ISLAMABAD – President Mamnoon Hussain has signed the landmark ‘FATA Interim Governance Regulation, 2018’, paving way for the merger of long-ignored Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The regulation, giving go-ahead by the president, is a set of interim rules which apply in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) until it merges with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa within a timeframe of two years.

Earlier, the constitutional amendment bill titled Thirty-First Amendment Act, 2018 was approved by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Sunday, as 92 lawmakers voted in favour while seven MPAs used their votes against the bill.

The bill garnered a two-thirds majority in the provincial assembly after it was already approved from the upper and lower chambers of the Parliament with a landslide majority, sparking joy among the residents of the area.

Key Amendments

The bill seeks an amendment to Article 1 of the Constitution, which describes Pakistan’s territory and mentions Fata as a separate entity along with other four provinces.

The bill also seeks to amend Articles 51 and 106, which specify the number of seats allocated to each of the provinces.

The strength of the Senate will reduce from 104 to 96 members as Fata will no longer have separate representation, while the seats of National Assembly will reduce from 342 to 336.

The KP assembly will now have 145 seats, including 115 general, 26 reserved for women and four for minorities.

Fata will have 21 seats in the KP Assembly, including 16 general, four for women and one reserved for non-Muslims.

Articles 246 and 247 will be amended ending the control of the president on the Fata region.