Govt will spend Rs100 billion annually for development of tribal region: PM Imran Khan

Dunya News

The premier announced several development projects for the tribal region.

WAZIRISTAN (Dunya News) – Following restoration of peace in tribal areas, Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan on Wednesday, addressed a public gathering at Spinkai Raghzai area of South Waziristan, and announced that the federal government would spend Rs100 billion on development projects in the region every year.

While acknowledging sacrifices of the tribal people for the country, PM Khan said he was well aware of critical issues being faced by them, and that his visit was aimed at resolution of those issues.

He maintained that he knew the history of tribal areas, however change would be observed now.

“There are huge deposits of minerals in the tribal areas, and if work [to extract those minerals] begins, there would be no need to search for jobs anywhere else,” he said.

“Such an amount will be spent on these areas that were not spent in even 70 years,” he said, adding that every household would get Sehat Insaf Card whereby the families will be able to spend Rs720,000 for their treatment.

He stated that surgeons would be appointed in hospitals, and youths will be able to get interest-free loans [to start their own businesses].

“A sports complex and 100-Km long roads will be built in Waziristan,” he continued.

Three percent of every province will be spent on tribal areas

Later, PM Imran Khan addressed another public gathering in Wanna, a largest town in South Waziristan.

“Many of our politicians cannot distinguish Pakhtunkhwa from tribal areas,” he said, adding that he wrote a book on lifestyle and traditions of tribal region.

He lashed out at two rival political parties by stating that they [parties] had pushed the country under burden of foreign debt.

“Money laundering has a devastating effect on the state’s economy as its currency devalues,” he said, adding that two parties plundered resources of the country and their leaders transferred the wealth abroad.

He termed it as a cause of inflation in Pakistan, and stated that Pakistan’s debt rose from Rs6,000 billion in 2008 to Rs30,000 in 2018.

“People are concerned about where the amount was spent,” he said, adding that all looters have gotten united.

“They want to get another NRO by pressurising Imran Khan. Under no circumstances, we will give them an NRO,” he went on to say.

He mocked at Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari by calling him ‘Sahiba’. “Like Bilawal Bhutto Sahiba I have not come through a paper slip,” he said.

The prime minister said he did not come [in politics] for building factories and palaces, rather to hold them [corrupt elements] accountable.

He urged the people of Pakistan to be confident about the accountability process, and said he would alone fight against all of the corrupt people.

“My [primary] objective of coming in power was to defeat these corrupt elements,” he said. “Through the National Finance Commission Award (NFC), three percent of every province will be utilised for the development of tribal areas.”

The premier recalled that before 9/11, there was peace in tribal region, and the crime rate was nearly zero. He maintained that the jirga system of tribal region used to dispense justice immediately.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Governor Shah Farman and Chief Minister Mahmood Khan accompanied the PM during his visit.

A large number of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supporters and tribal elders participated in the gatherings.

Meanwhile, tribal elders welcomed the visit of the PM and warmly received him in South Waziristan.

The premier said his government has been striving to ensure provision of justice and basic amenities of life to all people of the society on the pattern of Islamic Welfare State of Medina.

“Our revenue is Rs4,500 billion, out of which Rs2,000 billion is being paid as interest on foreign debts,” he said, adding that the people would witness the real change in the holy month of Ramazan as more funds would be released for the public welfare.

He said despite financial crisis, the government has been giving priority to development of tribal districts.

Moreover, he assured that essential health and education facilities would be enhanced in tribal areas.

“Small dams will also be constructed to provide clean drinking water to people of Waziristan,” he said.

Furthermore, he announced construction of two degree colleges, a grid station, and installation of solar systems in the region.

Later, PM Khan will attend the jirga of Mehsud tribe in Makeen town, and apprise the elders of the tribe regarding the federal government’s policies for the development of infrastructure in their towns.

Tribal elders will talk to the PM about security, health, education issues, and restoration of ruined areas in the region.

They are of the opinion that all development projects should be undertaken in the Mehsud belt with the consensus of locals.

PM Khan had already visited Bajour, Mohmand, Khyber and Orakzai districts. He had announced several development projects for the welfare of tribal people.