Civil administration empowered to resolve land disputes in tribal districts

PESHAWAR: The Local Government Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has sent a summary to Finance Department for establishment of tehsil municipal administration in the tribal districts.

The government has also empowered the civil administration in the tribal districts to use their budget in their respective districts. The KP Board of Revenue and Estate Department has included the tribal districts in the sphere of the Board of Revenue (BoR) and given additional powers to deputy commissioners, additional commissioners, assistant commissioners, tehsildars and naib tehsildars to make land demarcation and resolve the land disputes and cases among different people and tribes in the tribal districts.

The Local Government Department has issued three notifications in this regard. The provincial cabinet in its meeting on January 31 had decided to bring the tribal districts under the Land Revenue Act 1967. It was also decided that the deputy commissioners of the tribal districts will be given powers of collectors, additional deputy commissioners tehsildars will get powers of Grade-1 assistant collectors, while naib tehsildars will get powers of Grade-2 assistant collectors.

The KP government has tasked these officers to resolve all the land demarcation disputes among different people, groups and tribes in their respective tribal districts and tehsils. The laws of Board of Revenue and Estate Department on the pattern of Malakand Division will be applicable in the newly-merged tribal districts for resolution of land disputes. The deputy commissioners, assistant commissioners and assistant directors Local Government have also been given powers to spend budget in their respective areas under the set guidelines.

The step of the provincial government for resolution of land demarcation disputes and budget spending is part of the reforms implementation plan in the tribal districts. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government after coming to power in the Centre and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has expedited the reforms process. There was also criticism from the anti-merger quarters that the government’s abrupt decision of merger has left a void in the administrative system of the tribal districts. However, the government is gradually taking steps for bridging the void and the provincial ministers are also making visits to the tribal districts to oversee the merger process.