Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Information Shaukat Ali Yousafzai Tuesday said the government would retrieve the illegally occupied land of provincial Auqaf department from the illegal occupants to make the department stand on feet. He was addressing a press conference here at cabinet room civil secretariat. The press conference was a part of KP government policy to highlight the performance and initiatives taken by all the departments one by one. The Information Minister flanked by officials of Auqaf Department said the department owned a total 65,000 kanal land in the province and efforts were underway to retrieve the illegally occupied land from the departments.
He maintained that proper strategy would be formulated to retrieve the land. In Mardan district, 3,300 kanal of precious land of the department has been retrieved from the land grabbers. He informed that sufficient amount has been allocated for the development programme of Auqaf department in 2019-20.Similarly, Christian marriage bill and bill related to divorce will be presented at the cabinet meeting. Yousafzai said that Auqaf was a very vibrant department and the KP government was making every endeavour to make it result and service oriented department. The department has a vast scope of work and if properly encouraged and assisted it can deliver to the maximum level for the minorities.
He said the department was giving scholarships to minority students of various grades. A total of 120 minority students of intermediate level were provided Rs20,000 scholarship every year, Rs 25,000 to 120 BS honor students, Rs 30,000 to 40 postgraduate students and Rs40,000 to 40 minority MBBS, MPhil and PhD students. The department was also providing sufficient welfare grants to 397 widows at the rate of Rs10,000, marriage grant to 60 deserving minorities at the rate of 30,000 and medical assistance to 100 needy minority patients at the rate of Rs20,000. He informed that the summary to provide financial grant of 21,000 Ulema-e-karaam was ready for approval of Chief Minister. Moreover, the department was also actively engaged in preservation and maintenance of historical religious sites like Mahabat Khan Mosque, Eidgah, Shrines and Janazgah. Millions of rupees of funds have been allocated for the Auqaf department for the projects. The minister said the department was providing funds to Dar-ul-Uloom Haqania Akora Khattak and some others which were registered with the department.