ISLAMABAD: In its 31st meeting, the Standing Committee of the National Assembly on State & Frontier Regions, (SAFRON) while suggesting that the Provincial Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa shall own and patronize the Waziristan Education City project for its successful implementation, strongly recommended.
The standing committee also directed the Chief Secretary, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) to release of funds in accordance with PC-I of Waziristan Education City in the current Financial year.
The participants of the standing committee meetings also asked the authorities to make arrangements for the allocation of funds for the project in the budget for FY 2023-24.
It also recommend Waziristan Education City Project to the Federal Government for its inclusion in Federal PSDP in the FY 2023-24. Besides it proposes the project for its inclusion in the projects of Socio-Economic Development portfolio of CPEC.
The participants of the meeting also decided to approach different institutions including Government College Lahore, Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute and NUST etc for the establishment of their campuses in Waziristan Education City.
It will also approach Economic Affairs Division to arrange a conference to encourage and invite National as well as International donors to invest in the Waziristan Education City project
The Standing Committee on SAFRON stressed that monthly progress report of the actions taken with regard to the establishment of Waziristan Education City should be furnished to the Committee till completion of the project.
During the meeting, the Committee was informed that though budget has been allocated for the project in the current financial year, however, due to financial constraints, the establishment of the Project Management Unit (PMU) and related construction work at the site has been delayed.
The Chairman of the Committee Muhammad Jamal ud Din while expressed extreme displeasure over the non-seriousness of the Provincial Government towards one of the most important projects in the erstwhile FATA, has stated that Waziristan Education City will construct a new identity for the erstwhile FATA region, which will help in going beyond the traditional comprehension of the region’s identity as a historical reference.
He said that after the completion of the project, Waziristan will be known for its future contribution articulated around the notion of knowledge, education, science and cultural development.
Rehmat Khan Mahsud, Chairman of the Mahsud Welfare Association, while appreciating the recommendations of the Standing Committee, stressed that the gains made in the war on terror through hard power can only be cemented through the corresponding use of soft power in the shape of projects like the Education City of South Waziristan and, undoubtedly, soft power solutions tend to last longer than hard power solutions.
Dr. Noor Zaman, General Secretary of the Association stressed that it is a project for the future of Pakistan.
It is pertinent to mention here that Mahsud tribe provided 7500 Kanals of land free of cost to the Provincial Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for establishment of Waziristan Education City.
While the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa allocated Rs.2772.571 million for the Project in the Accelerated Implementation Programme (AIP) 2021-22. However, despite allocation of funds, progress on the project is at standstill.
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