PESHAWAR - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Sardar Mahtab Ahmad Khan on Wednesday announced establishment of endowment fund to the tune of Rs1 billion to sponsor needy tribal students.

The governor announced this while addressing a representative tribal jirga at the Governor House on Wednesday. He said in the past, tribal areas have been neglected and now time has come to think realistically. "Let us work sincerely and make a merit-based development in every field of life aimed at taking people out of the prevailing difficult circumstances," he added.

Sardar Mehtab said, "I want to bring a change in their life and it is my earnest desire that all segments of society in FATA should join hand with me in making this possible." The governor said that the number of existing skill development-based scholarships are also being enhanced from Rs1,700 to 10,000 from the next financial year."

The governor earlier met with the parliamentarians from FATA at the Governor House who later on also became part of the jirga, which comprised leading tribal elders and maliks from all seven tribal agencies and six frontier regions of FATA. 

Prominent among them were Malik Waris Khan Afridi of Khyber Agency, Malik Masood Ahmed of South Waziristan Agency, Malik Qader Khan of North Waziristan Agency, Malik Saleem Khan of Kurram Agency, MNA Dr Ghazi Gulab Jamal of Orakzai Agency, Malik Daud Khan of Bajaur Agency, Malik Mumtahin of Mohmand Agency and Haji Gul Afridi from Frontier Regions.

On this occasion, they welcomed the governor and extended greetings to him on taking over the responsibilities as governor KP. They also assured their fullest support and cooperation to him in his efforts for resolving the difficulties faced by people of FATA on behalf of their respective tribes. Governor Sardar Mehtab said, "FATA bears the status of a strong wall from security point of views and we have to apply wisdom-oriented approach to achieve the goal of establishing peace and normalcy in the region."

Referring to  the points raised by tribal elders, the governor said, "I am very much conscious of the varying nature of difficulties which the people of FATA are confronted with and he will visit them in their own areas to help them in seeking amicable way forward."

"Let us all re-invigorate our efforts to make the repatriation of all dislocated tribes to their home areas and I will apply all my means and energies to manage resources for their rehabilitation," the governor said.  "The annual development plan will be fully reviewed and realistic assessment of the future needs in accordance with the expected volume of resources will be ensured," he said. "It is my sincere desire and also the honest wish of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif that the people of FATA should be enabled to avail better opportunities for their future development and make their fruitful role as mainstream partners at the national level possible," he said.