Nabi Jan Orakzai

PESHAWAR: The newly elected members of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly from tribal districts say they will focus on providing basic facilities of life to people in their respective constituencies besides fulfilling their basic responsibility of legislation and policy-making.

A total of 285 candidates contested elections for general seats in tribal districts. Six independent candidates, five candidates of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), three candidates of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUIF-F) and one each of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Awami National Party (ANP) won the elections. All the parties and independent candidates had different manifestos, but they agree on making efforts for bringing changes in the lives of tribal people who have suffered a lot.

Mir Kalam, who won election from PK-112, North Waziristan as independent candidate, said there will be some difficulties initially, but he will always keep the spirit of public service alive.

“For the first time in history, representatives from tribal areas have been elected for KP Assembly. This process will continue regularly from now on in all provincial elections,” Mir Kalam said.

He said problems in tribal districts are huge which need legislation and there are some institutions in tribal districts which deal with these problems. “It was vital for tribal people to have representation in the provincial assembly to resolve these problems. Different procedures will be adopted to resolve problems of tribal districts and tribal representatives will also take active part in legislation,” he said.

Muhammad Shafiq Afridi, newly-elected MPA from Bara, Khyber district, said he believes that the people of the area suffered a lot and time has arrived for given these people reward for their sacrifices. He said he will pay special attention to resolving basic problems of people like water supply, education, health etc.

“We are facing a challenge of mitigating the sufferings of the people of tribal districts. Health and education infrastructure was destroyed in our area. I accepted that challenge and contested the election. We should work 16 hours a day instead of 8 hours to try to reduce the difficulties of people of merged districts,” Shafiq Afridi said.

Ghazi Ghazan Jamal, successful candidate from Orakzai, said many promises were made with tribal people at the time of merger and now it’s the responsibility of elected representatives to fulfill these promises.

“Tribal areas are not yet fully prepared for provincial laws. This preparation will consume at least 10 to 15 years. What will be the procedure of this preparation and what system will be immediately enforced in merged districts – such issues will come under domain of newly elected MPAs from merged districts,” Ghazan Jamal said. He said tribal areas lag in development, so the lawmakers will strive for getting more funds to develop our areas on faster pace and bring them on par with other areas.

Shafiq Afridi, who won election from PK-105, said he will focus on resolving problems of basic facilities like water, health, education and other basic needs.

“I am not expecting any difficulties. I am planning to form a joint platform to devise strategies for resolution of problems,” he said, adding, “During door to door campaign I came to know that water supply is the major problem in my constituency which will be resolved on priority basis. I will also work to resolve problems related to health sector.”