Governor emphasizes for generating resources for the dire needs of FATA

Peshawar: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Sardar Mahtab Ahmad Khan has emphasized the need for generating enough resources which could not only fund the dire needs of meeting the demands of stability, integration and reconstruction in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas but also to start certain new projects which contribute towards the long term socio-economic development of FATA.

He was addressing the inaugural session of the seminar on “FATA-stability, integration and reconstruction” arranged by the Institute of Strategic Studies (ISS) in Islamabad on Tuesday.

Director General ISS Ambassador Masood Khan, Chairman FATA Reforms Commission Ejaz Ahmad Qureshi, Ambassador Ayaz Wazir, Lt. Gen (Retd) Talat Masood, Coordinator support project FATA Mohammad Zahoor, Director Area Study Centre Dr. Sarfaraz Khan, Programme Director Planning Commission Dr. Sumbal Khan and a large number of socio-economic experts participated in the seminar.

The governor said the very few would recognize the fact that per capita investment was still the lowest in FATA and the federal transfer as a percentage of total federal receipts had declined over a period of time and there was surely a need to channel more resources towards the tribal built. He said the drivers of conflict in the region had a direct relationship with the low level of investment by the “State” and this trend had continued since long.

The Governor Sardar Mahtab Ahmad Khan said FATA entailed more than the conventional definition of it. He said reconstruction means not just rebuilding the damaged public sector infrastructure but also the private dwellings as well as the livelihoods of the people.

He said reconstruction entailed rehabilitation of all the facilities and services that were in a dilapidated condition not because those were damaged in the war on terror but because those facilities and services deteriorated for the want of repair and large scale displacement from the region.

He said they had to take measures to revive whatever industry and sources of livelihoods were available in the region. He said the government intended to rebuild all those in a better and smarter manner. He said all that should be undertaken with the engagement of the citizens in peace and social cohesion.

He said the investment should be made in such a manner that the social fabric of the society could be restored. He said at the same time care was already been taken to provide cash support to the returning families so that some disposable cash was provided for their daily sustenance.

He said the govt. had already embarked upon a program to introduce certain reforms, which lead us towards an administrative integration. He said those reforms were making Levies more of a policing force, changes in the judicial structures and processes, introduction of Land Settlement in FATA, introduction of a prosecution service in selected area, extension of laws pertaining to economic growth, social regulations, criminal and civil justice system and creation of Municipal Committees and urban centres in FATA.

The governor appreciated the operation Zarb-e-Azb and the countless sacrifices rendered by the Armed Forces and gallant tribesmen. He said the nation had undoubtedly dealt a crushing blow to the scourge of militancy. He said operation Zarb-e-Azb had major role in all that and put all of them in ease that guardians of the nation were pursuing their enemies in a systematic and committed manner.

Other speakers, including Ambassador Masood Khan, Ejaz Ahmad Qureshi, Ambassador Ayaz Wazir, Lt. Gen (Retd) Talat Masood, Mohammad Zahoor, Dr. Sarfaraz Khan and Dr. Sumbal Khan also presented their papers during the seminar and spoke in detail on the historical and geographical status of FATA and its post war scenario.

They presented various suggestions as how to back the tribal population in the repatriation and rehabilitation process.