HARIPUR: The seven union councils across River Daur should be converted into a separate provincial assembly constituency. This demand was put forward to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) by representives of the seven villages.
The three union councils of Ladarmang, Kalinjar and Beer, with more than 70,000 people, were separated from Haripur when the Tarbela Dam was built and were annexed from the revenue limits of Mansehra, local elders Syed Ali Asghar Shah Sherazi, Sagheer Ahmad, Usman Sherazi, Abdul Waheed, Muhammad Irshad, Mubarak Ali, Muhammad Asif, Salim Khan and Manzoor Shahm told The Express Tribune.
However when Haripur Tehsil was upgraded to the status of a district during 1991, these three union councils were made part of the revenue limits of Haripur known as NA-13 and PF-50. The ECP attached these three remote union councils to PF-52 Haripur IV in Ghazi Tehsil, during the creation of the fourth provincial assembly constituency in 2002.
The elders said that the decision was “absolutely wrong” because people of the region have to travel 200km to reach Ghazi via Haripur, which takes almost five hours, as there is no direct route between the three union councils and the tehsil’s headquarter except Tarbela Lake.
The elders said that if the government is really interested in improving the living standard of people of Lower Tanawal, it should redesign all the four constituencies and create a separate provincial assembly constituency comprising of the following union councils: Jati Pind, Pind Hasham Khan, Serae Nehmat Khan, Beer, Ladar Mang, Kalinjar, and Mankraye.
They added that as the UCs are situated in remote hilly areas and have no representation, the residents are deprived of basic rights including health facilities and a college.
Haripur consists of one national assembly seat NA19, four provincial assembly seats KP49, 50, 51 and 52 while according to local politicians, ECP is considering to increase the numbers of seats as the population has crossed well over one million.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 28th, 2011.