ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday called for united efforts to foil the designs of some forces, who for their nefarious motives, were misleading the people about the merger of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), which was done with the objective of changing the lives of tribal people and bringing about a clear improvement in them.
He expressed these views while chairing a high-level meeting held at the PM Office to review progress on the administrative and other matters after the KP-FATA merger.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri, KP Governor Shah Farman, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Advisor to PM Shehzad Arbab, senators and parliamentarians from FATA and senior officers.
The prime minister said that during the process of administrative and other reforms, the people of FATA should come to know that the merger was done for their improvement and betterment.
He said that after the merger, the process of administrative and other reforms should be completed in a way that it did not cause any problem for the people.
The prime minister cited the merger of East Germany and West Germany and said that joint efforts were needed to bring FATA, which was far behind in terms of development work and progress, at par with the other areas of the country.
He said that the federal government would play its role in getting due share of FATA in the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award.
Talking about the posting of officers in merged areas, the prime minister stressed that capable officers having good repute and the spirit of serving masses should be posted in those areas.
During the meeting, the prime minister was briefed in detail about the progress achieved so far in the administrative and other reforms after FATA-KP merger.
The meeting was informed that in light of the prime minister’s direction, a number of FATA Secretariat departments including education, zakat, ushr, social welfare and population welfare had been transferred to KP. Work was in progress for the transfer of other departments as well, it was informed.
The meeting was further informed that besides continued consultation with the federal government on 3 per cent share of FATA in the NFC Award, a special committee headed by the KP chief minister had also been constituted for the execution of a 10-year plan of development work in the merged areas.
The federal government had also approved an allocation of Rs1.1 billion in the budget for providing “Sehat Sahulat Cards” to the poor people of FATA under the Prime Minister’s National Health Programme, it was informed.
The meeting was informed that with an annual development programme 2018-19 for FATA already approved, a notification regarding five-year tax exemption in the tribal areas has also been issued.
The meeting was informed that work on delimitation of constituencies in the merged areas was also in progress and would be completed by December this year.