Making South Punjab province not an easy task, says president | Pakistan Today

Making South Punjab province not an easy task, says president

–Dr Arif Alvi says FATA’s grant after merger to be increased by 3 per cent under NFC Award

PESHAWAR: President Dr Arif Alvi on Saturday said that the forming a separate South Punjab province will not be an easy task for the government.

Addressing a press conference alongside Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Governor Shah Farman, the president said, “Making a new province is not going to be easy. There are problems there, including the distribution of assets, water and other issues.”

“However, we will overcome these issues,” President Alvi vowed.

He said that the merger of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) has happened and we have to constantly look at the problems in the region. “Rs1,000 billion will be invested in the tribal districts over the next decade.”

“No member of the Levies or special forces will be jobless. We will provide employment for 30,000 people,” he assured.

He further applauded the people of the tribal districts and stated that they have made great sacrifices in the war against terrorism.

“The way we fought and then rehabilitated is an example not seen anywhere else in the world,” said the president.

In response to a question about KP and FATA’s merger, he said that the governor was tasked to complete the merger at the earliest.

“This merger is not an easy task,” he said, adding that the merger took place according to the law but there are de facto issues that should also be kept in mind.

He said the grant of erstwhile FATA, would be increased by 3 per cent in the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award to bring the hitherto neglected tribal districts at par with the settled areas of the province.

He also announced that election on the provincial assembly’s general seats in the tribal districts would be held on July 25, 2019, after which the elected representatives would effectively highlight the problems of their areas in the provincial legislature.

President Alvi further highlighted the importance of increasing tourism and said that “the country is blessed with many tourist areas which lack development and basic facilities”.

The president continued to say, “We came to the realisation in Gilgit-Baltistan and Naran that construction without any planning destroyed the beauty of the region. Haphazard buildings destroyed Murree. We will try to promote tourism without affecting the natural atmosphere.”

On the subject of missing persons, President Alvi said that we need to pay attention to this issue.

When asked to comment on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent statement to use poultry to eradicate poverty, he said, “I did not advise the government about the chicken and eggs plan. I urge the PM and government to do their work instead of reacting criticism.”

He further said that a project is being undertaken for out of school children, underscoring that the government is trying to create a common curriculum.

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