ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday decided to form a larger bench to hear petitions against the 25th Amendment about the merger of tribal areas (formerly known as Fata) into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

A three-member SC bench consisting of Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and Justice Ayesha A. Malik heard the petitions filed by Malik Anwarullah Khan seeking declaration of 25th Amend­ment as ultra vires of the Constitution.

During the course of proceedings, the bench remarked that the petitioners had raised the question of not changing the status of federal units as enshrined in the Constitution.

When the bench asked what were powers and limits of parliament regarding amendments to the Constitution, Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan said it was important to determine the extent to which parliament could amend the Constitution.

He said that if the integration of an area deprived its residents of their rights then the question of federal units could arise.

The chief justice asked whether the merger of Fata had affected the representation of tribal people in the provincial and national assemblies.

The attorney general said the major issue after the 25th Amendment was seats of Fata representatives in the national and provincial assemblies and the Fata representatives had supported the 25th Amendment.

Published in Dawn, March 10th, 2022

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