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National

January 11, 2017

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Fata to get Rs90 billion development budget for 10 years: official

Fata to get Rs90 billion development budget for 10 years: official

Tribal Riwaj Act to be tabled soon in National Assembly

PESHAWAR: Secretary States and Frontier Regions (Safron) Muhammad Shehzad Arbab said here Tuesday that the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata)would be allocated Rs90 billion annual development budget for the next 10 years in addition to the yearly Rs20 billion already being given to it. 

Speaking at a seminar on “Reforms in Fata: A futuristic approach for economic development” the federal secretary said the tribal areas would also be allocated three percent share in the National Finance Commission award.The seminar was arranged by Cell for Fata Studies of the University of Peshawar.

It is arranging a series of such seminars by inviting experts and members of the intelligentsia and students from Fata to interact with each other. Vice-Chancellor, University of Peshawar, Dr Muhammad Rasul Jan, director of the Cell for Fata Prof Hussain Shaheed Soherwordi, former ambassador Ayaz Wazir, secretary security for Fata, Brig (retd) Mahmood Shah and others also spoke on the occasion.Muhammad Shehzad Arbab said that Fata reforms would lead to the consolidation of the country and none of its areas would then be used as a safe haven by the enemies of the country.

He said the proposed Tribal Riwaj Act would soon be tabled in the National Assembly for approval. “After the enactment of this act, the Frontier Crimes Regulation would be repealed and people of the area would get access to Peshawar High Court and the Supreme Court of Pakistan,” he added.

The federal secretary, who in the past served as chief secretary of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said that restriction of the easement rights for the tribes living on both sides of the Pak-Afghan border was imperative for durable peace and effective border management. He pointed out that due to operation Zarb-e-Azb most of the militants had fled to Afghanistan.

“And they may come back if the border management system is not in place,” he said.  Professor Dr Rasul Jan in his address said that Fata was contributing 1.5 percent to the country`s GDP. “Its potential to add more to the national economy is far more than its present share,” he stressed.

He pointed out that 71 percent of the people of Fata live below the poverty line and they should be brought at a par with the people of the settled areas.

He termed merger of Fata with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa coupled with major reforms as the major tool for peace and development of the region.Meanwhile, the federal secretary visited Islamia College University and assured cooperation with the institution in its endeavours to provide educational and research facilities and complete the development projects.

Muhammad Shehzad Arbab met Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Habib Ahmad.

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