PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Food Qalandar Lodhi while talking to local journalists said that a complete transition and full-fledged extension of food department to tribal districts would take time.

He said that the transition involves the development of infrastructure and recruitment of staff. However, Lodhi furthered that staff of adjacent district Dir would be given additional charge of the tribal district of Bajaur for the time being in order to extend food department services without any delay.

The minister assured the tribal people that all provincial departments including food are being extended to the merged district adding that the purpose of his visits to all tribal districts is get acquainted with the problems and challenges faced by tribal people.

He was talking to media after holding a meeting with district administration during his official visit to Bajour district on Friday.

Referring to the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Minister Mahmood Khan regarding paying visits to tribal districts by provincial cabinet members, “I have started visiting the merged districts so as to give the tribal people a message that they are now equal and respectable citizen of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa”, remarked the minister for food.

In reply to a question, he said that though there was one flour mill in the Bajaur district KP government would establish wheat storing facility for food security. The Minister said that wheat was released to flour mills on market rate according to population and quota during lean period from the month of April to September. He said that the KP government would encourage and facilitate locals to establish flour mills in the area. Food department would soon formally write to the district administration for requisition of 150-Kanal of land for warehouse and other infrastructure requirements, he added.

A delegation of levies personnel, on the occasion, informed the minister about their grievances in connection with the deployment of police instead of levies force for policing in tribal areas. He assured them of conveying their concerns and demands to the chief minister.

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