ISLAMABAD: Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani on Tuesday signed and forwarded to President Mamnoon Hussain the bill allowing merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

An official handout issued by the Senate Secretariat said the Senate received the bill from the Ministry of Law and Justice after its passage from the provincial assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Tuesday afternoon. Accordingly, it said, the Senate chairman authenticated the bill and sent it to the president for assent under Article 75 of the Constitution.

The constitutional amend­ment bill seeking the much-awaited merger of Fata with KP had already been passed by the National Assembly and the Senate with a two-thirds majority. However, as per Article 239 of the Constitution, the president cannot assent the constitutional amendment bill which affects geographical boundaries of a province.

Article 239(4) of the Constitution says: “A bill to amend the Constitution which would have the effect of altering the limits of a province shall not be presented to the president for assent unless it has been passed by the provincial assembly of that province by the votes of not less than two-thirds of its total membership.”

Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2018