ISLAMABAD - As lawmakers from the volatile Fata region demand merger of tribal agencies with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, some of the MNAs and Senators are opposed to the status change of tribal parts arguing that the proposed 22nd Constitutional Amendment would deprive the area people of their centuries-old tribal identity.

Although Parliamentary leader of FATA MNAs Shahji Gul Afridi announced during a news conference that the entire 19 lawmakers were united to introduce the bill in the National Assembly and Senate, yet a good number of lawmakers opposed the move.

Moreover, the proposed 22nd Constitutional bill shared with journalists mentioned signatures of only six MNAs and Senators out of the total 19-member strength of Fata Parliamentarians in the two Houses.

On Thursday, three Fata MNAs including Maulana Jamaluddin, Nazeer Khan and Senator Saleh Shah nearly had a brawl with their fellow lawmakers Shahjee Gul Afridi and Sajid Hussain Turi over the proposed Constitutional amendment.

The lawmakers opposing the move to bring Fata under the control of KP province argue that the FCR was not altogether a black law, adding, that the rules had been introduced by colonial powers as per the values of the tribal elders and the people.

One of the vocal proponents of the FCR rules is Senator Saleh Shah who asserts that the British-era rule is a binding force in the tribal parts of the country as the law calls for collective responsibility of the people.

“This is the reason that Fata has a special identity among other Pashtun areas,” Senator Shah, who is politically affiliated with JUI-F, told this reporter on Sunday. He maintained that the some rich politicians wanted to bring FATA under control of KP so that they could expand their business empires, adding, that this was the main motive behind introduction of 22nd Amendment.

However, MNA Maulana Jamaluddin, who alongwith MNA Nazeer Khan had exchanged harsh words with MNAs Shahjee Gul Afridi and Sajid Hussain over the issue, said, they would support the bill in National Assembly conditionally.

Insiders told The Nation that some disgruntled MNAs have approached Governor KP Sardar Mehtab Khan Abbasi seeking his help to block the bill as it would give political lineage to the independent group of FATA MNAs and Senators who lead the campaign in favour of the Constitutional amendment.

But MNA Shajee Gul Afridi is least bothered about the negative approach of some politicians who said that such leaders would get themselves exposed to the people of Fata by depriving the backward people of a chance in shape of the 22nd Constitutional amendment.

“If anybody in Fata disagrees with the amendment, I dare them to hold a referendum on the issue. But they too know that Fata people cannot live under a draconian rule and that the people want to have same facilities offered by KP government to people of settled districts,” he said.

Senator Hidayatullah, who belongs to Bajaur Agency, said, that certain laws are made for people for a particular time.

“This is 21st century and the century old FCR is not compatible with the present time. FATA must be at par with the rest of country,” Senator Hidayatullah, brother of former Governor KP Shaukatullah Khan said.

Despite that majority of lawmakers from Fata don’t support the amendments wholeheartedly, yet efforts are on to bring all stakeholders on a table so that the bill is signed by all Fata Senators and MNAs.