PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan said here on Monday that the recently elected independent members of the provincial assembly from tribal districts to join Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.

Addressing a press conference at Chief Minister’s House, he confirmed that the ruling party formally approached six independent candidates, who won elections, to join PTI so that they could play effective role in implementation of 10-year ‘tribal decade strategy’.

He said that due portfolios would also be assigned to the MPAs-elect in the provincial cabinet as per law. He said that the residents of merged districts proved that they were peaceful and democratic people.

The chief minister said that holding of peaceful, fair and free elections in the merged districts dispelled all negative propaganda and proved that the people of merged districts supported the merger of tribal districts with the province.

CM also offers them berths in provincial cabinet

He said that following polls for provincial assembly, the next important phase was holding local government elections in tribal districts to devolve powers to grassroots level.

Mr Khan congratulated the newly elected members of provincial assembly from tribal districts and said that the elections would prove to be a new chapter of development and progress for the tribal districts.

“July 20, 2019 became a historic day for the tribal people. The Election Commission of Pakistan, armed forces, security agencies and people of the tribal districts deserve appreciation on such peaceful, impartial, free and fair elections,” he said.

The chief minister said that participation of women in the elections proved that residents of tribal districts not only believed in democratic norms but also encouraged womenfolk to become part of the democratic process.

He said that government would give paramount importance to development of tribal districts. He added that a 10-year development plan was already chalked out in consultation with relevant stakeholders for development of tribal districts.

Mr Khan said that deprivation of 70 years would soon come to an end and people of tribal districts would have the same facilities like the residents of other parts of the country.

To a query regarding election results, he said that PTI emerged as leading political party as it secured more seats in the tribal districts than any other party. He thanked media for positive coverage during the elections.

Published in Dawn, July 23rd, 2019