Benefits of Fata-KP merger will appear in few months: minister

MIRANSHAH: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai said on Friday that the benefit of merger of the tribal areas with KP will appear with the passage of time.

The minister said this on the occasion of inauguration of press club building in Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan tribal district. Shaukat Yousafzai said the people of the tribal districts waited for 70 years for legal and administrative reforms and they should now wait for a few months for fully utilising the benefits of the reforms.

The minister said peace was restored in North Waziristan and rest of the tribal districts due to the sacrifices of the Pakistan Army and area people. He said peaceful environment is vital for development of the tribal areas.

During his visit, the civil and military officials briefed him about the security situation of the area. Strict security measures were taken on the occasion of the visit of Shaukat Yousafzai to the tribal district. He announced that the government will take steps for establishment of a media colony in the tribal districts and the tribal journalists will also be provided accreditation cards.

Shaukat Yousafzai also met the tribal elders during his visit to North Waziristan. Addressing the tribal Jirga, the minister said the tribal people have got real independence with the introduction of reforms. He said earlier the people of the tribal districts were not free as they were under the British-era black law of Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR). He said the FCR was a law of slavery which had kept the tribal population confined for long. He said the tribal people are fully independent now and they can approach the court in case of violation of their rights.

The minister said the government will spend Rs1,000 billion on development of the tribal districts under the 10-year mega plan. He said the implementation of the development plan will change the destiny of tribal districts.

Shaukat Yousafzai said Pakistan wants peace in Afghanistan as peace in the neighbourly country directly affects peace in Pakistan. He said Pakistan wishes that the ongoing peace process in Afghanistan bear good results and durable peace prevails there.