PESHAWAR: Caretaker Chief Minister Mohammad Azam Khan on Monday complained that even five years after the merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the province wasn’t receiving that region’s due share in the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award.

Addressing the certificate distribution ceremony here for a three months skills development training programme for youth of North Waziristan tribal district, Mr Khan said the population of the newly-merged districts that totalled more than five million should receive its due share in the NFC Award.

“The people of the erstwhile Fata have been facing multiple challenges for the last four decades. They deserve special attention,” he said.

The event was held by the Mari Petroleum Company in collaboration with the Sarhad Rural Support Programme and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited and provided technical training to 110 youngsters in different fields, according to a statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Secretariat.

CM says people of region facing multiple challenges for decades

The chief minister said that ever since he assumed the portfolio of the caretaker chief minister, he had been trying to resolve the issues of the merged tribal districts and get their legitimate rights from the federal government.

He added that he had taken up the issues of the merged tribal districts with the prime minister, while

the provincial government had written several letters to the federal government for the resolution of those issues.

“Our resources [KP government] are very limited, but despite this, we will utilise everything available for the development of the merged tribal districts,” he said.

The chief minister congratulated the newly-trained youngsters and urged them to utilise the skills for self-employment and work for the development and prosperity of their localities.

He also thanked the petroleum exploration and production company Mari Petroleum, NGO Sarhad Rural Support Programme, and others for the skill training of the youth of North Waziristan district.

Mr Khan said that other private companies exploring oil and gas in the province should take steps as their corporate social responsibility to impart skills and provide employment opportunities to the youth of the disadvantaged areas of the province.

SRSP chief executive officer Shehzada Masoodul Mulk, retired Brigadier Asad of the Mari Petroleum Company and tribal elders also addressed the event.

Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2023

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