ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Wednesday said that development and progress of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) is a priority of the government and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government has the credit for taking up the development of FATA and its people very seriously.
He said this while talking to a delegation of the PML-N office holders hailing from various agencies of FATA, led by SAFRON Minister Ghalib Khan here at PM office.
The prime minister said that the process of FATA reforms was already underway and it would be accomplished according to the wishes of the people. He added that the government believed that the reforms and merger process of FATA should be completed in steps so that if an issue pops up, those would be resolved timely.
PM Abbasi went on to say that the government believed that the people of FATA needed to be brought to the mainstream by launching a comprehensive development programme. He added that the government was determined to provide health, education, employment and other basic facilities to the people of Pakistan, similar to those in the other developed areas of the country.
The meeting discussed in detail FATA reforms, construction and development projects and the issues faced by people.
The delegation was appreciative for an end to the black laws in FATA which plagued the region for past several decades, and for taking practical measures for the improvement of infrastructure and lifestyle of the people.
Separately, PM Abbasi met a delegation of Rural Support Programme Network (RSPN), headed by its Chairman Shoaib Sultan Khan, which called on him at PM office on Wednesday.
While talking to the delegation, the prime minister said that the government was committed not only to provide every possible support to the poor but also to assist them in skill development and capacity building so that they are able to sustain themselves.
The prime minister appreciated the efforts of RSPN and its contributions towards poverty alleviation in various parts of the country. He also recalled the vision of the leadership of PML-N that started National Rural Support Programme in 1991.
Shoaib Sultan Khan briefed the prime minister about the functions and working of RSPN that helped the poor break off the shackles of poverty through fostering a three-tier social mobilisation network. He said that a holistic approach was followed by RSPN, including social networking, capacity building and human resource development, offering microcredit facility, infrastructure development, and provision of technical assistance along with necessary linkages, which had yielded positive results in various countries of South Asia in poverty reduction and enabling the poor earn their livelihoods on a sustainable basis.
He also said that trained staff and comprehensive network of RSPN spread over the entire country could complement government’s initiatives to reach out and extract the poor out of the vicious cycle of poverty.
The delegation also included Shandana Khan, Dr Rashid Bajwa, Masoodul Mulk, Muhammad Dittal Kalhoro, Nadir Gul and Muzaffaruddin.