Industrial State in Waziristan to connect with Afghanistan, Central Asia
MIRAN SHAH: An industrial state is said to be established at North Waziristan Agency (NWA) which will be connected with Afghanistan and central Asia.
The land measuring up to 5, 000 kanal acquired for this project at Mir Ali Miran Shah Road has been declared as ‘disputed’ by the local tribesmen, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported on Saturday.
Different parts of the tribal areas were surveyed after which the North Waziristan Agency was picked to establish the industrial estate. At least Rs 3-4 trillion will be spent on the project which is said to be completed by 2019.
Spokesman for FATA Secretariat Abdus Salam Wazir told BBC that, “The tribal areas are rich in minerals and related industries will be established here on priority basis.”
“The work on this project will be started within two to three months which will also provide opportunities of employment for the local people” he said.
He informed that, “This area is linked with Ghulam Khan area of the Pak-Afghan border which is also connected to Afghanistan and Central Asia. Hence, the project will not only benefit the locals but also the whole region.” He expressed hope that the project may become a part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in future.
He said, “The government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has shown keen interest towards the project and also sent a delegation to visit the area.”
The local tribesmen have said that the due to the ongoing military operations in North Waziristan, they were compelled to migrate to other areas. They said taking advantage of their absence, some elements in collusion with the political administration had sold their land.
A senior member of this tribe, Masheer Khan Wazir stated that, “This piece of land belongs to the people of three villages Hakim Khel, Mubarak Shahi and Piran Kalay. Some foreigners are selling this land after illegal occupation.”
He also said that they had rented this land to some people but it was traded with connivance of the high officials.
Masheer said, “We have filed a petition in the Peshawar High Court (PHC) in this regard and also appealed in the court of Commissioner Peshawar Division against the decision of the political agent. We will go to every height to claim our land. We will not let anyone occupy our land illegally.”
Commenting on the situation, Spokesman for FATA Secretariat Abdus Salam Wazir said that according to their records the land was not disputed.
Member of the civil society from North Waziristan, Mohsin Dawar said, “Local people were not being taken into confidence regarding the ongoing development work in Waziristan Agency.”
He said, “The officials should have waited for he court’s decision and it was not fair to deprive the poor people from their right.”
Like other tribal areas, North Waziristan Agency is also affected by militancy where the army had launched operation Zarb-e-Azb in June 2014.
As a result of this operation, at least 1, 000, 000 people were compelled to migrate to nearby areas but now it is said that 90 percent of these people have come to their homes.
The development projects in tribal areas are almost nil. According to experts, if the tribal areas are merged with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after implementation of FATA reforms, further development projects can be launched in the region successfully.