Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan on Tuesday informed the National Assembly that delimitation process in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) is in final stages to conduct elections in Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The minister stated this while responding to a Calling Attention Notice regarding, slow process of the merger of FATA into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
He said that the task force headed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor is working to remove bottlenecks and accelerate the process of merger of FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said the tribal agencies have been re-designated as districts and sub divisions of KPK. Similarly, he said that the posts of political agents and assistant political agents have also been re-designated as Deputy Commissioners and Assistant Commissioners.
He said that Deputy Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner had been given magisterial power in FATA. For the resolution of health related issues of people of FATA, he said that all FATA agencies had been linked with the Secretariat Health Khyther Pakhtunkhwa. Ali Muhammad Khan said that all the vehicles in the FATA areas had been given tax exemption for five years. The local produced products, he said, had also been given five years tax exemption.
The minister said that the federal government will provide Rs 1.63 billion for the development of these tribal districts. The electoral temperature was surging with each passing day as the candidates have geared up electioneering campaign for the by elections on one NA seat and nine provincial assembly constituencies due for October 14 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The lone NA seat where by election would be held has been vacated by Chairman PTI, Imran Khan in Bannu (NA-35). The constituency considered to be the stronghold of JUI-F was won by PTI on July 25 with nearly 7000 votes.
Both JUI-F supremos Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Akram Khan Durrani have refrained from participating in the by election on NA-35 and instead fielded a comparatively low profile candidate Zahid Khan Durrani, the son of Akram Khan Durrani. Both are on record having said that they don’t want to contest on a seat left over by Imran Khan. For October 14, NA 35 to witness close contest between MMA’s Zahid Khan Durrani and Maulana Naseem Ali Shah of PTI. Keeping in view ground realities Akram Khan Durrani possesses a considerable personal vote bank in the constituency. The PTI seems to be divided in the constituency as Imran Khan changed the candidate in the constituency in the by election at the eleventh hour.
The general election on PK-78 (Peshawar) and PK-99 (D I Khan) were postponed due to the assassinations of the electoral candidates Haroon Bilour and Ikaramullah Khan respectively in suicide blasts. For October 14 ANP has fielded Samar Bilour, the widow of Haroon Bilour on PK-78 by elections against Muhammad Irfan of PTI. On PK-99 (D I Khan) PTI has fielded Sardar Aghaz Gandapur, son of slain Ikramullah Khan Gandapur against the JUI-F candidate.
The family of slain Gandapurs has won this seat in the past for several times. Israrullah Khan Gandapur was eliminated in a suicide blast in 2013 general election while his younger brother Ikramullah Gandapur was assassinated in 2018 general elections. It is to be mention here that Inayatullah Khan Gandapur, father of the two slain Gandapurs also served as chief minister of the province during senior Bhutto regime. PK-97 another D I Khan seat where by election is due has been vacated by Ali Ameen Gandapur after he opted to retain in NA constituency 38.—APP