ISLAMABAD: A week-long exhibition depicting local governance in the Merged Areas of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa began at the National Art Gallery on Thursday.
The photos contributed by seasoned photo-journalists, Abdul Majeed Goraya of Peshawar, Alamgir Khan of Mohmand and several others express hope for a better future.
The exhibition on the Merged Areas of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa marked the development cooperation between Pakistan and Germany, GIZ Pakistan and the German Embassy.
The photos show people pursuing their businesses, earning their livelihoods and striving to provide their children with a better future.
The photographs also illustrate an emerging local governance system, community development initiatives, women standing up for their rights, and improvements in the education and health sectors.
Some 150 representatives and officials of KP government and its line departments, the German Embassy, the European Union, donor agencies, Members of KP’s provincial assembly, implementing and development partners and academia attended the inaugural ceremony of the photo exhibition.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Minister of Elementary and Secondary Education, Shahram Khan Tarakai expressed his gratitude to the German government and the European Union for their support to the province in various fields of development. The KP government is highly valuing the partnership with GIZ Pakistan and the joint work in areas such as good governance, education and health.
This has led to major changes in the lives of the people in the tribal districts and has contributed to reducing the development lag. Our cooperation has also enhanced public trust in government institutions and has helped to improve public services.
Among the important achievements, he listed improved school curricula, the training of over 5,000 members of parent’s teacher councils, capacity development for over 3,000 managers in the health and educations sectors, as well as training of several hundred officials of the local government department.
In his opening remarks, German Ambassador Alfred Grannas, said that the photo exhibition and its catalogue not only offer vibrant insights into the regions’ history, its rich and diverse culture and traditions, but also into the lives of the of the people and their development needs.
He pointed out the long-standing and successful development cooperation between Germany and Pakistan over a period of 60 years during which countless development projects have been implemented.
This cooperation has over the decades been continuously adapted to meet new challenges and changing social, economic and ecological conditions, he said.
The FATA Development Programme is also an example of joint European efforts in the field of development. Over the years the programme with its budget of almost 40 million euros was co-funded by the governments of France and Switzerland and currently by the European Union.
Special Secretary of the KP Local Government, Elections and Rural Development Department, Irfullah Wazir said that following the merger of erstwhile FATA into KP province, the provincial government has been striving to bring these areas at par with the settled districts.
Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2022