BAJAUR/MOHMAND: Scores of people took to streets against alleged corruption, irregularities and mismanagement in distribution of free wheat flour here on Wednesday.

The protest demonstration, organised by local chapter of Jamaat-i-Islami in Ragagan bazaar, was attended by a large number of locals and party workers.

The protesters blocked the busy Khar-Pashat road to all types of traffic moment for several hours. They chanted slogans against district administration and food department.

They said that irregularities and mismanagement not only failed the free flour distribution scheme but also damaged self-respect of people, especially women, who waited in queues for several days to get the commodity.

JI leaders Haji Sardar Khan, Qari Abdul Majeed, Mohammad Hameed Sufi, Lateef Jan, Bakhtiar Alam, Rafiullah, Haytullah and others addressed the rally.

They urged administration and food department to either improve the arrangements immediately or close the distribution points to avoid further insult to locals.

Some speakers also asked the officials to give the task of distribution of free flour to Al-Khidmat Foundation in Bajaur.

In Mohmand, the residents of Baizai sub-division blocked the main Peshawar-Bajaur road to protest lack of free flour distribution points in their area.

Later, the protesters opened the road and dispersed peacefully on the assurance of the district administration.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Dr Mohammad Ehtishamul Haq visited Captain Rohullah Shaheed Sports Stadium Ghalanai to inspect the flour distribution process. He also interacted with the people gathered there to get free flour.

Dr Ehtisham said that government was making efforts to provide relief to people. He said that the number of distribution points would be increased from 25 to 35 to facilitate people.

“Today we distributed 26,000 bags of flour instead of 12,300 while there are 123,920 households in the district. Tomorrow we will distribute more 26,000 bags,” he said.

Regarding the flour quality, the deputy commissioner said that quota was allotted to another flour mills in Shabqadar after public complaints that was providing quality flour to people. He urged people lodge their complaints regarding the free flour distribution directly with his office.

Published in Dawn, March 30th, 2023

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