KP.

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