ISLAMABAD: NWFP Governor Owais Ahmed Ghani has said that the problems in FATA were multi-dimensional and needed a multi-dimensional approach. He was talking to the 1st group of 42 probation officers belonging to 35th batch of Common Training Program of Civil Services Academy, which called on him at Governor’s House here on Friday.
Additional Chief Secretary FATA Habibullah Khan and Secretary Law and Order FATA Ghulam Qadir Khan were also present on the occasion besides Muhammad Saleem Khan General Manager Planning, FATA Development Authority and Mazhar Ali Shah Deputy Secretary P&D FATA. Responding to questions from group participants, the Governor said that the issues being faced in FATA and NWFP were all a fall out of the 30-year conflict situation in Afghanistan, which still remained in the grip of anarchy, war-lordism and the international norco-mafia.
The Governor presented an overview of the scenario in the region in this context and stated that Pakistan’s counter-strategy was to contain the fall out from the afghan conflict and work for peace and stability in Afghanistan. In fact, he added instability in Afghanistan had destabilized the entire region and the situation would not become stable unless peace and stability returns to Afghanistan. Therefore, he said we must be prepared for a long and sustained effort in this regard. Meanwhile, the Governor said the Government was working on reforms and strengthening of governance system in FATA in wake of the new challenges being faced.
Talking on a question about the govt.’s development strategy in FATA, the Governor said that the govt. was making its own development plans for FATA out of its own national resources. The annual development program for tribal areas during current financial year, he added was of Rs. 7.5 billion. “This amount has been allocated by the federal govt. in its annual federal budget”. However, he said that any financial assistance from friendly countries and international donor organizations whenever received are either accommodated in the same annual development program or otherwise used for special development initiatives.
On a question, he said that a clear change in the mindset of the tribal people had been witnessed over the past few years. “Now they are demanding development and education for their areas in contrast to their past attitude of showing reluctance for development projects”. He said that through spread of education and intervention in other development sectors like agriculture and communication, the tribal areas would be further opened up and brought to the main stream of national development.
Earlier Secretary law and order FATA, General Manager Planning FDA and Deputy Secretary P&D FATA in their separate presentations updated the group participants about the law and order situation and development profile of the tribal areas.-SANA