ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information Senator Shibli Faraz on Monday criticised the Sindh government for non-payment of its share in the NFC Award for development of tribal districts.
At a press conference, Mr Faraz asked the provincial government to pay its share of three per cent out of the National Finance Commission Award for the purpose.
The minister highlighted the progress and development carried out in former Fata since its merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and said it had been decided that all provinces would contribute three per cent of the NFC Award to the tribal districts. However, he regretted, the Sindh government was yet to allocate its share of fund for the purpose.
The minister said that the people of erstwhile Fata had rendered great sacrifices for Pakistan and the area was backward in terms of social and economic development and needed funds for development.
Shibli Faraz says region is still vulnerable to terrorist attacks
“We hope the Sindh government will fulfil its obligation in this regard,” the minister said, adding that the integration of Fata was aimed at giving equal rights to tribal people and the area needed investments to upgrade and establish national institutions there.
Mr Faraz backed the presence of security forces in these areas as the region is still vulnerable to attacks by Taliban and other terrorist groups coming from Afghanistan.
He said the security situation in the area had improved to about 80 per cent.
“We do not claim that everything is normal and all issues have been resolved there, but things are improving and the process of mainstreaming the people of these areas continues at a fast pace and that is why financial help is required from all provinces,” he added.
The minister said that Rs100 billion would be given annually for development in tribal districts for 10 years.
He also talked about large-scale development programmes launched in the tribal districts since its integration with KP.
“The system of providing justice to tribal people has been simplified and Levies Force has been integrated into police. This step is very important for enforcing the writ of the government in former Fata areas in future,” Mr Faraz said.
He said that 28,000 members of Levies and Khasadar forces had been integrated into the KP police, but they would remain posted in the tribal areas for the time being as they were aware of local traditions, culture and people and their issues.
He said the Fata Secretariat had been abolished and jurisdiction of the provincial government had been extended to these tribal areas and Sehat and Insaf cards had been introduced there for the deserving people.
To improve the local economy, he said, all laws had been implemented.
In reply to a question about opposition to reforms by certain influential people in the area, the minister said that there were many beneficiaries in the old system and they were opposing these reforms.
Published in Dawn, July 21st, 2020