ISLAMABAD: The former Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government failed to include Nawaz Sharif Model Town project in the new budget of the fiscal year 2018-19, which was to be established in the terror-struck North Waziristan Agency (NWA).
The government incorporated the Nawaz Sharif Model Town project in Miran Shah, NWA in the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2017-18 with an estimated cost of Rs2 billion in order to rehabilitate and provide better living facilities to the war-weary tribesmen of the agency.
In the last year’s budget, an amount of Rs50 million had been allocated for the establishment of the residential project. Surprisingly, however, the project was excluded from the recently-announced budget.
The people of the war-torn area were excited about the project which would have kept the name of PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif alive even though he has been disqualified by the Supreme Court. But what were the compelling reasons that forced his party’s government to drop the plan that could have benefitted many families in the agency, as an estimated 1,000 houses were planned to build under the project, are unknown.
In February last year, the incumbent Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra during his address to the tribal elders announced to build the Nawaz Sharif Model Town, which he said would have all the facilities and will be a well-established society for the people of the area.
Officials in the ministry of Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) were equally surprised on the omission of the project since the government is taking the credit of giving more importance to the development of the war-ravaged area.
They said that though undoubtedly, the project is quite useful for the local people, it could have political benefits for the PML-N which is going through the worst time of its history.
However, when asked whether Nawaz’s anti-military rhetoric after his disqualification might be the reason to drop the idea since military is the main execution authority in the area, the official said that it could be one of the reasons but it’s not an excuse since the government could change the name of the project instead of omitting it from PSDP altogether.