KHAR/GHALANAI: Speakers at a seminar have termed local government system imperative for speedy and durable development of tribal districts.

The seminar aimed at creating awareness about the local government system was organised jointly by provincial local government department and district administration in Bajaur tribal district on Tuesday. Workers of political parties, civil society members, youth and local elders attended the event.

Speaking on the occasion, secretary of local government department Motasim Billah said that government had decided to extend the local government system to tribal districts. He said that local government system would ensure merit and transparency in development schemes.

The secretary said that there would be two councils for the district -- one for Khar subdivision and one for Nawagai subdivision. He said that each council would have 40 members.

Deputy Commissioner Usman Mehsud and other officials also addressed the event.

A similar event was held in Mohmand tribal district the other day wherein speakers said extension of local government system would bring a real change in the tribal districts.

The event was addressed by MNA Sajid Khan Mohmand, MPA Nisar Mohmand, Local Government Secretary Motasim Billah, Deputy Commissioner Iftikhar Alam, ADC Saiful Islam, Assistant Commissioner Hamid Iqbal, former senator Haji Abdur Rehman Faqir, Mohammad Khalid, Shah Hussain, political leaders and social workers attended the ceremony.

They said that the system was designed to devolve powers to grassroots level. Under the project, 12 youth ambassadors have been appointed for Mohmand tribal district to create awareness amongst tribesmen about local government system and elections.

The tribal elders, who opposed merger of tribal areas with the province, walked out of the event and held a rally at Ghalanai Press Club.

They said that tribesmen were not consulted on the local government system. They said that many promises had been made with them but not a single one was fulfilled.

They elders decided to hold a jirga next week to discuss boycott of the local government system.

Published in Dawn, January 29th, 2020

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