ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Friday that some hidden powers were against the merger of Fata into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and they were using people to accomplish their malicious plan.

He said this while chairing a review meeting to assess development regarding Fata merger into KP.

The prime minister said: “We will have to defeat these hidden powers by fighting against them jointly.”

Imran pledged that the erstwhile Federally Administrated Tribal Areas will definitely get its share from the National Finance Commission award. The prime minister said after the merger of FATA the administrative and other matters should be resolved in such a manner that the people do not face any difficulties.

But PM Khan said the government will play its due role for ensuring provision of share to FATA in the NFC award.

The meeting was briefed that a number of departments of FATA Secretariat had already been transferred to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

These departments included education, Zakat, Ushar, social welfare and population welfare; while process of shifting other departments was under way.

For the development of the areas merged with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a special committee led by Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been formed to prepare a ten-year plan.

FATA was a semi-autonomous tribal region that existed from 1947 until being merged with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in 2018.

It consisted of seven tribal agencies (districts) and six frontier regions, and were directly governed by the federal government through a special set of laws called the Frontier Crimes Regulations.

It bordered the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan to the east and south, and Afghanistan's provinces of Kunar, Nangarhar, Paktia, Khost and Paktika to the west and north.

The territory is almost exclusively inhabited by the Pashtun, who also live in the neighbouring provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Northern Balochistan, and straddle across the border into Afghanistan.

The merger of FATA into the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province is aimed at streamlining the belt and providing equal opportunities to the tribal people.

The prime minister was also informed that a committee has been constituted under the head of KP Chief Minister. The committee will supervise development projects of the newly-merged areas.

The FATA would be allotted three per cent share in the next NFC awards and in this regard consultation is in process. The government has approved Rs1.1 billion budget for the welfare of Fata youth. A notification has been issued regarding exemption of Fata from tax net, the meeting was told. Besides, the annual development fund for Fata has also been approved.

Last month the government had announced that FATA will get three percent share under the NFC award as decided by the federal cabinet.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the share of the provinces will be reduced to facilitate the FATA people.

The Pakistan People’s Party warned it will not accept any cut in the NFC award for the provinces.

Senator Sherry Rehman said: “The PPP will not accept unconstitutional cuts by the federal government in the NFC.”

She said such cuts were not possible without a constitutional amendment. “Setting up task forces under the supervision of a Governor, who is an arm of the executive is a roadblock on provincial autonomy,” she contended.

 

PM VOWS TO MAKE COUNTRY POLIO-FREE

 

Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday vowed to make Pakistan a polio-free country.

The premier chaired a meeting of the National Task Force on Polio Eradication here. Minister for Health Amir Mehmood Kiani, Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhaw Shah Farman, Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar, CM Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah, CM Gilgit-Baltistan Hafiz Hafezur Rehman, Chief Secretaries of the provinces, representatives of the Polio Partner Agencies and senior officials attended the meeting.

The meeting was briefed about the current status and the efforts afoot to completely eradicate polio from the country. The Chief Ministers briefed the meeting about the efforts being made by the provincial governments.

The Prime Minister stressed upon the need for greater efforts to sensitise public about the devastating effects of the crippling disease especially for the future of the country - the children of Pakistan.

He reiterated commitment of the federal and provincial governments towards polio eradication. He said all the Chief Ministers would continue to spearhead campaign against polio eradication in their provinces and the federal government would continue to provide every possible support them.

The Prime Minister said polio eradication was a national cause and every effort would be made to make Pakistan polio-free country. He thanked international partners for their support towards this important cause.

Pak Army committed to provide security and enabling environment for the success of the polio eradication campaign.

Meanwhile, Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani called on Prime Minister Imran Khan here yesterday. “They discussed various issues of mutual interest,” said an official statement.

 

ASSETS RECOVERY UNIT BRIEFS PM

 

APP adds: A meeting of Assets Recovery Unit was held here Friday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Imran Khan. The Assets Recovery Unit briefed the prime minister about its performance and presented details of the traced properties and assets abroad.

According to a statement issued by the prime minister media wing, the unit also updated the prime minister about the steps so for taken for repatriation of the properties and assets.

 

 

PM for foiling designs of ‘forces’ against Fata merger