Mehtab stresses need to educate locals in FATA

Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan
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Governor Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan has said education is key to help resolve issues faced by tribespeople of Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

He was speaking at an event organised at a hotel in the city on Thursday to discuss peace in Fata. The ceremony was arranged by Wana Welfare Association (WAWA) to award certificates and prizes to students who secured top positions in matric and intermediate exams. It was attended by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, MNA Haji Shah Jee Gul Afridi, among others.

“The policy of selecting only rich and influential people as representatives will end soon,” he said. Mehtab urged the public to take part in politics and said the future of tribal belt will be decided according to the wishes of locals.

“Tribespeople are real custodians of the soil and have the right to take decision regarding its future,” he added.

The governor lauded WAWA’s activities, saying such organisations deserve encouragement and appreciation as they help promote education and address other civic needs of communities.”

“I believe that only educated tribespeople can help develop Fata,” he added

According to Mehtab, peace returned to Fata due to the efforts and sacrifices rendered by the locals. He also vowed to include representatives of local government institutions in decision-making bodies.

Speaking about the miseries of tribespeople, Mehtab said militancy had wreaked havoc in the region and millions of people have been displaced. However, the government has started repatriation of IDPs, which will be completed by end of 2016.

“At the moment, repatriation to five different tribal zones is in progress and so far 700,000 people have been returned to their homes,” he remarked. Mehtab said besides repatriation, the rehabilitation process is also under way in the region.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 6th, 2015.