MINGORA: Speakers at a function here on Thursday said that local people should be included in decision making and planning to achieve goals of development projects.

The event was organised by Islampur Cottage Industries Association (ICIA) Swat, under a project to enable citizens to participate in development and decision making process at village level. The project is being funded by USAID’s Small Grants and Ambassador Fund’s Programme.

The speakers said local people should be made part of the decision making process, planning and development projects to achieve better results. “To introduce public participation in rural development, a pilot project is being executed in 10 villages. A contact group of 10 youth members has been formed in each village,” said Hazir Gul, the executive director of ICIA.

He said that members of the group were imparted seven-day training to collect data and devise developmental plans for each village. “The youth along with other villagers, on participatory approach, prepared development plans for their villages,” he added.

Mr Gul said that the trained youth conducted survey and collected data of 30 per cent households in each village. “Fifteen women and 15 men of each village participated in the survey, classified issues of their villages and suggested recommendations for solution,” he said.

Mr Gul said the village development plans for all the 10 villages were shared with government and non-governmental organisations, elected representatives and local bodies.

Social activists on the occasion said that it was a unique exercise, which could work as a guideline for members of the village councils as well as elected representatives and government institutions.

ARREST: The Counter-Terrorism Department here on Thursday claimed to have arrested a militant for his involvement in anti-state activities.

Acting on a tip-off, CTD arrested Munawwar Gujjar, a resident of Dargai in Malakand Agency, in Shamozai area of Swat, said a statement.

“He was wanted by law enforcement agencies for his involvement in an attack on security checkpost in Shin area in 2009. Two soldiers of army were killed in the attack,” said the statement, issued by CTD.

The arrested person was shifted to unspecified location for investigation.

Published in Dawn, March 10th, 2017

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