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    Senate functional committee on ‘Problems of Less Developed Areas’, visit Chitral

    By Zahiruddin

    CHITRAL; The chairperson of the functional committee of Senate on ‘Problems of Less Developed Areas’, Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar has said that there were two separate ‘Pakistans’ one each for the developed areas and the non-developed areas and that the domination of certain areas is prevalent over the national resources for the last seventy one years.

    Chairing the meeting of the committee in Chitral here on Friday, he said that the undeveloped areas contribute 91 percent to the national wealth in the form of water, oil, gases, marble, lead, iron and other minerals but the people of the areas are reeling under abject poverty who are subjected to worst type of injustice while distributing the national assets.

    Rejecting the notion of making population as the sole criterion for the determination of the share of different federating units of the country in the National Finance Commission (NFC) award, he said that this ‘drama’ should not continue anymore and it must be replaced by ‘backwardness and need’.

    He said that national integration is not possible without just and equitable distribution of national wealth and the forces of cessation worked only in an area while people felt deprivation from their rights and it is high time that we should feel the urgency of the matter and stop lop-sided development process in the country.

    On the complaint of the local representatives of the civil society and the spokespersons of local bodies, he expressed his anguish over closing the Lowari tunnel for the public transport for twelve hours a day when there was no any alternate routes to go and from the district.

    He said that the matter would be taken with the National Highway Authority as to why the people are being tortured by denying them right of passage through the tunnel on lame excuses.

    Earlier, he was told by the district nazim Maghfirat Shah, MPA Hedayatur Rahman and others that the incumbent government was going to discontinue a number of federal funded road projects and the gas plant project as well the electrification work inside the Lowari tunnel as started by the PML-N government.

    They expressed their deep concern over the discontinuation of the projects on political grounds and said that it will be a great loss to Chitral and it is tantamount to pushing them backward in the race of development by seven decades as the district is as backward as it was at the time of independence of the country.

    The other members of the committee included Sardar Azam Khan MusaKhel and Momin Khan Afridi who arrived here on Friday on a three-day visit to the district and will visit to different places to have a view about the problems being faced by it related to the federal government.

    Earlier, Chitral DC Khurshid Alam Mehsud briefed the committee about the history and profile of the district in the realm of development and said that its area was one-fifth of the total area of the province and necessitated more resources for its development than the other districts.

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