15 candidates of merged districts withdraw nomination papers

PESHAWAR: Over 2.8 million voters are registered in tribal district and 26 percent voters used their right to vote in the July 20 elections and elected their representatives.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has issued notification of 16 successful candidates in the elections. These elected representatives will take part in legislation inside the legislature and in public service activities outside the legislature.

People of tribal districts have expressed happiness over representation in KP Assembly and have attached different hopes to the newly elected representatives.

Malik Mukhtiar Afridi, a tribal elder from Bara, said that after National Assembly, the presence of tribal representatives in provincial assembly means increase in funds and development projects which is a matter of satisfaction.

“I will like to congratulate all elected representatives from the side of my tribe. Previously we had one MNA and now we have two MPAs as well which means that our development funds will increase. Development funds and job opportunities must be provided to people of tribal districts to give them immediate relief because these people have suffered a lot,” he said.

Javed Orakzai, senior member of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), said the new representatives are facing a massive challenge of making the tribal people stand on their own feet after 70 years of deprivations.

“New tribal representatives will go through a difficult phase initially as they will have to chalk out how to serve the masses as it will define their success or failure in politics. We hope that the new MPAs will truly represent the sentiments of tribal people,” he told TNN.

Wafa Wazir, women rights activist from North Waziristan, said the new representatives must not forget their promises and objectives and they must selflessly serve the masses.

“Previously the tribal areas did not have representatives, but now they have representatives in KP Assembly and they can discuss problems with the MPAs,” she said, adding, “People have great expectations from these representatives for resolutions of their problems. They can do well if they don’t follow the traditional politicians and pay full attention to development programs.”

Amjid Hussain, social activist from Kurram, said while talking to TNN that parliamentarians cannot confine themselves to development only, as they also have to do legislation. He said awareness must be created among the public on this matter.

“Many people are now aware about exact role of MPAs. The government should arrange awareness programs like seminars or conference for tribal people about the role of MPAs,” he said. He added that educated people are aware of the role of MPAs, but the uneducated people must also be made aware of their role to keep their expectations realistic. “MPAs have been elected first time in tribal districts, so many people are unaware as to whom they go for their work,” he said.

Arshidullah from Miranshah said it is hoped that the new representatives from Waziristan will play role in development, particularly in healthcare and education sectors. “Our demand of merger with KP and provincial elections in merged districts has already been fulfilled,” he said.

Khadija from Kurram said the elected representatives are expected to resolve problems of the area.

“Our area is facing problem of power load-shedding and education. Women of the region, particularly the widows and their children must get special attention and they must get their rights,” she said.

Umar Fayaz from Orakzai said tribal areas are now dependent on provincial assembly after merger with KP. He aid representation of tribal districts in provincial assembly will reduce sense of deprivation of tribal people to some extent.

“Independent winning candidates must join the government as it will benefit their respective constituencies. Successful elections in tribal districts showed that tribal people are peace-loving and they support democracy,” he told TNN.

Abdul Raziq from Bara said elections will speed up the process of reforms and judicial system in tribal districts.

“Schools and colleges must be built in tribal districts to bring positive change. Tribal districts are rich in mineral resources which should be utilized for development of the region,” he said.

Malang from Alikhel said no development was carried out in tribal districts earlier.

“Now it is hoped that the provincial assembly will undertake development work in tribal districts. Some areas are facing the problems of schools, roads and clean drinking water in areas like Karakhela, Kachkina and Malikhel,” he told TNN.

Sahib Dawar from Waziristan said that the federal government earlier used to control funds for tribal districts, but now the provincial assembly has come into play which can be made accountable by tribal representatives.

“We have two representatives from Mir Ali and Miranshah now. It is a great sign for the area which will witness more development projects now,” he said.