Empathising with IDPs: In Mohmand, independent candidate opens election office in a tent

Says his manifesto will not exclude anyone in the tribal areas.

Our Correspondent April 08, 2013
IDPs wait for packages to be distributed by the UNHCR in this picture dated September 17, 2009. PHOTO: FILE

GHALANAI: A large number of internally displaced persons (IDP) from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) are living in IDP camps in tents and Abdul Waheed Khan, an independent candidate from NA-36 Mohmand Agency, has decided to follow suit and have his election office in a tent.

At an inaugural ceremony, Khan held a public gathering at his office. “It is my main objective to serve the poor and ignored people of the area and resolve the basic issues faced by them,” announced Khan.

The candidate is contesting elections to “deliver a positive message to the nation” – not to make money. “I have received my education in England and earned a living through daily wages. Now I want to represent the poor and deprived from this area.”

Khan criticised the political parties for developing manifestos which do not include Fata. He asserted the impoverished of Fata had been historically cheated by mainstream political groups. The independent candidate said he has a “collective manifesto” which does not exclude anyone in the tribal areas and has a positive framework for the development of his constituency.

Abdul Waheed Khan wants to make the nation aware about the problems faced by IDPs in camps. He opened his office in a tent to empathise with them, wanting to be “the voice of the people.”

He outlined the main objectives of his policy statement, and stated it would include a balanced distribution of development schemes; the establishment of standard education facilities; the destruction of natural habitat in Nahqi Kandow for road construction; an advisory board to resolve the issue of unemployment; and the organisation of a consultation committee comprising educated youth.

Khan demanded IDPs must be facilitated by the Election Commission of Pakistan so they can cast their votes without leaving the camp.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 8th, 2013.


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