CM assures support for upgradation of Saidu Sharif airport

F.P. Report

PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan assured that his government will extend its every possible support for upgradation and extension of Saidu Sharif Airport adding that this Airport would have key role in the changing scenario of coming future. This region was going to be a hub of trade and investment in the wake of CPEC. His government was also working to introduce tourism as industry in Hazara, Swat and Malakand division.

He was talking to Air Vice Marshal Nadeem Sabir Air Officer commanding Pakistan Air Force Risalpur Academy, who called on him at Chief Minister Secretariat Peshawar. The principle Secretary of Chief Minister Muhammad Israr, Secretary Sport and other concerned authorities were also present on this occasion.

The Chief Minister was briefed about the different projects undertaken by Pakistan Air Force. He was particularly briefed about the upgradation project of Saidu Sharif Airport and told that this would be an Airport of International standard. Dir, Chitral, Malakand and other adjacent districts would get benefit of this Airport.  The land has been acquired for this project and payment to the owners of land also started. Employment opportunity to one member of each affected family would also be provided. Runway of the Airport would be reconstructed . However there were some issues needing administrative support of provincial government. The Chief Minister assured to provide required support and assistance and said that he will try to remove hindrances in this project on priority basis because this was an important project that would also support to enhance exports. Provincial government will provide every possible help and will also facilitate to resolve the issues related to the federal government because this was basically the domain of federal government. He also assured to consider the request regarding participation of Pakistan Air Force in the development of Kheshgi Park project. He directed the concerned authority to remove the encroachments adjacent with the boundary wall of Risalpur Academy. He also directed to resolve the issue regarding land acquisition for staging flight in Kaghan.

Later on Air Vice Marshal Sarfaraz Khan Air Officer Commanding Northern Air Command Peshawar also called on Chief Minister at his office Chief Minister Secretariat Peshawar. Matters of mutual interests, capabilities and specialties of PAF, ongoing activities in the province particularly training quality in the Technical Education and Vocational centres of TEVTA were discussed in details in the meeting. The Chief Minister proposed the Air Force to establish resort at Gabin Jabba and said this was a beautiful and accessible place having rich potential of tourism. Sarfaraz Khan agreed with this proposal and showed his keen interest for developing resort on the site. He told that PAF had already developed a resort at Niltar and also wanted to develop another resort at Chitral. He revealed that model of Nilter resort could be replicated for Gabin Jabba.

The Chief Minister agreed in principle to this model and directed the authorities concerned to devise a mechanism in this regard.  Air Vice Marshal also revealed that they were going to start night operation from Peshawar Airport while flight for Sharjah would also be formally inaugurated and started from 22nd of this month. On the occasion, the Chief Minister also underlined the need to enhance the training quality in institutes KP TEVTA and said that we have to prepare skilled manpower to meet the challenges and requirements of future in the backdrop of CPEC and rapid investment in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Furthermore Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mehmood Khan and health minister Dr. Hisham Inamullah Khan took notice of Leishmania cases in district Karak and ordered the authorities concerned to take steps on war footing for controlling the outbreak of Leishmania disease and providing relief to the victims.  

According to the Secretary Health KP, Dr. Farooq Jameel, while acting upon the directives of Chief Minister and health minister, even Saturday and Sunday were declared as working days to immediately respond and stop the ailment in the district. He said medical teams had already been sent to the affected area of Banda Daud Shah, where cases were reported.

Dr. Farooq said medical aid was being provided to the victims even late night of Saturday. ‘I was personally monitoring the whole situation and was continuously in contact with DHO Karak to cover the all patients of the ailment till Sunday evening’ he said in his video message adding that health department KP had also kicked off awareness campaign in the district to sensitize the community people to adopt precautionary measures and protect themselves from the illness.

Meanwhile Director General Health Services, Dr. Arshad Khan has said that Leishmaniasis is a disease spread by the bite of certain types of sand flies. He said most of the cases of the disease report in hilly areas of district Karak where the climate was also dry. ‘It has become a challenge to get rid of this disease in mountainous areas’ he said adding that the disease was not endemic one, rather this was transferred to our people from Afghan Refugees living in the region. The cases of leishmania also occurs in hilly areas of district Nowshera and Mardan, he said and added that affectees should not be worried as this type of disease is curable and they can soon be recovered after proper treatment.

DG health conveyed the message that people should be careful during morning and evening times in district Karak by taking precautionary measures like use of lotion and mosquito net to protect them from the bite of sand fly.