LAHORE   -  Lawmakers on Thursday termed the 31st Amendment to the Constitution bill about merger of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with KP welcoming step and landmark decision.

Talking to APP, Senator Rana Mehmood-ul-Hasan said that a sense of deprivation had been developed among the people of Fata, adding that the current status would help them move into the national mainstream.

Former PPP Senator Sehar Kamran said that Fata reforms bill was a historic move which would bring about development and prosperity in the area.

Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed said that passing of the bill was a historic day for the country, adding that the PML-N government had resolved a long-standing demand of the FATA people.

Member National Assembly Nasir Iqbal Bosal said that the demand of the people of Fata had finally been fulfilled by the PML-N government. He said that extension of superior courts’ jurisdiction was a long-standing demand of the people of Fata which had been met by the incumbent federal government.

According to the bill, the powers of President of Pakistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa governor regarding Fata would no longer be effective while it would also abolish the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR), which was constituted in 1901.

After passing of the bill, the FCR would be abolished and Peshawer High Court (PHC) and Supreme Court jurisdiction would be extended to Fata. Fata people would be given same judicial rights being enjoyed all citizens of the country.

Meanwhile, JI chief Sirajul Haq Thursday congratulated the people of Federal Administered Tribal Area (Fata) on passage of Fata Bill from the National Assembly. In a statement issued here on Thursday, he said that after the passage of Fata bill, a new road to progress would be opened for the people of the area. “The citizens of Fata got another freedom after 1947 in result of the bill,” he added.

He said that residents of Fata would get freedom from black laws of FCR after approval of the Fata bill.

In a landmark development the National Assembly passed a constitutional amendment, paving the way for the merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The 14th National Assembly in its last days managed to get the “Constitutional (31st amendment) Bill, 2018” passed with 229 votes in favour and only a single vote against.

In a rare show of unity among major political parties, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) voted in favour of the bill.