ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan’s lower chamber of parliament has approved a bill that would grant more representation in a provincial legislature to seven former tribal districts near the border with Afghanistan.
The bill was unanimously approved by the 342-member legislative chamber on May 13. It will be moved to the upper chamber, the Senate, where it also must be approved before it can be signed into law by Pakistan’s president.
The seven former tribal agencies -- - Bajaur, Mohmand, Khyber, Orakzai, Kurram, North Waziristan, and South Waziristan -- were merged into the nearby Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in 2018.
But there have been complaints that the 16 seats in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s provincial assembly for lawmakers from the former tribal areas is not sufficient representation.
The bill passed on May 13 calls for the number of seats to be increased to 24.
With the addition of six reserved seats, the former tribal areas will have a total of 30 representatives in the provincial assembly.
In the lower house of Pakistan’s national parliament, the seven former tribal districts are now represented by 12 lawmakers.
There are eight lawmakers representing the former tribal areas in Pakistan’s Senate.
With reporting by Dawn.com and The Tribune.com