MIRAN SHAH: Locals and elected representatives of North and South Waziristan demanded on Sunday that the government should not move ahead with building the Kurram-Tangi Dam before seeking consent from the Kabul Khel Tribe which lives in the two former tribal agencies.
This was decided in a grand jirga which met in Miran Shah on Sunday. The jirga was attended by elders of the Waziri tribe, MNAs Mohsin Dawar, Ali Wazir and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl’s (JUI-F) Mufti Abdul Shakoor along with local religious figures, government officials from the two erstwhile federally administered tribal areas (Fata) along with students and local leaders.
The jirga expressed concerns that many people of the two tribal districts were not being relocated, nor were they being paid compensation for their land, their built-up structures and belongings.
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They warned that if the government insisted on pushing forward with the construction of the dam without first addressing the reservations of locals, it could lead to a confrontation with the state.
Elected lawmakers from the tribal districts assured the grand jirga that they will raise the issue with senior officials of the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) apart from tabling a resolution in this regard in the national assembly to draw attention to their grievances.
The parliamentarians also assured that the issue of Kurram-Tangi dam would also be raised before Prime Minister Imran Khan with the hope that he would sort the issue with the relevant authorities.
The grand Jirga also refuted demands of the construction company to vacate land earmarked for the dam in the national interest. Instead, the jirga members demanded that they should be compensated for their lands since the entire Shawa tehsil of North Waziristan District stands to be submerged owing to the construction of the dam.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 11th, 2019.