Peshawar    -  Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan, during his day long visit to tribal district South Wazirstan on Thursday, performed ground breaking of 41km long Kotki-Karama-Koniguram Road and 10km long Jana Tai-Takai-Nishpa Road, and inaugurated 40-bed category-D hospital in Toi Khulla.  

The hospital provides quality healthcare facilities in six different specialties. Mahmood Khan was accompanied by provincial minister Akbar Ayub, Special Assistant to CM Kamran Bangash, Corps Commander Peshawar Lt. Gen. Nauman Mahmood and IG FC South Maj Gen Umar Bashir. 

Addressing Jirgas of tribal elders at Kaniguram and Toi Khulla, the Chief Minister said that merger of tribal districts had almost been completed and now the provincial government was focusing on the accelerated development of the merged areas. He said efforts were being made to setup border markets and economic zones in merged areas with the aim to provide maximum employment opportunities to the local people.  

Mahmood Khan said the development of tribal districts was the top most priority of his government and being Chief Minister of the province, he was fighting at all available forums for the rights of tribal people. He said his government was going all-out to ensure rapid and sustainable development of merged areas so that issues of tribal people could be resolved on sustainable basis. “Development strategy of provincial government will usher new era of development and prosperity in merged areas,” he remarked. 

The Chief Minister said that matter regarding provision of Rs100 billion development package annually for tribal districts had been taken up in the recent meeting of the Council of Common Interest (CCI) where he made it clear that during current financial year, development funds less than Rs50 billion would not be accepted at any cost. He said that only Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had fulfilled its commitment regarding provision of 3% of NFC share. Other provinces should also fulfil their commitments and ensure provision of 3% of their NFC share for the tribal district, he added.  

He further said that matter regarding exemption in taxes for additional five years had been taken up with the Prime Minister and expressed the hope for positive response to this effect. 

Talking about the ongoing development activities in merged areas, the Chief Minister said that work on various development schemes in education and health sectors of the tribal district was in progress whereas small dams would be constructed to develop agriculture sector in the areas.  

Similarly, projects would also be initiated to develop tourism sector in the merged areas. He said that all issues being faced by the tribal people would be resolved one by one and directed the Commissioner Dera Ismail Khan to present detailed report on the issues of South Waziristan. He said that administration was already working to settle down disputes amongst the tribes regarding ownership of lands and traditional Jirga system was being restored to resolve all local issues in a peaceful manner.  

Speaking on the occasion, the local tribal elders appreciated the provincial government and Pak Army for paying special focus to the development of the areas and assured that elders of South Waziristan would extend their all-out support to the government and law enforcing agencies to maintain peace in the area.