Wednesday May 22, 2024

KP govt decides to relocate headquarters of three tribal districts

By Mushtaq Yusufzai
June 30, 2019

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to relocate the headquarters of three tribal districts i.e. Khyber, Orakzai and South Waziristan to enable government officials to better serve the local people.

Senior government officials in Peshawar told The News that they may ‘rethink about relocating the deputy commissioners’ office from Tank to Wana, due to tussle between the Mahsud and Wazir tribes.

Before merger of the tribal areas into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, headquarters of three tribal regions, including Khyber, Orakzai and South Waziristan used to be in the settled areas far away from the respective tribal areas.

Tribespeople used to travel for miles to reach their regional headquarters in connection with their routine issues concerning the political administration.

After merger as a result of Fata reforms, the position of political agent was replaced by deputy commissioner and assistant political agent by the assistant commissioner.

The political agent and people working under his command in the political administration used to be the most powerful people in their respective tribal region for the absolute powers they exercised.

There was a growing demand by the tribesmen following the merger that headquarters of the three tribal districts should be shifted to their respective districts.

The demand was genuine as the police and other government departments had already shifted their offices to the tribal districts and started functioning there.

The KP government on Saturday finally issued a notification, directing all the three deputy commissioners to shift their offices to their respective districts. The deputy commissioners have been given a three-month time for shifting offices.

Even in the notification, the government has admitted that offices of the deputy commissioners were far away from the tribal districts and people used to face difficulties.

Also, the government had noticed that there was a sense of deprivation among the people of the three tribal districts, living far away from their district headquarters.

“The security situation has improved in the tribal districts and this is the right time that offices of deputy commissioners of tribal districts may be shifted/relocated inside tribal districts for better service delivery so as to truly implement the Fata reforms process,” the government has explained in the notification, a copy is available with The News.

The offices of deputy commissioner of Khyber district will be shifted from Peshawar Cantonment to Jamrud subdivision in Khyber, the deputy commissioner offices of Orakzai district will be relocated from Baber Mela in Hangu district to Kalaya in Lower Orakzai, while the headquarters of deputy commissioner South Waziristan would be sent to Wana from Tank district.

In the past and particularly before the Fata’s merger, the political agent of South Waziristan used to sit in his Wana office during summer and then spend the winter in Tank district and the office was called ‘political compound’.

Many tribesmen welcomed this decision and hoped it will give them an easy access to their respective government officials.

Now when the KP government has made these important decisions, it is expected that it should also shift headquarters of the two paramilitary forces – Frontier Corps and Frontier Constabulary – from Peshawar to their own locations.

The Frontier Corps is headquartered in the Balahisar Fort though it was heard during the coalition government of Awami National Party and Pakistan People’s Party to make arrangements for shifting the FC to their spacious camp in Hayatabad.

And the purpose was to open Balahisar Fort for tourists and turn it into a picnic spot for the people of Peshawar and elsewhere in KP.

Presently, there is no open public space or park where Peshawarites could take their families and children and spend a few moments in fresh air. The second is Frontier Constabulary. It also has a sprawling space in Shabqadar area of Charsadda district, but presently is based in the busiest place in Peshawar Cantonment.