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Heavy snowfall grips GB, major roads blocked

F.P. Report

GILGIT: After a long dry spell, the upper valleys in Gilgit-Baltistan received heavy snowfall, bringing the temperature below freezing point. Reports of heavy snowfall were received from Hunza, Nagar, Diamer, Astor, Ghizer and Baltistan region. In district Diamer snowfall has blocked Babuser top and in District Ghezer Shandoor top for all types of traffic.

The Nalter velly in district and Ratu Velly in Astore received more than ten inches of snowfall while down areas of GB received more than 4 inches of snowfall. Temperature in Baltistan region and Astore valley dropped to -6 degree centigrade and expected that after more snow during the current week temperature would be further decreased, the Met office said.

Extreme weather has compelled residents of GB to stay indoors. According to locals, the drop in temperature makes life harder for them. Even washing, bathing and cooking become a challenge with water frozen in pipes and limited fuel for heating. Communications remain suspended, with no letup in snowfall.

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CTD nabs terrorist

F.P. Report

MALAKAND: The Counter Terrorism Department Tuesday claimed to have arrested a terrorist identified as Fazl Subhan from Dir Upper.

According to sources, CTD received a tip-off about the presence of a terrorist Fazl Subhan in area of Dogadra in jurisdiction of police station Sherangal, Dir Upper. The CTD actively acting on the tip-off conducted a successful raid and apprehended the terrorist who was involved in an IED blast on a motor care in Sherangal area killing a person and injuring three others. The CTD shifted the arrested terrorist to undisclosed place for further investigation.

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LPG dealers warned of price hike in Dir

F.P. Report

TIMERGARA: The additional assistant commissioner (AAC) Adenzai Aleem Khan Umarzai has said the government had fixed Rs 115 rate for per kilogram LPG and dealers overcharging consumers would be dealt with iron hands.

The AAC visited different markets at Chakdara the other day and checked standard of food items and weights. Several shopkeepers were fined on the spot. Talking to local journalists and traders’ body representatives he said that shopkeepers involved in over charging, self made price hike and selling sub standard food materials would face action.

He said the administration had received complaints about selling of LPG on higher rates than those fixed by the government due to drop in mercury. He said that all LPG dealers had been strictly directed to sell LPG on Rs 115 per kilogram. He also warned bakers to follow official weights of bread and bakeries.

Also in the day the assistant commissioner Lal Qila Jamal ud Din on the directives of deputy commissioner Sarmad Saleem Akram visited the markets at Kaladag bazaar and directed the SHO Lal Qila to register FIRs against the violators of official price rate. He also directed the chicken sellers to observe health and hygienic principals. Also a team of health officials raided different medicine markets at Timergara on the directive of DHO Lower Dir Shaukat Ali.

The team sealed several clinical laboratories for having no proper documents. The team led by MS tehsil head quarter hospital Talash Dr Mukhtiar Ali also sealed the pharmacy and operation theatre of a private hospital at Timergara for keeping sub standard equipment and medicines.

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Over 1000 girls read sans building in Dir

F.P. Report

TIMERGARA: Girl students, their parents and local government representatives from Talash in Lower Dir on Monday complained that over 1000 girl students of the government girls’ higher secondary school (GGHSS) Ziarat Talash had no classrooms or shelter at the facility.

During a visit to the venue they told that the Humqadam, an implementing partner of the Department for International Development (DFID) had demolished the school’s building in 2015 and pledged to reconstruct the same till the end of 2017. They said after the demolishing, foundations of the school were dug up but no construction was started yet.

“We take classes in tents, verandas or under the sky as there is no seating place for us,” a sixth grader said, adding they could neither bear the sizzling heat in summer nor the chilly blows in winter. “My father wishes to shift me to another school from next year because of no building here,” another student said, adding their studies were badly affected as different classes had been adjusted closely.

