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Tuesday November 30, 2021

Denial of rights to merged areas: JI leaders threaten to stage sit-in outside KP Assembly

June 21, 2021

KHAR: The Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) on Sunday announced to stage a protest sit-in outside the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly to get rights for the merged tribal districts of the province on June 23.

Speaking at a press conference, JI district chief Sardar Khan, ex-MNA Sahibzada Haroonur Rashid, Maulana Waheed Gul, Qari Abdul Majeed and others said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had totally ignored the erstwhile Fata and had not allocated sufficient funds for the education, health, communication and other sectors. They said that sit-ins and jirgas would be held from Bajaur to Waziristan to press the government for acceptance of their demands. “The rulers reneged on all the pledges and commitments made at the time of merger regarding establishing a medical college and an university in each merged district, allocating Rs100 billion in each annual budget and three percent share in the National Finance Commission Award for the tribal areas,” Sardar Khan said, adding that the federal government had pledged a 10-year development plan for the merged tribal districts but that could not be implemented in letter and spirit.

“Under the plan, Rs100 billion were to be allocated for these districts in each annual budget but the federal government once again allocated a very small amount in the budget for the former Fata,” he said.

The JI leaders said that the tribal districts had adversely suffered due to militancy and military operations and the federal and provincial governments must focus on its development and welfare of the violence-stricken people.

They blasted the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister for not raising the issue of tribal districts’ share and special package at the Council of Common Interests (CCI) meeting in Islamabad.

Under the 25th Amendment of the Constitution, they said the merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa should be given three percent share in the NFC Award but the pledge was yet to be honoured.

The JI, they added, was going to stage a sit-in outside the Provincial Assembly building in Peshawar in which people from all walks of life would participate from across the tribal district to get their rights.

They also criticised the provincial government for allocating only Rs2.4 billion in the Annual Development Programme for entire merged tribal districts and termed it a peanut.

“Thirty model colleges are to be built in KP but none of the merged tribal districts to have one and our children are being deprived of getting quality education,” Sardar Khan regretted.

They also demanded the government to open the border with Afghanistan so the people of tribal districts could do business and trade with the neighbouring country. The JI leaders also blasted the local administration for alleged rampant corruption in almost all the departments, hours-long electricity load-shedding, increase in drug addiction and free sale of heroin and Ice in the district.