BAJAUR – Prime Minister Imran Khan yesterday said that merger of tribal districts with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has opened a new era of progress and development in the region and his government intends to bring the tribal areas at par with rest of the country.
He was addressing at the ground-breaking ceremony of Timargara-Khar-Mamadgat road project at the Bajaur Scouts headquarters, Khar, during his brief visit to the region.
Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and Governor Shah Farman were present on the occasion. Several federal, provincial ministers, senior officials of the Frontier Works Organization and security forces also attended the event. Elders, political and religious leaders, party workers and local lawmakers have also participated in the ground breaking ceremony of the 71-km-long road project.
Speaking on the occasion, the premier said that integration of tribal districts with Khyber Pakhtunkahwa was not only vital to pave way for the socio-economic development of the region but also necessary to keep the region safe and secure from the anti-peace and anti-sate elements.
The merger of tribal districts with the province was a great step towards the durable socio-economic development of the region, but it would also foil the nefarious designs of anti-state elements in the region forever, the PM added. He also said that his government was giving special attention to the development of tribal districts.
Khan claimed that no politicians knew the tribal areas and its issues better than him as he had paid his first visit to Bajaur and other areas in 1992 for his book. The Prime Minister said that merger of tribal areas with KP would not only attract the investors to set up industries here, but would also help to establish bazaars and trade centres along the border areas.
He expressed his concern over the lack of education facilities in the tribal areas. He, however, informed that the government had planned to promote education in the region so its residents could earn their livelihoods in their own areas. He said his government had also decided to provide health cards to each family in the tribal districts so they could not face any financial troubles in treatment.
About the Afghan peace process, the prime minister termed the start of intra-Afghan dialogue in Doha, the capital of Qatar, a good news for the people of tribal districts. He was of the view that if the intra-Afghan peace process was successful, it would bring a major change in the tribal regions by increasing the trade activities in the areas.
The ceremony was also addressed by KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and said that the provincial government was determined to improve the lives of the people of tribal areas by providing them the required facilities.