Three of the classes have been arranged in tents where according to the students they found it difficult to read in this chilly winter. The district councilor from the area Fazal Qadir said the Humqadam, under its School Construction and Rehabilitation Programme (SCRP) after due paper work and budgeting demolished the school building in 2015 but reconstruction could not be started due to unknown reasons so far. He said the Humqadam concerned authorities and engineers on repeated contacts promised to start work on the project but to no avail.

Another councilor from the area said the school administration had arranged three classes in tents, some in verandahs while rest of the students were reading on the floor under the open sky. The Humqadam, a non-governmental organization is working in Pakistan on behalf of the DFID/UKAID with the governments of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to improve educational infrastructure and provide missing facilities to schools in these provinces. According to the Humqadam’s website the total budget allocated for SCRP was 184 million GBP (British Pounds) of which 164 million GBP was funded by DFID while 20 million GBP by DFAT.

The GGHSS Ziarat Talash is one of the schools in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to be reconstructed by the Humqadam. More than 1000 students are enrolled from grade 6th to 12th in the school with only three rooms for 17 classes. The enrollment of students on class XI and XII is 222 and 184 respectively.

A teacher of the school while requesting anonymity told that the staff too lacked proper seating facility. She said there were 40 teachers and they used one of the four rooms as staff-room facility. She said only three classes had rooms in the secondary portion.

A staffer of the Humqadam told on contact that earlier both the parties had agreed to construct 16 x 25 feet classrooms but later the education department suggested 20 x 24 feet rooms that led to unnecessary delay in reconstruction work. He said the organization was all set to start work on the project once the re-designing and budget revising was finalized.

The parents and local government representatives threatened to bring girl students on the road if the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, authorities of Humqadam and DFID failed to start work on the building before next academic session.

A source in education department said that like this, the building of government girls’ higher secondary school Chakdara and government girls’ higher secondary school Timergara had also been demolished which still awaited reconstruction. The source said the department was unable to reconstruct these schools due to their heavy budgets.

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Two hardened criminals held

F.P. Report

LAKKI MARWAT: Local police on Monday claimed to have arrested two hardened criminals during a search operation in the forests located near Peerwala village. An official said that the action was initiated on the directives of DPO Arif Shebaz Khan wherein Elite Force commandos backed by armoured personnel carrier vehicles also took part. The law enforcers destroyed the hideouts of wanted criminals in dense forests on the bank of Kurrum river”, he maintained.

The official said that the cops captured two proclaimed offenders including Iqbal and Fazalur Rehman wanted by Lakki and Dadiwala police in murder, attempted murder and other cases of heinous nature. “The law enforcers seized two AK 47 assault rifles, six spare magazines and a good number of bullets from arrested men and shifted them to Lakki police station”, he added.

Giving detail of arrests and recoveries of month long successful raids against criminals gangs and anti social elements, he said that police rounded up 71 proclaimed offenders, 27 gamblers and 470 suspects in different parts of the district. “The seizure items included 11 Kalashnikovs, 2 kalakovs, 5 rifles, 46 shotguns, 53 pistols, 2501 bullets and 27 kg hashish”, he added.

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Ban on marble loaded trucks imposed

A.R. Abid Bunery

BUNER: District Administration imposed ban on entry of marble loaded trucks into public places and busy roads from 8am to 4pm in the district. Deputy Commissioner while taking serious notice of the sad incident of sliding heavy marble stone from a load truck and hitting a Suzuki carry van on main Bampokha Kingargalai road in which one woman on spot and two others received serious injuries.

The victims were in the wedding procession while the incident occurred. This tragic incident was turned the happy wedding procession into mourns while the inhabitants of the surrounding villages were staged protest demonstration for long time on main road and were dispersed when the administration was promised of taking stern action.

The deputy commissioner while justifying the imposition of section 144 of the Cr. P.C to ban entry of the loaded trucks into public places that the transporters were time and asked to themselves control this menace by reducing size and weight of load.

He claimed the police taken action against some of the violators were sent behind bars and the executive magistrates were also warned them during checking on roads and heavy fines were imposed but all in vain. There was lust for wealth at the cost of precious human lives and the administration was no more in mode to let greedy to play havoc with precious lives and worthy properties of locals, he added.

