PESHAWAR - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak on Wednesday hinted at recruiting trained teachers for all mosques in the province.

He directed the Auqaf Department to collect exact data of mosques throughout the province so that the government could assess the actual requirement and provide salaried and trained teachers to the mosques in phases. The chief minister was taking a presentation wherein Ihsan Ghani, National Coordinator NACTA, highlighted the steps required for uprooting extremism from the country and role of the provinces in this regard.

Acting Chief Secretary KP Azam Khan, IGP Salahuddin Mehsud, secretaries of Home, Law, Elementary and Secondary Education, Higher Education, Local Government, Auqaf, Information and Culture departments as well as IG Prisons were also present on the occasion. The presentation focused on education and other sectors enabling youth to contribute to image building of the country, replacing the wrong perceptions inculcated in them with the true spirit of nationhood.

The chief minister on the occasion informed the participants about his government’s efforts coupled with the on-ground struggle of armed forces leading to sharp reduction in extremism and terrorism-related activities and a visible decline in the crime graph in the province. He said that extreme tendencies could be tackled through different interventions including reforming education sector, reducing poverty, providing jobs to the jobless, discouraging selective justice and reducing the trust deficit between the rulers and the ruled. He said that his government was also contemplating to set up cultural hubs at divisional level throughout the province.

Khattak was more concerned about the wrong perceptions regarding the province, comparing the situation in KP with other provinces and terming the same better than the rest but said still there were safeguards and filters that held the investors from coming to the province. Perceptions are built through the past experiences and correcting the wrong perceptions need visible steps and actions for the trust building, he said.

He said that the federal government normally avoided issuing NOCs to foreign investors visiting the province to convert the MoUs with KP government into agreements, which he said was totally unjust treatment of the province, adding that by doing so, the federal government reinforced the wrong perceptions about KP.

The chief minister said that KP would be flooded with foreign investment in the backdrop of CPEC as the province was the most attractive destination for investors. It is unfortunate that investors are scared by the federal government by not issuing NOCs to them, he lamented. He said that he talked at the relevant forums about his concerns regarding issuance of the NOCs to potential investors but in vain.

Khattak appreciated the police for its dynamism, especially for setting up dedicated wings for the protection of tourists, which he said encouraged local tourists to visit Hazara, Malakand and Swat regions. He also spoke out his mind about a uniform system of standardised education, saying that the existing system was creating three different classes, all socially, ideologically and economically isolated from one another.

He emphasised the need of mainstreaming and standardising the education system in the province, saying that his government had taken the first step by introducing English from the very start of the academic career of a student. He said that for the purpose, the KP government also made teaching the Holy Quran with translation compulsory up to higher-secondary level. Khattak also advocated the need of a uniform syllabus and said his government had already laid the foundation, adding that education was the baseline for development. 

He assured to upgrade the standard of all educational institutions both public and private.