Merger of erstwhile FATA a turning point: KP CM

F.P. Report
PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan has termed the merger of erstwhile FATA into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa a turning point in the development and prosperity of the tribal people and said that the PTI provincial government as per its commitment has left no stone unturned for the development and rehabilitation of the merged districts; but the indifferent attitude of the incumbent federal rulers is a matter of concern.
The federal government wants to sabotage the ongoing development process by withholding the rights of the province, which is an undemocratic behavior and blatant injustice with the people of the province, especially the newly merged districts. He made it clear that out of the development budget of Rs. 55 billion for the merged districts, only Rs. 5 billion has been provided so far whereas out of the current budget of Rs. 85 billion, only 60 billion has been released.
He was addressing a meeting of the elected public representatives from the newly merged districts here at Chief Minister house, Peshawar. Ex federal minister for religious affairs Noor-ul-Haq Qadri, provincial ministers Anwar Zeb and Iqbal Wazir, other members of National and Provincial Assemblies from NMDs attended the meeting.
Addressing the participants, the Chief Minister said that the provincial government has successfully completed the merger process despite numerous challenges. “In most of the merged districts, the provincial government had to start from zero because no attention was paid to the development of these areas in the past”, he said and added that a new era of development has been started in the merged districts by introducing special development programs for redressing the decades-long deprivations of the tribal people.
Chief Minister said that the incumbent provincial government has taken concrete steps to bring the people of the newly merged districts into mainstream adding that after the merger of erstwhile FATA into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, provincial departments have been extended to the newly merged districts and a special development program has been initiated with the sole purpose to address their longstanding deprivations.
The Chief Minister said that the incumbent provincial government, during the last four years, has taken multiple steps resulting in significant improvement in the overall Services Delivery System. Despite multiple challenges, the provincial government has proved that it is not only committed to the development and prosperity of tribal districts but has gone beyond its capacity for this purpose. Absorption of Levies and Khasadars into regular police, regularization of ex-FATA project employees and provision of medical equipment and emergency medicine are among the important initiatives completed by his government.
Besides, significant measures have also been taken in the education sector including provision of scholarships to male and female students of merged districts, recruitment of new teachers, solarization of schools, construction of playgrounds, establishment and upgradation of educational institutions alongside establishing science and IT laboratories. Other important steps taken in the merged areas include; construction and rehabilitation of roads, establishment of micro hydro plants, construction of new grid stations, installation of transformers and feeders etc.