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PESHAWAR: While launching Sehat Insaf Card in the tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday, Prime Minister Imran Khan said the health insurance facility was a big relief for people who faced militancy and subsequent crackdowns in the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).

The prime minister also announced a countrywide programme for poverty alleviation, which would also be launched from the tribal districts of KP. This programme was the first of its kind in the country’s history, he said, explaining that it would be a coordinated effort of government organisations.

Mr Khan said his government was striving for wealth creation with an aim to fight poverty and the programme for poverty alleviation would help achieve this objective.

About the upcoming visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the prime minister said that it would bring a huge investment in the country.

Sehat Insaf Card launched in tribal districts

Emphasising fast-track development under a roadmap prepared for the region, Mr Khan said the government would give funds to the merged tribal districts first to kick-start development in the region. He said the government had already prepared a special development plan for the region. He said unrest in the tribal districts had done considerable damage to the region and the country. He said the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf had always raised voice against military operations, because such operations hurt local population also. He said the government would work on the development plan and set up schools and hospitals in the region.

During his day-long visit to Peshawar, the prime minister presided over three meetings including that of the apex committee, which reviewed the functions of the newly constituted advisory committee in the context of newly merged districts of the province. Mr Khan also met KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and Governor Shah Farman besides chairing the provincial cabinet meeting.

The chief minister and the governor briefed the premier about the administrative and security issues as well as extension of existing public entities and their functions to the newly merged districts. They also discussed the plan for rehabilitation and reconstruction and the start of economic and development activities in the tribal districts.

Mr Mahmood said the KP government had prepared a comprehensive development plan for the people of the tribal districts. Economic activities would open up these areas to expeditious development, he said, demanding that the federal government provide resources for rehabilitation and integrated development to bring the people of the region into the national stream of development.

The prime minister said his government had a commitment with the people of the region for their expeditious development, mitigating their suffering. He assured the chief minister of provision of resources for the expeditious development in the tribal areas. The government would construct schools, hospitals and institution of social services, he said.

He said the extension of Sehat Insaf Card was a big relief for the poor segment of society, as each family in tribal district with this card would get health care facilities worth Rs720,000 every year.

He also directed the provincial ministers to visit the tribal districts and supervise the work for extension of their departments and the functions for efficient services delivery in the tribal districts.

When he took over, he said, the country had started sagging under the weight of internal and external debts but the situation had improved considerably with coordinated efforts of the PTI government. He said that the Saudi crown prince visit to Pakistan was a historic occasion for massive foreign investment in the country. “This visit would create mass-scale employment, bring stability to the country’s economy and we would be able to pay back the debts,” he said.

Published in Dawn, February 16th, 2019