MANSEHRA: The local government representatives have demanded of the National Highway Authority to reopen Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad (MNJ) road to traffic so that the residents could go back to their native villages and cultivate crops in Batakundi village in Kaghan valley.

“Because of the delay in reopening of Kaghan-Batakundi section of MNJ road, the families who had migrated to parts of Hazara from upper parts of Kaghan valley couldn’t return,” Mukhtiar Ahmad Mughal, the nazim of neighbourhood council, told a press conference in Garhi Habibullah here on Sunday.

Flanked by a group of councillors, Mr Mughal said that neither the NHA nor Kaghan Development Authority was sincerely working to reopen the MNJ road. He said that potato and pea produce of Battakundi were known across country, but the farmers could not go back to timely cultivate those crops. He said that the main road was blocked in November last year following heavy snowfall in Kaghan valley.

YOUTH ASSEMBLY: The provincial youth assembly which met here on Sunday passed several resolutions seeking basic rights for the transgender persons and women according to the country’s Constitution.

“Though employment and other quotas have already been fixed for us, but we are still deprived of all these rights,” Maria Khan, a Shemale member of the assembly, said before moving a resolution in the assembly here on Sunday.

The assembly having representation of the minorities, transgender persons and women met with its Speaker Mohammad Amir in the chair. The members, including Asim Shahzad, Qazi Taib, Malik Aman and Shabir Hussain, also addressed the assembly.

Speaking on the occasion, Nadra Khan, the transgender member of the assembly, demanded of the government to ensure that all rights were given to the community as transporters didn’t allow them to travel in public transport.

Speaking on the occasion, a female member Marina Khan said that women in Hazara were still facing difficulties in getting their rights. The members also discussed power outages and other issues of people in Hazara.

Published in Dawn, April 22nd, 2019

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