FATA-KP merger to benefit tribal people, further strengthen Pakistan: PM

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APP70-23 KHYBER AGENCY: May 23 - Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi addressing a gathering at Jamrud. APP

PESHAWAR, May 23 (APP):Describing the proposed FATA-KP merger as a revolutionary step, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday said it would not only benefit the people of Federally Administered Tribal Areas but would also strengthen the country.
“I know there are different opinions on this subject, but the ultimate decision would be taken keeping in view the country’s interest as well as the aspirations of FATA people,” he said while addressing the inauguration ceremony of 132 KV Grid Station in Tehsil Jamrud of Khyber Agency.
The Prime Minister said consultation continued
on FATA-KP merger over the last three and half months and even today there was a lengthy meeting on subject, adding, the National Assembly and Senate would take the decision in the interest of the people of tribal areas.
He said it was a long process involving financial and administrative measures.
Under the proposed merger FATA would be provided Rs 100 billion per annum for the next ten years as against the current Rs. 25 billion to bring this area as well as the people at par with other areas of the country in terms of education, health, infrastructure and other facilities.
The Prime Minister said the revenue loss of FATA due to abolition of “Rahdari Tax” would be compensated through the provision of additional funds by the federal government.
He said Pakistan Army was extending full support in implementation of FATA reforms.
The Prime Minister said the grid station project was completed at a cost Rs 780 million. Currently power projects worth Rs 2 billion were underway in FATA, he said adding the PML-N believed in provision of equal rights to FATA as were available to other people across the country.
He said PML-N believed in practical work and took practical measures during the five year period in power. He said work on six-lane1700 kilometer Peshawar-Karachi Motorway was in progress which after completion would benefit the people of country in fast travelling.
The Prime Minister referred to his conversation with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and said a motorway from Peshawar to Kabul would be constructed, connecting Pakistan with the Central Asian States.
He said democracy was a pre-requisite for socio-economic development of the country and the present government of PML-N would continue strengthening democratic institution as well as democracy in the country.
The Prime Minister said the federal government had started survey of Tehsil Jamrud for the provision of natural gas, adding, since the Election Commission of Pakistan had banned the inauguration of development works, the project could not be initiated.
He said KP was self-sufficient in gas production and gas would be provided to Jamrud and Bara people.
On the demand of tribesmen for reduction in power outage, the Prime Minister urged the tribesmen to keep check on high losses feeders in FATA for uninterrupted power supply.
However, the Prime Minister added that Jamrud Grid Station would considerably reduce power outage and check low voltage issue in the agency.
Earlier upon his arrival Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Iqbal Zafar
Jhagra, Deputy Speaker National Assembly Murtaza Javed Abbasi and MNA Shah Gee Gul Afridi received the Prime Minister at the helipad.