The final step in the merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) was completed on Thursday, as President Mamnoon Hussain signed the 25th Constitutional Amendment Bill into law.
The bill, approved by parliament as well as the KP Assembly, was signed by the president at a special ceremony also attended by KP Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, head of Fata Reforms Committee Sartaj Aziz and National Security Adviser Nasir Janjua.
Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani had forwarded the bill to the president on Tuesday.
Read: Integrating Fata
The Senate of Pakistan had received the bill from the Ministry of Law and Justice after its passage from the KP's provincial assembly on May 28.
Accordingly, the Senate chairman had authenticated the bill and sent it to the president for assent under Article 75 of the Constitution.
President Mamnoon Hussain felicitated the people of Fata, saying that now they also enjoy the same rights available to other citizens of the country.
He expressed hope that after the merger with KP, Fata will enter a new era of development and prosperity. The president also expressed the hope that the move would bring greater stability to the region.
The constitutional amendment bill seeking the merger of Fata within a year's time had been passed by the National Assembly and the Senate last week amidst opposition by the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party.
Khattak urges ECP to timely devise procedure for polls in KP
Former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister Pervez Khattak has written a letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) requesting that the procedure for provincial assembly elections in KP be devised and outlined in time so that elections in former Fata region are held along with the general elections.
He pointed out that any delay in the provincial assembly elections will give birth to complex issues.
"It is the right of the people of Fata and their chosen representatives be given the opportunity to contest for the posts of Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Chief Minister," Khattak asserted.
If elections do not take place timely in the Fata region, the provincial assembly shall stand incomplete, he said.
"Just as the Fata-KP merger was an area of concern deserving enormous attention, the matter of provincial assembly elections in Fata merits scrutiny with utmost urgency," Khattak urged.