Kohistan clerics to help protect foreign workers of Dasu project

Published March 5, 2021
Clerics in Upper Kohistan district have assured the administration that they will not allow anyone to block work on the Dasu hydropower project and will help protect foreign workers. — File photo
Clerics in Upper Kohistan district have assured the administration that they will not allow anyone to block work on the Dasu hydropower project and will help protect foreign workers. — File photo

MANSEHRA: Clerics in Upper Kohistan district have assured the administration that they will not allow anyone to block work on the Dasu hydropower project and will help protect foreign workers.

“The ulema backed by all local tribes have announced that the residents won’t be allowed to hamper smooth execution of the Dasu energy project. Those challenging the government’s writ will be taken to task,” deputy commissioner Arif Khan Yusufzai told reporters at the end of a jirga in Dasu, the district headquarters of Upper Kohistan, on Thursday.

The event was attended largely by the clerics. Work on the dam was suspended last month when Wapda’s guards opened fire on a group of people, who attempted to enter an under-construction tunnel of Dasu dam.

Five of them had suffered injuries.

The deputy commissioner said the land acquired for Dasu dam was the public property and nobody could make an ownership claim about it.

Assure admin won’t let anyone block work

He said the district administration also wanted to ensure brotherhood among tribes settled across the district and that they be given an equal opportunity for project jobs.

Mr Yusufzai warned that those creating hurdles to the project would be dealt with strictly under the law.

Meanwhile, the deputy commissioner gave away Rs220 million cheques to the people, whose land was acquired for the Dasu dam.

He said the project would help meet the country’s electricity shortfall but develop Upper Kohistan district.

Also in the day, the office-bearers of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Women’s Wing visited the King Abdullah Teaching Hospital and expressed satisfaction with the services offered to patients, especially pregnant mothers.

“The Sehat Sahulat Programme is a revolutionary healthcare initiative of the PTI government and expecting mothers are availing themselves of it for free services including care by skilled birth attendants and medicines,” PTI Women’s Wing president Farrakh Ishtiaq told reporters.

She said the hospital’s bedding strength, which came down to around 150 after its wards were destroyed by the 2005 earthquake, had been enhanced to 350.

Another PTI leader, Tahira Jabeen, blamed high mother and infant mortality rate in the district at the deliveries handled by unskilled health workers and said the rate would plunge due to the Sehat Sahulat Programme, which provided free gynaecological services to visitors.

Published in Dawn, March 5th, 2021

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