The Transport union leaders Abdul Sattar Bunerwal disagreed with the district administration to impose ban on transportation of marble load from leases to factories for eight hours daily as this business was feeding thousands families direct. They have asked for viable option that was according to them introducing the modern wire cutting technology as to cut the marble deposits in block size which will easily weighted and placed fixed inside the vehicle to move on road safely.

In this connection the union leaders will meet the high ups from district to province and to convince them for taking steps to establish marble city, introduce wire cutting technology for best protection the marble deposits, echo system, greenery, population and working labors as well.

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Hund jirga says won’t vacate homes

F.P. Report

SWABI: The Hund village jirga announced that if Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led provincial government wanted to force the residents to vacate their houses the law enforcing agencies have to pass over their dead bodies of the locals. The tense jirga meeting was convened after the issuing of one month notice to 1200 houses of the village by Hund Museum incharge on the directive of provincial Directorate of Archaeology and Museums.

Situated on the right edge of the Indus River, Hund is about 15 kilometers upstream of historic Attock Fort and at a distance of about 80 kilometers to the east of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s capital, Peshawar.  Hund is one of the rich archaeological sites in the province and the officials of directorate said that the leading archaeologists have opined that the entire Hund village had been erected on the site where they need excavation.

They said that establishment of Hund Museum and the already conducted various excavations showed that the area was highly importance for the excavation and digging out the information about ancient life. When the jirga started people, including thousands charged youngsters have started pouring to the jirga venue, held at main hujra (common guest house) of the village, located at the centre of the population.

The percipients vowed that they would fight for their rights and what had demanded by the directorate would never by fulfilled because their ancestors had built their houses on their own land, living there several generations had passed and now the government woke up and told them to vacate their houses. The situation was tense and members of the jirga supported by the whole village declared that they would resist the government move because what would be their fate and where they would go.

Israr Khan, one of the members of the Jirga said that the unanimously decision adopted by members of the jirga would be follow by the people and there was complete unity in the ranks of the people.

Abdul Latif another member and representative of local government said that they would fight for their rights on all fronts and the government should reconsider.

Similar views were expressed by various other members of the jirga and locals who opposed the government decision and warned to stay away from the vacation of the area and if the government moves ahead they would fight with complete determination. When contacted Asad Qaisar, speaker of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly said that the Hund village included in the constituency from where he had won in election 2013 and he had already talked with Chief Secretary and met also the members of the jirga.

He said that he had developed an understanding with members of the jirega but there were no comment from members of the jirga about their meeting with him. He called for peaceful settlement and assured that the government would use all available sources to resolve the issue peacefully.

However, analysts said that if the government moves ahead for forceful vacation of the people then the PTI position in the area would be at stake.

They said that it was a big issue for the ruling party and it was not yet clear that how the PTI leaders would tackle it. They demanded that there was need of great care to avoid any untoward incident.

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Veterinary camp set-up in Pak-Afghan border area

Rafiullah Mandokhail

ZHOB: Livestock is an important sector of the rural economy. The development of its is important for poverty alleviation in rural areas, said Focal Person PATRIP-Foundation, while talking to livestock farmers during a free mobile veterinary camp set-up in Pak-Afghan border area Qamar Din Karez to facilitate the livestock farmers.

The camp was organized by Balochistan Rural Support Program under PATRIP-Foundation project in collaboration with Livestock and Dairy Development department in the far-flung area of the district.

Wahid Shah also spoke about the vision, mission and approach of BRSP and newly launched project of PATRIP-Foundation (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan Regional Integration Program). He said the camp was aimed at facilitating the livestock farmers that would help to prevent cattle diseases and improve dairy production. He added.

Veterinary doctors Dr. Sheikh Tahir Mandokhail and Dr. Syed Ramazan Shah briefed the livestock farmers about seasonal diseases. “The people of villages are heavily dependent on livestock. Zhob valley falls on the migratory route of Afghan nomads, who temporarily stay with their cattle here.” The veterinary specialists said.

