Bilal Yasir

Inayat Khan, a student from the Bajaur district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), appeared for the FSC exam with great excitement, hoping to secure good marks and secure admission to a major medical college via reserved seats. However, his happiness turned into disappointment when he lost admission to the reserved seat despite securing an impressive 85% mark in the examination.

Speaking to TNN, Inayat Khan claimed that a student from district Mohmand, who scored 84% marks, was selected for the specific seat instead of him.

After the merger of FATA, the government promised admission to 265 reserved seats in medical colleges and universities across Pakistan for students from these areas.

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Educationist Noor Khan Ansari, who has been running two private educational institutions in Bajaur for the past 20 years, expressed concern over the unfair distribution of the specific quota. He pointed out that resources and opportunities should be allocated based on population, as done through census in different countries at different periods.

According to the 2017 census, Bajaur district has the largest population in the merged districts with 1,090,987 people, followed by Khyber district with 984,244 people, and South Waziristan with 675,215 people. In contrast, Orakzai district has a population of 254,303, FRs has 319,230, and Mohmand district has 474,345.

Noor Khan Ansari emphasized that the population differences among these districts are significant, yet the distribution of MBBS and BDS seats in medical and dental colleges is not proportional. Districts with populations of 10 and 11 lakhs have 42 seats, while those with populations of two and a half to three lakhs have 41 seats. This unfair distribution leaves intelligent and capable students from densely populated districts without the opportunity to become doctors, despite their high merit.

He cited examples where male and female students from Bajaur and Khyber, with scores of 83% and above, lost admission, while candidates from less populated districts with scores of 74% and above succeeded in securing admission. Similarly, in 2022-23, candidates from densely populated districts with scores of 87.4% lost admission, while candidates from smaller districts with scores of 83.3% secured admission.

The people of Bajaur and the affected students are demanding that from this year onwards, the medical and dental quota of the merged districts should be distributed in proportion to the population to address the deprivations faced by students from districts with larger populations.

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