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Elders want PA seats increased for Khyber

PESHAWAR: A group of tribal elders here on Tuesday demanded of the government to increase the number of provincial assembly seats in Khyber tribal district otherwise the residents of the area would launch a campaign to get the status of a separate province for the erstwhile Fata.

Addressing a press conference at Peshawar press Club, the elders, led by Bazaar Gul Afridi, the president of Khyber Union, said that government had formed a constituency of provincial assembly in each tehsil of Khyber tribal district — Jamrud, Bara and Landi Kotal.

Mr Afridi said that provincial assembly seat PK-105 was given to Landi Kotal, PK-106 to Jamrud and PK-107 to Bara tehsil but Election Commission of Pakistan did not bother to check population of those areas before announcement of the constituencies.

He alleged that the delimitation was carried out on the recommendations of local leaders of the ruling PTI to accommodate their own people. He said that the constituencies were so vast that those were connected to Afghanistan on one side and to Kurram tribal district on the other side.

Mr Afridi said that many displaced people of Bara were still living in camps. If timely steps were not taken for their rehabilitation, they would be deprived of their right to vote, he added.

He said that tribal people would not accept the ‘controversial’ census. He urged the government and ECP to re-conduct the census and increase number of provincial assembly seats in Khyber.

Mr Afridi said that tribal people would agitate if their demands were not accepted immediately. He said that government should also take pragmatic steps for welfare of the people without wasting time.

He said that people in Khyber district were still deprived of clean drinking water, education and health facilities despite tall claims of the rulers. He asked the government to repair and reconstruct the damaged and destroyed educational institutions, healthcare centres and roads.

Mr Afridi also demanded increase in the compensation amount for rehabilitation of the displaced families.

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