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January 12, 2019

Asfandyar calls for steps to resolve problems facing Pakhtuns


January 12, 2019

PESHAWAR: Stressing the need for taking immediate steps for resolving the issues being faced by the Pakhtuns, Awami National Party (ANP) president Asfandyar Wali Khan on Friday said the problems of the Pakhtuns were ignored for a long time.

Through a statement, he said the problems were having negative effects on the lives of Pakhtuns.

The ANP chief said the merged tribal districts’ communication links were disconnected and were ignored in terms of development.

Thousands of tribespeople and destroyed their sources of livelihood due to militancy and subsequent military operations, he said, adding, the infrastructure in the tribal district was destroyed while no steps had been taken for its rebuilding.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced the construction of five million houses in the country but did not mention rebuilding homes for the tribespeople,” he added.

Asfandyar asked the federal government to clarify its position as to who would undertake the development schemes in erstwhile Fata when federal and provincial governments were unable to launch these schemes.

He demanded the government to give a timeframe for the reconstruction of destroyed infrastructure in tribal districts. “The government must make the destroyed education institutions functional and provide all basic necessities to the dwellers of tribal districts,” he demanded. He also expressed concern over the landmines in tribal districts that he said claimed several lives.

The ANP leader urged the government to start demining of these areas forthwith to avoid further loss of lives. He also criticised the blocking of the identity cards of Pakhtuns, saying that blocking of their cards had created problems for the thousands of Pakhtuns working abroad.

Asdandyar said tribal districts were facing 18 hours power outages despite the severe cold. He added that prime minister and the powers that be paid several visits to tribal districts but had not fulfilled the pledges made with tribespeople

He also questioned the census data, saying that the population of Pakhtuns specifically tribespeople had been underreported to increase the federal share. He said his party had expressed reservations over the census data but these were not addressed.

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