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MANSEHRA: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has notified Kolai-Palas as a district and Baffa-Pakhal as the fourth tehsil of Mansehra district.

“Our government has fulfilled another commitment made to the local residents by declaring Kolai-Palas as district and Baffa-Pakhal as tehsil,” political adviser to the CM Sabir Khan told a group of people outside the press club here on Friday.

He earlier told a news conference that the government would appoint the relevant staff to the new district and tehsil within two weeks.

Mr Sabir said Baffa-Pakhal tehsil would have at least 15 union councils, including Dodial, Shinkiari, Suma Allimung, Schain, Jabar Daveli, Ichrian, Ail, Tanda, Baffa, Anayatabad, Hilkot, Tarangri Sabir Shah and Bugermung.

The adviser, who was elected MPA from Palas unopposed in the by-election after the resignation of JUI-F lawmaker Maulana Asmatullah, said he would contest the next elections for the National Assembly seat from Palas.

“The people of Palas have invited me to contest the next elections from the region and I accept the invitation and will act accordingly,” he said.

However, the people of Shinkiari criticised the government for giving the tehsil status to Baffa-Pakhal and said they didn’t accept it.

“We want Shinkiari to become a separate tehsil. The PTI leadership had accepted our this demand but ironically, the government has made our region part of Baffa-Pakhal tehsil, which is unacceptable to us,” patron-in-chief of Shinkiari Tehsil Movement Saeed Sabir told reporters.

He said if the government didn’t give the status of tehsil to Shinkiari, then it should restore the previous status of Mansehra tehsil’s union council for the area.

“We have called a meeting of our elders to decide the future course of action in the wake of the notification,” he said.

HOUSE GUTTED: A fire gutted a house and cattle pen killing animals and destroyed goods in Balakot on Thursday night.

However, no damage to public life occurred in the incident, which was caused by electrical short-circuit.

Among the animals were cows, goats and sheep.

Published in Dawn, August 26th, 2017