ISLAMABAD: Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan has said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has been affected the most due to terrorism and insurgency. Being on the front line in the war against terrorism, erstwhile FATA was badly affected where most of the institutions and infrastructure got completely destroyed’ he said and added that his government has started from zero in the newly merged areas, completed merger process on priority basis and extended all provincial departments to NMDs in minimum possible time.
The Chief Minister maintained that peace was restored after rendering countless sacrifices; everything was on the right track but after the regime change conspiracy against Imran Khan’s government at the center, the situation started to deteriorate and terrorism incidents resurfaced in the country. Since the regime change at centre, 376 terrorist attacks have been reported so far which have claimed dozens of innocent lives and damaged public and private properties, he added.
Addressing a seminar titled “Terrorosm2.0”, held at Islamabad on Tuesday, the Chief Minister questioned the imported federal government that that is the reemergence of insurgency, withholding the legitimate rights of the province and keeping the Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa away from the meeting of National Security Committee part of regime change conspiracy?
He termed the development and prosperity of the newly merged districts as indispensable for sustainable peace & tranquility adding that unrest in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and NMDs will have a trickle-down effect all over the country.
The Chief Minister said that when he formed the government, merger of ex FATA was a daunting task but the incumbent provincial government completed it successfully. 29,000 Levies and Khasadars were absorbed into the police and were imparted with trainings enabling them to cope with emerging challenges. He added that the provincial government initiated special legislations, established police stations and extended the judicial system to NMDs. In view of the prevailing norms and traditions of tribal people and the utility of Jirga system in the merged districts, Alternate Disputes Resolution (ADR) system was introduced for swift resolution of disputes.
The provincial government made substantial investment in all sectors with special focus on education and health sector to bring the merged districts at par with the settled districts. Owing to our concerted efforts, the governance structure in newly merged districts has improved significantly.
To ensure efficient and effective administration in merged districts, new tehsils and subdivisions have been made besides splitting South Waziristan into two separate districts. Similarly, many developmental projects have been initiated in the merged districts to ensure effective governance and address the decades of deprivations of the tribal people.
The Chief Minister remarked that the imported government has withheld the funds of the merged districts and now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is bearing the expenses of health card and salaries from its own kitty. In the current year, 55 billion rupees have been earmarked for the development projects of the merged districts, but only five billion rupees have been released so far. The Chief Minister said that during PTI government at the centre, the development portfolio of the merged districts was increased from 24 billion rupees to 60 billion rupees annually.
Mahmood Khan maintained that the provincial government adopted the strategy of defeating terrorism with tourism and made huge investment in the tourism sector to present the soft image of the province at international level. Sustained efforts for promotion of tourism have yielded Rs 66 Billion in revenue during the previous financial year.
Speaking on industrial development, he said that 11 economic zones, including a special economic zone, have been established during the past four years. Apart from this, overall communication network is being improved to accelerate industrial and business activities and make Khyber Pakhtunkhwa a regional hub for transit and trade. The Chief Minister concluded that merged districts are a gateway to Afghanistan and Central Asia, if this region is stable, Pakhtunkhwa and the whole country will reap the benefits of peace and sustainable development.