KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has said that he still stuck to his clear stance on Kalabagh Dam issue and expressed the apprehension that not only entire Peshawar Division would sink but the whole province would also badly suffer if the dam is built saying that WAPDA could also not be able to convince us for construction of Kalabagh Dam.

He was talking to the participants of “National Security and War Course 2016” of the National Defense University, which called on him here Friday and attended a briefing about Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Security, development planning, social and economic sectors’ reforms and initiatives at the Chief Minister House Friday.

The provincial Minister for Elementary and Secondary Education Muhammad Atif and Chief Secretary Amjad Ali Khan also attended the session while the Home Secretary Arbab Muhammad Arif and Secretary Planning & Development Syed Zafar Ali Shah gave detailed briefing about their sectors. The 200 member delegation comprised three Chief Instructors (two Major Generals and one Rear Admiral), 25 faculty members and 182 course participants from Pakistan Armed Forces, CSS Officers and Senior Military Officers from friendly countries.

The Chief Minister said, despite the fact that presence of huge number of Afghan Refugees was burdening the social and economic structure of the province, the provincial government was treating them as guests and it was not in favour of forced repatriation of the refugees. He said, we want peace in Afghanistan so that Afghan Refugees could respectfully return to their homeland.

Responding to questions asked by the participants, the Chief Minister said that the provincial government would fully support the FATA people’s decision whatsoever regarding future of their territory and “We must let them choose whether or not they should join KP”, he added. To another question the Chief Minister informed that peace had been restored in militancy-hit Malakand Division, however, rehabilitation measures in Malakand Division will be taken by KP government soon after return of Army from the area.

He further told that in addition to the Chief Minister Complaint Cell all accountability and anti-corruption institutions are working within their respective domains and corrupt elements were badly frustrated by stringent accountability and anti-corruption measures as well as transparent governance system introduced by the present KP government.

In response to a question about new Local Government System of KP, Pervez Khattak responded that the lowest tier of local governments, ie village and Neighbourhood Councils, was made more powerful than Tehsil and district councils. He said for the first time in history of the country, 30% of the provincial development funds were allocated for the Local Governments and proportion of spending had been fixed for every sector adding that a comprehensive and clear mechanism has also been devised to ensure smooth and independent functioning of Local Governments. He said that distribution of funds among local bodies was being made by an independent Provincial Finance Commission formed with representation from treasury and opposition members.

Regarding projection of the provincial government on media Pervez Khattak said that all public sector advertisements meant for apprising masses of the government’s measures taken in the people’s interest so that they could know about and benefit from such steps. He made it clear that no personal projection was allowed through such advertisements.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015

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