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October 12, 2020

Akakhel tribesmen demand uplift projects in Tirah Valley

Peshawar

October 12, 2020

TIRAH: The Akakhel tribesmen in Tirah valley of Khyber tribal district on Sunday asked the government to launch development projects in their militancy-affected area.

They said Akakhel tribespersons had vacated homes during militancy and later returned to the native area after the restoration of peace in 2015, but ever since people have been facing problems of roads, education, health and drinking water. They claimed that there was no government school, hospital, road, and drinking water supply scheme established yet.

“Hundreds of students belonging to Akakhel go to schools in Sangrah, Ferozkhel and Meshti area in Orakzai tribal district near the border area of Khyber district,” said a resident, urging the government to establish schools of all levels, hospitals, and roads.

Talking to The News, Malik Jehangir Afridi, a social worker and local politician, said the militants had destroyed more than 3,000 buildings including homes, hujras, schools, and shops in Akakhel area in the past.

He said that while vacating the area before the military operation, they had left behind all belongings that were set on fire by the militants.

The politician added that the damaged roads and business centres could not be restored over the last five years.

He said a population of about 35,000 Akakhel tribespeople in Tirah and were displaced who later returned but the government has not reconstructed the schools, hospitals, drinking water schemes, and roads so far. Jehangir said that even a survey on the destroyed infrastructure is yet to be launched.

He said the affected people of Akakhel tribe had been living in tents and hujras and face problems, particularly in rains.

The social worker said the government had not helped the affected people with tents, food, etc when they returned to their native area.

Another tribesman, Rahid Afridi, told this scribe that children had been deprived of the right to education in the wake of the militancy.

He said the government had established only one primary school in the area whereas the area’s population is around 35,000.

“The well-off people send children to private schools but the poor cannot afford that,” Rashid said, adding that thousands of poor children were deprived of education. He said that in 2015, the former political administration had announced to build 27 new government schools in Tirah Valley as the region lagged behind in education, no school or other projects could see the light of day in Akakhel so far.