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APC demands new division comprising Dir, Chitral, Bajaur


July 4, 2019

CHAKDARA: The Jamaat-e-Islami-convened All Parties Conference here on Wednesday demanded a new administrative division comprising of Lower Dir, Upper Dir, Chitral and Bajaur districts and a 10-year development package on the pattern of newly-merged districts for it besides an interim relief of Rs500 billion.

The All Parties Conference was presided over by provincial vice-president of the Jamaat-e-Islami and member Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly from Upper Dir, Inayatullah Khan.

The joint declaration adopted on the occasion explained that Malakand division covered an area of 29,800 square kilometres, which had a population of 8.2 million.

It was stated that the four districts of the division – two Dirs, Chitral and Bajaur – had a population of four million. Therefore, a separate division of these districts should be made.

The meeting was also attended by member National Assembly from Chitral, Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali, General Secretary of Awami National Party Mian Iftikhar Hussain, former provincial chief of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl Maulana Gul Naseeb Khan, Mohammad Anwar Khan of Qaumi Watan Party, Nawabzada Mehmud Zeb of Pakistan People’s Party, Jahanzeb Khan of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Malik Azmat Khan, Sahibzada Tariqullah, Sahibzada Mohammad Yaqub, Izazul Mulk Afkari, district nazims Sahibzada Fasihullah, Mohammad Rasool Khan and others. The declaration stated that the districts concerned were rich in natural resources. The thick forests of Dir and Chitral were not only leaving a pleasant impact on the environment of the country, but also contributing substantial revenue to the national kitty, it said.

It said the three rivers flowing from the area were blessing and the districts also had great potential of hydel power, which needed to be explored and utilised. The expatriates hailing from these districts were also making great contributions in the shape of foreign remittances. During the last eight years remittances worth $ 12 billion were contributed by people from these districts mostly Upper Dir and Lower Dir. The speakers said despite all their contributions to the national economy and natural resources, these districts were badly ignored in the recent budget and no mega project was announced for them.

The participants of the meeting expressed serious concern over the introduction of new taxes. They urged the government to immediately withdraw the 17 percent excise tax on Malakand division and Bajaur district. The participants believed all the development funds were allocated for the already developed Mardan, Peshawar, Abbottabad, Swabi and Nowshera districts.

They said that the Chakdara-Chitral China-Pakistan Economic Corridor route has also not been projected in the budget, stressing that construction work on the project should be started immediately from Chakdara.

The speakers said that the funds allocated for the ongoing projects in Upper Dir Upper, Lower Dir and Chitral were not enough. They demanded that the Kalam-Kumrat-Chukiatan Road should be expanded and appropriate funds allocated for the education projects such as Engineering University Dir Upper, Chitral University and Timergara Medical College. They stressed that funds should be provided for the Koto Hydel Power Project and the local population provided electricity from it. The speakers demanded that proper steps should be taken for promotion of tourism in the three districts and funds should be provided for the development of scenic valleys like Kumrat, Jaz Banda, Laram, Shahi and others.

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