ISLAMABAD        -         The members of National Assembly’s (NA) Standing Committee on States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) on Friday expressed reservations over the status of development schemes in the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

The committee that met here under the chairmanship of Member National Assembly (MNA) Sajid Khan, noted with concern that it had proofs that some development projects in the merged tribal areas were only on paper.

The additional secretary, Irrigation Department, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) briefed the committee on the development of irrigation sector in the merged tribal districts and sub-divisions in detail.

The committee directed the Irrigation Department additional secretary to submit to the National Assembly Secretariat at the earliest list of the development schemes along with their exact location and budget details.

The additional secretary, Sports Department, KP also briefed the committee in detail on the sports activities in the merged tribal districts and sub-divisions.

He informed that a sports complex would be built at the headquarters of each tribal district and at sub-division level with all latest facilities for athletes so that sports activities in the area could be promoted. After the briefing, the committee members recommended building the said sports complex in a thickly populated area.

The members of the committee expressed grave concern over non-compliance with the cabinet’s decision to double reserved seats for students from merged tribal areas in the medical and dental colleges of the country, saying it was tantamount to injustice with the students.

In this regard, KP health secretary also shared the list of adjustment of double seats for students of the merged tribal areas in the medical colleges of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and informed the committee that the provincial health department had been directed by the Senate Standing Committee on SAFRON that the four provinces, including AJK, would submit the Inspection Form to the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC).

He further informed the committee that the PMC would fulfill the formalities in this regard within 10 days, and its members would show up at the Senate Standing Committee on SAFRON meeting which was proposed to be held next month.

In this regard, the committee asked the National Health secretary for his personal intervention in the said matter and report to it accordingly.

The committee further directed the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Home and Tribal Affairs Department to sit together to resolve the issue of seats reserved for erstwhile FATA students in the universities across the country and report to the committee accordingly.

The meeting was attended by MNAs, including Saleh Muhammad, Gul Dad Khan, Gul Zafar Khan, Muhammad Iqbal Khan, Abdul Shakoor Shad, Muhammad Jamalud Din, Ali Wazir and officials of the Ministry and its attached departments.