PESHAWAR: Representatives of various political parties and former MNAs belonging to tribal districts have urged the government to release the promised funds for the development of the merged districts.

Speaking at a news conference at the Peshawar Press Club on Tuesday, former MNAs Syed Akhunzada Chattan of Pakistan Peoples Party, Shahjee Gul Afridi, Sahibzada Haroon-ur-Rasheed of Jamaat-i-Islami, and other elders said that despite announcement the government was yet to release the promised funds for uplift of the merged districts.

They threatened to besiege the Governor House if the government did not resolve the pending issues relating to the share of the merged districts in the NFC. They also asked for immediate review of the law regarding control of mines and minerals in the tribal districts.

The stakeholders urged the government to resolve the problems of the tribal people as per recommendations of a former Fata reforms committee, which included release of development funds, exemption of tribal districts from different taxes and meeting the demands regarding new jobs and education quota.

The former lawmakers and elders said the facilities of education, health and communication were next to nil in the districts. The political parties in merged districts, they claimed would launch a protest movement if their demands were not met immediately.

They said the people had suffered heavily due to the menace of militancy, and stressed the need for paying special attention to the neglected areas.

Published in Dawn, December 11th, 2019