Provincial assembly polls in tribal districts demanded

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PESHAWAR: The Tribal Youth Movement on Saturday staged sit-in outside the Governor’s House to press the government for holding local government (LG) and provincial assembly elections in the newly merged tribal districts at the earliest.
The protesters criticised the authorities for what they called the sluggish pace of the post-merger reforms in the merged (tribal) districts.

Earlier, the activists staged a rally in the Stadium Chowk that marched through Peshawar Saddar to reach the Governor’s House where it culminated into the sit-in.

The rally was led by the president of the Movement, Shaukat Aziz. Talking to media on the occasion, Shaukat said the government had merged the erstwhile tribal areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but appropriate steps were not taken to bring these districts on a par with other areas of the province.

He said the government should hold LG and provincial assembly elections in the newly merged districts.

They also asked the government to take back the costly mineral mines from the illegal grabbers and declare the unlawful contracts and leases in the erstwhile tribal belt null and void.

He also sought increase in the quota for the tribal students in the universities of the province and country.

The Youth Movement president also demanded probe into the corruption allegations against the officials and asked the provincial authorities to merge the Fata Development Authority (FDA) and Fata Secretariat into the provincial civil secretariat.

Afterward the tribal youth ended their sit-in after Governor Shah Farman held talks with them and conceded their demands.

It was decided that a 25-member committee having the representation of the tribal youth would formed prepare proposals for solution to the problems being faced by the people of the newly merged districts.

The governor said that the government was committed to ensuring better future for the tribal youth.

He added that the government would provide 10,000 scholarships to them for having better educational facilities. Peshawar Division Commissioner Shahab Ali Shah was also present on the occasion.

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