PESHAWAR: Opposition staged a walkout in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Tuesday over the unsatisfactory measures taken by the provincial government for the infrastructure development in merged tribal districts, while lawmakers on opposition benches demanded making ex-Fata a separate province.
The assembly session resumed under the chair of Speaker Mushtaq Ghani in which Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentary Leader Sher Azam Wazir urged the government to make tribal districts a separate province on Gilgit-Baltistan model.
Leader of Opposition Akram Khan Durrani opening the debate said that JUI-F had opposed merger of erstwhile Fata with K-P and now the government was facing problems to facilitate tribesmen in their areas.
He said the government should explain the plan for utilisation of Rs100 billion and three per cent from NFC Award to be spent in tribal districts.
He raised a question about the quota system in jobs and admission for students. He said that the people were facing problems in land registration and mutation system.
Durrani suggested for voluntary return of illegal weapons from tribesmen and handing over legal weapons to them for their safety.
Due to the proximity with the border, people of the seven districts should be given special permission for keeping weapons at homes.
ANP Parliamentary Leader Sardar Hussain Babak said that the tribal districts had been considered a buffer zone between Pakistan and Afghanistan for the past 70 years.
Due to this status of buffer zone, the federal governments had intentionally kept the seven tribal districts deprived of due rights.
The development funds for the seven district were utilised in Islamabad, now the PTI regime was also following the same practice with due intentions.
Babak said that 19,000 shops were demolished in the North Wazirstan in the name of military operation and millions of houses were also razed for similar purposes, but no one was paid for the losses.
“We demand resumption of 3G and 4G internet services in the seven tribal districts while the numbers of the provincial assembly seats for tribal districts be increased to 24,” Babak said and added that power vested in the governor related to ex-Fata are illegal and unconstitutional.
MMA lawmaker InyatUlah Khan said that huge area of 27,000 square kilometres should be developed on war footing as the masses of tribal areas have suffered militancy, military operation, displacements and killing now the deprivation of seventy years should be addressed.
PML-N MPA from Hazzara division Sardar Aurangzeb Nalota said that the credit of the merger of tribal districts in K-P goes to his leader Mian Nawaz sharif, while after the merger the development task was the responsibility of the following government which showed zero interest in the affairs of ex-Fata.
From the government benches the PTI member of provincial assembly Shah Mahmood Wazir requested the federal government and NADRA to clear the blocked CNIC of scores of tribesmen and Waziristan should be given tourism spot under the K-P promotion tourism program.
On the other hand the provincial assembly tabled a bill in Tuesday’s proceeding to award authority of generation of power to the private institutions and NGOs who would have power to produce power up-to 2MGW.
The speaker adjourned the session till Wednesday.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2019.