PESHAWAR -  Quami Watan Party Chairman Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao on Saturday criticised the federal government for delaying construction of Munda Dam and stressed for early construction of the major hydropower project overcome shortage of electricity and irrigation water.

He said that feasibility study for the Munda Dam project had been completed years ago. He was addressing a public meeting at Shabqadar area in Charssada wherein a prominent political figure, Malik Alam Khan, with scores of his family members and supporters joined the QWP.

The new entrants praised leadership of Aftab Khan Sherpao, saying he was the only leader left in the province. They said that Sherpao was the only voice for protection of the rights of Pakhtuns.

Sherpao said that Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa was the largest producer of gas and oil in Pakistan, but he said that the federal government had taken control over these resources due to which the people of KP were deprived of development. He asked the government to stop delaying tactics and creating hurdles in the ways that lead to Pakhtuns’ welfare and prosperity and ensure construction of Munda Dam at the earliest.

Sherpao said that delay in holding the census and ignoring reservations of the people over census results had created hurdles in the delimitation. He said that if the census had been held within time, it would have not led to the present situation. He regretted that it would badly affect the share of the smaller provinces in the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award and their strength in the Parliament. He said that this vital issue should not be politicised and consensus should be reached at the earliest over the delimitation.

He demanded an end to the line dividing Pakhtuns between settled and tribal areas and stated that Fata and KP should be united. He stated that uniting Pakhtuns in Pakistan would usher in an era of peace and prosperity in the country.

He said that Pakhtuns had rendered numerous sacrifices and it was the time that the government realise their sacrifices instead of turning a deaf ear towards their demands. He clarified that it was important to provide all the units with their due rights in order to ensure a strong federation. He stated that if the federal government limited its development agenda to Punjab only and ignored the sacrifices of Pakhtuns, it would have a negative impact on the federation.