Ruling PML-N leaves FATA-KP merger decision for incoming government

Pakistan Forward

ISLAMABAD -- The Pakistani government on Wednesday (May 16) decided to delay the merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Dawn reported Thursday (May 17).

The move by the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) means that the merger will be carried out by the next government after general elections. The PML-N government is set to step down on May 31, and general elections are scheduled for July.

Minister for States and Frontier Regions Lt. Gen. (ret.) Abdul Qadir Baloch told the National Assembly Wednesday that the incoming government will execute the merger.

"No legislation is being made in this regard, and the present status of FATA will remain intact," he said.

The decision was believed to have come at the behest of PML-N allies Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl) and the Pukhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, both of which have strongly opposed the merger and could have suffered in the general elections if it went ahead.

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