PESHAWAR - The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to establish the Institute of Peace and Conflict Management in the province, aiming at dealing with peace and conflict issues in the militancy-hit province.

Briefing media persons regarding the 47th meeting of the provincial cabinet, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Information Minister Mian Ifitikhar Hussain said that establishment of this institute was a need of the hour as this region needed experts to discuss the cause of problems and means to resolve them. He said that the idea for this institute was presented on July 20, 2009 while its PC-1 was also approved in the same year. He added that the cabinet meeting also discussed matters regarding the upcoming financial budget and the members gave valuable suggestions for setting priorities and targets. The cabinet members expressed satisfaction over the ongoing developmental schemes and completion of mega projects in the last four years tenure of the government.

The cabinet was informed that despite the challenges in the shape of terrorism and militancy, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government spent a huge amount of Rs 200 billion on development schemes. He said the government has invested in various sectors like hydropower, mineral and tourism development and due to these projects the province would get financial stability.

During the cabinet meeting, it was discussed that a huge capacity of the power production existed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa due to which the province could produce electricity beyond its requirements, he said. He maintained that the cabinet meeting also ensured that a balance, public friendly and transparent budget would be prepared to give maximum relief to the masses. He said that suggestions were sought from experts and students in connection with the upcoming budget.

The cabinet also directed the Forest Department to constitute a committee to protect the valuable trees, which were affected by October 2005 earthquake. The committee was constituted under the leadership of additional chief secretary to deal with this matter. The committee members also include Secretary P&D, Secretary Law, Secretary Finance and Secretary Environment.

He further informed that the cabinet meeting has also discusses matters regarding group insurance of the members of provincial assembly which would be affiliated with s Pakistan state life insurance corporation and due to this insurance the members will get benefit in case of their death and disabilities. He said that soon a bill would be tabled in this regard in the provincial Assembly.

He said that the cabinet meeting also assessed the recommendations regarding reforms in Maddressah system and also to include them in government departments to fix grants and aid for its betterment. For this purpose a committee was constituted in March 2010 but no practical step was taken in this regard.

Meanwhile, PTI, Khyber Agency, Chief Organiser, Muhammad Iqbal Afridi warned Peshawar police to stop showing a ‘discriminatory attitude’ towards Khyber Agency people and ‘harassing’ them.

Addressing a news conference on Thursday here at press club, Iqbal Afridi said that police officials harassing and extorting money from the militancy-hit innocent tribal people at police check post at entrance routs from Khyber agency to Peshawar. He added that these tribals were stopped for no legal need but to extort money from them for different excuses. Afridi further said that the tribal people were already distressed and misplaced from their respective localities, while on the other hand city police have strange the lives of tribals.  The PTI leader warned that if the police high-ups did not took the notice of the griming situation, then they will launch a “Jail Bharo” fill persons campaign against the incumbent rulers, and all the responsibility will go to provincial government.