The veterinary doctors treated hundreds of animals including 7100 sheep, 5650 goats and 870 other cattle were drenched, moreover 10500 sheep and goats were vaccinated against various diseases. The livestock farmers were also provided with free medicines. Meanwhile, residents of Qamar Din Karez expressed gratitude to the veterinary team including BRSP, PATRIP-Foundation and Livestock department for setting-up free veterinary camp and free medicines. “BRSP is playing significant role for the development of the province and provision basic facilities of life to the marginalized communities in remote areas at their door-step.” They said.

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Awareness walk to mark Anti-Corruption Day held

Ghulam Mursalin Marwat

LAKKI MARWAT: The district boy scouts association organised an awareness walk in Lakki city to mark international anti corruption day. DEO Abdus Salam who also holds the office of district scout commissioner led the walk. It started from Government Higher Secondary School No. 3, Michenkhel and culminated at the same point after passing through Michenkhel bazaar.

District Khateeb Maulana Abdul Wahab, ADO Sports Nisar Muhammad, all government employees coordination council chairman Haji Saeed Akhtar, teachers, scout leaders, students, boy scouts and people from different walks of life attended it. The participants carried banners highlighting the hazardous effects of corruption and malpractices on society. Also in the day the scout association organised a seminar on anti corruption theme at Government High School Mela Shahabkhel.

Speakers said that corruption and malpractices had put devastating effects on our society and the menace would swallow our golden norms and principles if we did not create awareness about it. They said that educational institutions were the nurseries at grass roots level to promote integrity, honesty and transparency, adding that teachers, being the builders of nation should come forward to play effective role in eradication f corruption from society.

“Indulging in corruption is a declaration of war against Allah”, they maintained, saying that the menace destroys nations and that Muslims have the capability to root out corruption from society by moulding their lives according to the injunctions of true religion Islam.  The speakers said that fraud and corrupt practices had detrimental impacts on our development and badly marred the performance of national institutions. They also underlined the need for formulation of laws to prevent corruption and strengthening anti corruption bodies.

They called upon the teachers to teach positive norms, Islamic values and morality to the students so that they could become useful citizens of society. DEO Abdus Salam and headmasters Haji Abdul Qayyum Khan and Nawaz Khan spoke on the occasion.

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Centre not giving due share to KP: Muzaffar

F.P. Report

TIMERGARA: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa minister for finance Muzafar Said on Sunday said his government was struggling hard to get its due share from the center but the later was least bothered to accept the demand.

He was talking to local journalists at the Timergara press club during his visit. The minister claimed that despite of the step-motherly attitude of the federal government, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had been successful to initiate some mega development projects within its limited resources.

About the Lower Dir he said the construction of Koto Hydro power station, establishment of the Timergara Medical College, starting 1122 Rescue service, construction and black topping of more than 120 kilometer link roads in the district, conversion of water supply schemes on solar energy and spending of Rs 580 million on provision of basic facilities in state run schools were the achievements of the incumbent provincial government.

Addressing another function at government higher secondary school Sarai Bala in his constituency the other day, the minister said the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had been spending a large amount on improvement of education.

He also inaugurated the newly constructed building of the school which was completed with the cost of Rs 30 million.

Schools’ heads, teachers, students and area elders attended the function which was also addressed by the school Principal Alam Zeb, President senior staff association Lower Dir Humayun Khan and others.

The minister also visited district head quarter hospital Timergara along with JI Lower Dir emir Maulana Asadullah, district nazim Muhammad Rasool Khan and Timergara tehsil nazim Riaz Muhammad.

Speaking to the doctors the minister said there had been no political interference in hospitals because the government wanted to let free health institutions to serve the ailing people.

He said the government recruited doctors and provided health facilities with medicines to overcome the shortage of staff and drugs.

The minister said that Rs 180 million were being spent on the DHQ hospital Timergara.

He said the government had planned to give the status of a teaching hospital to the facility.