Monday Sep 28, 2020
MOHMAND: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday vowed to uplift the tribal areas and underprivileged sections of the society in line with the principles of the 'state of Madina'.
Speaking to the participants at the inauguration of Mohmand Nahakki Tunnel and Sheikh Zayed Road in Halimzai of the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA), PM Imran Khan said efforts should be made for the progress of all areas together.
"Every possible help will be given to the tribal areas," he promised, noting that the opportunities of education and employment were at the lowest level in these regions. "The government has an ideology and that is its roadmap.
"Our ideology is the same rules and principles from the state of Madina and that ideology is to uplift the weaker sections of the society,” he added, terming it the state's biggest responsibility.
"Allama Iqbal and Quaid-e-Azam also thought of an Islamic welfare state," the prime minister said. "We are trying our best to uplift the weaker sections of the society.
"Progress should be such that all areas are uplifted together, not that one develops and rest go down," he added, emphasising that efforts were being made to spend more funds on the tribal areas.
Earlier, officials briefed PM Imran about the development projects being carried out in the agency, while the premier was also scheduled to meet the elders at the Yousaf Khel FC Camp.
The premier also spoke of the funds given to the provinces under the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award, lamenting how the portion to be given to the tribal areas were not disbursed as promised.
"The provinces had promised before the  elections that they would give a 3% share of the NFC award to the tribal areas but when our government came into power, they were not ready to share it.
Underlining how numerous areas of Sindh were left behind, the prime minister highlighted how the "party that gets votes from the rural areas [of the province] does nothing for Karachi".
"Areas that are left behind should be given more attention," he stressed.
Moving back to the problems faced by Pakistan's western regions, he said: "The tribal areas and Balochistan should get the full funds they deserve even if the other regions do not get them.
"The tribal areas have become part of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The KP [government] gave its fair share of the NFC to the tribal areas," he noted.
PM Imran directed for all kinds of assistance to be provided to the KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan.
He underscored that some elements did not want FATA and the KP province to merge and that "our enemies are in touch" with them. "Our enemies fund such elements and are trying their best to spread chaos.
Smuggling was destroying Pakistan, PM Imran said, but announced that efforts were being made to "open border markets" and "set up industries in the tribal areas that can export goods to Afghanistan and Central Asia".
With regards to the dialogue that began between the Taliban and the Kabul government for the Afghan peace process, he said: "I pray for the talks between the Taliban and Afghan officials to be successful.
"There are countries that do not want peace in Afghanistan. If there is peace in Afghanistan, there will be an opportunity for trade from Central Asia.
"As the peace talks move forward, trade in the tribal region will change dramatically," he added.