Home Global Village Baluchistan and Sindh should cut FATA some slack: Taimur Jhagra

Baluchistan and Sindh should cut FATA some slack: Taimur Jhagra


News Desk |

Taimur Saleem Khan Jhagra, Provincial Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for Finance said that people of FATA have given sacrifices on behalf of the whole nation for 70 years. “Though Baluchistan and Sindh have reservations over special financial assistance to FATA, their decisions under the 18th amendment cannot be considered wrong. However, what has been done to FATA i.e. unjust state behavior, proxy wars and complete ignorance in financial matters, Baluchistan and Sindh should be generous with their cause.”

Taimur Jhagra made these comments while speaking to Dr. Moeed Pirzada on his prime-time show “Live with Moeed Pirzada” at GNN on Monday, January 7th. He also said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is subsidizing Rs. 70 to 80 billion in electricity for facilitating national requirements. “If possible, like KP the other provinces (especially Baluchistan and Sindh) should also initiate some financial help for 5-6 million people in FATA”.

Taimur Jhagra commenting on the different developments in FATA said that “merger of FATA happened on the last eve of PLM-N government which envisages structural and legal technicalities.

Previously, in December, Prime Minister Imran Khan on his visit to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had directed the authorities to constitute a reform and implementation committee that also includes the provincial governor for every tribal district of the newly-merged tribal areas. An understanding that Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Federal government will direct 3% of their divisible pool from National Finance Commission (NFC) award (around Rs-108 billion) to FATA was reached as well.

Taimur Jhagra commenting on the different developments in FATA said that “merger of FATA happened on the last eve of PLM-N government which envisages structural and legal technicalities. Then the interim government lacked legal grounds for expending greater role in general development which shows no-political will and non-seriousness on the part of the previous government”.

Read more: FATA’s merger into KPK is not a guarantee of socio-economic prosperity

The FATA merger process rather motivated by political intention was actually supposed to follow an incremental approach, i.e. merger at different stages. Moreover, the need of the hour is to focus on basic developments despite indulging state energies on legal transitions.

Similar arguments were presented by analyst and former Ambassador Rustam Shah Mohmand that the merger of FATA with KP alone is not enough. The mainstreaming of the tribal areas needs a focus on giving people quality education, providing safe drinking water, establishing health clinics, providing housing colonies, extending irrigation schemes, tapping into the enormous mineral wealth, exploiting the hidden mineral resources, creating economic opportunities, establishing parks, promoting sports activities, creating a conducive environment for children to grow, and establishing skill development institutes for the large number of adult unemployed population.

The education department in this regard has turned down a proposal of IMU directorate to hire more people and instead decided to send current staff to the merged districts.

Briefing about basic on-ground development Taimur Jhagra said that “before June, 13 mobile health units will be launched in tribal areas; and Rs-1 billion should be allocated as a loan for FATA youth in coming one or two weeks”.

In a recent development, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government is set to exorcize ghost teachers in the merged tribal districts. “Action will be taken against ghost teachers in the tribal region,” Adviser to CM on Education Ziaullah Bangash has said.

Soon biometric system will be installed in tribal schools to monitor the attendance of teachers and other staff during the school time, he said, announcing an extension of the jurisdiction of independent monitoring units (IMU) of education department to the merged districts of erstwhile Fata. IMUs have been operational in K-P since 2014 for monitoring and data collection for all the 28,000 schools in the province.

Read more: The Constitutional Matrix of FATA

The education department in this regard has turned down a proposal of IMU directorate to hire more people and instead decided to send current staff to the merged districts. Officials said that fresh hiring will be made only if it is absolutely necessary.

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