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Lower Dir residents piqued by likely budgetary allocations


June 16, 2019

TIMERGARA: The residents of Lower Dir are disappointed with the provincial government’s expected budgetary allocation for the district in the next fiscal year.

The provincial government is expected to allocate Rs758 million for Lower Dir in the budget for 2019-20.

About Rs3.62 billion are going to be allocated for Swat, which is the home district of Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Rs3.8 billion for Nowshera, which is the native district of Defence Minister Pervez Khattak and Rs2.6 billion for Swabi, the native district of National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser.

The residents of the district took to the social media platforms to express disappointment as soon as they discovered about the expected allocation of funds for the district. Also, a delegation of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) members in Lower Dir District Council called on District Nazim Muhammad Rasool Khan the other day and chalked out a joint strategy to resist the government’s decision of allegedly dropping out Chakdarra to Chitral Expressway from the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

It has shattered to the ground the dream of millions of people from Chitral, Upper Dir, Lower Dir and Bajaur districts to get connected with Peshawar, Islamabad and other big cities through a road of international standard. Led by PTI leader and member district council Aziz Ahmad Sarhindi, the delegation included district councillors Hajjaj Khan, Abdullah Shah, Qazi Asim Shoaib and Qazi Latifullah. The delegation rejected both the federal and provincial budgets for ignoring Dir in mega projects and prepared a joint strategy to effectively resist the move. They said budgets announced by federal as well as provincial government gave nothing to Dir but only deprived the people of Dir which was tantamount to rubbing salt into the wounds of millions of people from Lower Dir, Upper Dir and Chitral. Since the new PTI government was installed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, people of Dir were critical of the performance of elected members from Lower Dir despite the fact that the PTI defeated Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) in its stronghold by winning the two National Assembly and four provincial assembly seats.

When asked why not a single elected member from Lower Dir was not included in the provincial cabinet, the PTI woman Member Provincial Assembly (MPA) Dr Sumaira Shams replied that the CM had assured that elected member from Dir would be included in provincial cabinet.

PTI divisional deputy general secretary Ali Shah Mashwani told this scribe that the provincial government should have included Dir in its tourism development plan. He said that more than 200,000 tourists travelled to Chitral via Lower and Upper Dir. He said none of the PTI lawmaker highlighted the problems of the people of Lower Dir in the provincial assembly.

The PTI leader said the KP government had totally ignored Lower Dir and Upper Dir districts and the elected representatives were also acting like silent spectators.

Ali Shah Mashwani announced to launch protest movement against his own government if Dir was not included in tourism development plan.

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