Gov’t Dream Of Erstwhile Fata Development Fast Turning Into Reality

Gov’t dream of erstwhile Fata development fast turning into reality

Before merger into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the tribal people had suffered for nearly 70 years due to legal, economic and constitutional injustices besides faced the brunt of terrorism and militancy due to an unavailability of a police and justice system

PESHAWAR, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 7th Jun, 2024) Before merger into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the tribal people had suffered for nearly 70 years due to legal, economic and constitutional injustices besides faced the brunt of terrorism and militancy due to an unavailability of a police and justice system.

This long negligence bred poverty, socio-economic imbalances, unemployment and illiteracy, which led to dearth of economical and educational stakes and downfall of social values in merged areas.

The persistent un-conducive environment, lackluster development work and poor investment in socioeconomic and education sectors strengthened the roots of militancy and deteriorated the law and order situation that had adversely affected people of the tribal areas.

The draconian Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) had granted unlimited powers to the political agents to jail an accused without proving guilty and impose heavy fines either on him or his entire family members besides demolishing his house or expel them.

The 25th constitutional amendment passed by the PML-N government on May 31, 2018 had not only abolished the draconian FCR but also nullified the negative propaganda about erstwhile Fata of being safe havens for militants in the post 9/11 period besides accelerating pace of socioeconomic, education, health and infrastructure development in the once hitherto neglected region of Pakistan.     

 “Fata merger was a landmark achievement of the Nawaz Sharif government that had brought tribal people into the national mainstream,” said Ikhtair Wali Khan, former member provincial assembly and PML-N KP spokesman while talking to APP.

The merged areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had witnessed substantial development works under the Federal government’s public sector development program (PSDP) and KP’s ADP to facilitate over five million tribal people.

Accelerating pace on infrastructure, digitization, education, health and other socioeconomic projects after successful completion of KP-Fata merger process, Khyber Pass Economic Corridor (KPEC) project had been approved that would help accelerate pace of economic development and bolster industrialization in erstwhile Fata.

Granting constitutional rights, extension of local government, police and judicial systems, he said KPEC would link Peshawar with Torkhum Khyber through Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway that would turn the entire tribal belt into a hub of trade and investment.

KPEC’s 47.5 kilometer four lane expressway would connect Pakistan with Afghanistan and onward Central Asian Republics (CARs), according to NHA Officials, adding it is a three-year project for which the Federal Government would provide about USD 385.6 million with KP government’s share is USD 75 million.

The loan agreement has been already signed with the World Bank for construction of KPEC. The proposed expressway would start from Chamakani Peshawar and will bypass Peshawar City, Cantonment and onwards connect Jamrud, Landi Kotal and Torkhum of Khyber tribal district. It would have about 22 bridges and flyovers, 139 culverts and two major interchanges and service areas besides others facilities.

Following completion of KPEC and construction of additional carriageway of Torkhum- Jalalabad road project costing about Rs7344 million, the tribal people and local communities on both sides of the western borders would be largely benefited.

The project would make a positive impact on commercial infrastructure, medium enterprises including marble and freight sectors and revitalization of industrial estates in merged areas in the wake of CPEC’s Rashaki SEZ.

  An estimated 100,000 new jobs would be created for tribal people under KPEC.

To link North Waziristan and South Waziristan tribal districts with KP’s southern districts through enhanced road connectivity, work on the 60 kilometers long Sarai Gambila-Karak section (package-) has been completed.

 Package-II (Karak-Kohat section of 72 kilometers length) had already been completed. The total cost of the project is Rs 30,130 million including an allocation of Rs 3,500 million in PSDP of last fiscal year.

First package would be completed with an estimated cost of Rs1.22 billion and second package would cost Rs1.78 billion connecting Lower and Upper Chitral districts with Dir and Bajaur tribal districts that would turn KP a hub of tourism after construction of proposed Dir Motorway.

Likewise, Chitral-Booni-Mastoj-Shandor road Chitral having a bid cost of over Rs2.6 billion with Rs 2,000 million PSDP’s allocation was being improved and widened. Besides construction work of Kurram-Tangi Dam in North Waziristan and completion of Gomal Zam dam of 17.4 MW in South Waziristan, the Federal Government expedited work on Mohmand dam costing Rs309.6 billion with capacity to produce 800MW electricity and gross storage capacity is 1.293 million acres feet (MAF).

Besides supplementing 160,000 acres of existing land and about 18,237acres of new land would be irrigated while its annual benefits are estimated at Rs 2.23 billion. The project would help protect Peshawar, Charsadda and Nowshera from floods with annual Rs45.76 billion revenue in terms of flood mitigation. The overall benefits of the project stand at Rs51 billion.

The Prime Minister’s education and skills enhancement for all programs for promotion of technical and vocational education and training development was underway in merged areas where tribal students were being provided equal opportunities under the national internship program.

Rs 2053 million were being spent on construction of Institute of Petroleum Technology Karak where students of tribal districts would also be enrolled. Khyber Institute of Child Health & Children Hospital Peshawar was being constructed with an estimated cost of Rs 7955.334 million that would also benefit patients of Khyber and Orakzai. He said completion of Zyra-Daboori road would open up Orakzai tribal districts of tourism and development.

Out of Rs120 billion development allocation under annual development program of KP for FY 2024-2025, he said that Rs 36 billion would be spent under ADP and Rs79.29 billion under accelerated implementation program (AIP 2024-25) on development of tribal districts.

The barren lands of South Waziristan, North Waziristan and Kurram tribal districts would be irrigated after construction of Cheshma Right Bank Canal (CRBC) with allocation of Rs10 billion in provincial budget 2024-25, adding Tank Zam, Chodhan Zaman and Daraban dams was also in pipeline.

Umair said about 130 government degree colleges would be opened in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including merged districts in rented buildings and Rs9 billion would be spent on free treatment of tribal patients with free medicines. He said cadet colleges at Mohmand, Wana South Waziristan and Cadet College Razmak North Waziristan are also catering to the needs of quality education of tribal students.

Against allocation of Rs8.11 billion in social welfare, he said establishment of shelter homes were increased to Rs 600 million in FY 2024-25 against outgoing Rs300 million while projects of heritage field school extended to merged areas.

APP/fam/taj (APP Feature Service)