ISLAMABAD, May 24 (APP):Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Thursday said that the historic bill passed by the National
Assembly for merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would have positive outcomes for Pakistan and called for similar consensus for resolution of all national issues as demonstrated by the House today.
Addressing the National Assembly after the House adopted a landmark bill by two-third majority, the prime minister said both the treasury and opposition benches had shown a great spirit by supporting the government to enact the legislation.
He said the government had been striving to make the legislation for the last four years and had formed a FATA Reforms Committee led by Sartaj Aziz. Based on the committee recommendations, an implementation body was formed, comprising all stakeholders which helped to evolve consensus, he added.
The prime minister thanked opposition leaders Syed Khurshid Shah, Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Farooq Sattar for supporting the government and help accelerate the passage of the bill despite specific complications.
He said it has been ensured in the bill that the general elections are not delayed, consequent to any eventuality in aftermath of the bill as it had provided all timelines for holding the local government, provincial assembly and other elections.
The prime minister viewed that Pakistan could not afford any delay in elections as the incumbent government would continue till May 31, 2018 that required constitutionally to hold general elections within 60 days.
Prime Minister Abbasi said the passage of the bill was just a beginning of a process for the uplift of FATA. “We have to win the trust of people in FATA, not through mere slogans but actions and development in FATA,” he added.
He said it was essential to build universities, schools, hospitals and other infrastructure
at par with other cities and called for House’s commitment on the subject.
Commenting on the speech of PTI chief Imran Khan (without naming him) in the House
who spoke prior to him, the prime minister said there was no room for politics of immorality and hatred in the country.
He said what had been happening during the last five years was not good for the country
and added that legislators have to prove them before the people through their moralities.
He said some unnecessary comments had been made on the day when the House had
shown exemplary unity and unison. He said calling some one money launderer was unethical and said everyone knew as who staged sit-ins and what happened in Panama case.
He said it must be left up to the people to make their decision in the elections scheduled
Later, while speaking on the issue of water distribution among provinces, the prime minister said Sindh should raise the matter of its water share before the Council of Common Interests.
He said the government had nothing to do with water distribution among provinces as
Indus River System Authority (IRSA) was a decision making body.
He said the water level in both Tarbella and Mangla reservoirs was 90 percent lower than the usual and the water flow in rivers was 54 percent lower as compared to the last year.
He said the snowfall in the catchment areas of Indus River had been recorded 60 percent lower than usual and the area had also recorded 22 degree temperature both this year and the last. He hoped that the water inflow would normalize by June.