NSC throws weight behind FATA-KP merger

ISLAMABAD: The National Security Committee (NSC) chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi endorsed FATA’s merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa along with the introduction of the administrative, judicial institutional structures and laws of the province, said a communique issued after the meeting.

Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, the chiefs of Armed Forces, Director-General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) among others were in attendance.

FATA reforms

The participants of the meeting in the high-level huddle directed the concerned ministries to work out the constitutional, legal and administrative modalities for the merger in consultation with all parties in the Parliament.

The communique said: “Committee also endorsed the provision of additional well-monitored development funds for the FATA region during the next ten years, with the stipulation that these funds would not be re-appropriated to any other area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.”

In the second NSC meeting called during the week, the participants expressed satisfaction on the principled stand taken by Pakistan on Kashmir and Palestine and its articulation at various world forums

Devolution of greater administrative authority to Azad Kashmir, GB

The NSC reached a consensus on:the devolution of greater administrative authority and financial powers to the Azad Government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir and the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan.

The members agreed on the retention of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan Councils as advisory bodies; and the grant of a five-year tax holiday to Gilgit-Baltistan so as to create adequate incentives for the development of the region and bring it at par with the other areas of Pakistan.

The NSC instructed the Interior Ministry to refine its proposals for liberalised visa regime, in particular for tourists and businesspersons and submit them for consideration in its next meeting

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs briefed the Committee on the regional and global security situation. The Committee resolved that Pakistan would continue to play its role for peace and security in the region and beyond,” the communique said.