ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) was informed on Friday that Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) would undertake measures within two weeks to waive the loans of farmers in tribal districts in light of the committee’s recommendations.
The meeting chaired by its chairman Senator Taj Mohammad Afridi, was briefed by the PMC officials on doubling the quota of FATA students in medical and dental colleges, as well as the plight of internally-displaced persons (IDPs), merger of levies and khasadar forces with the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa police and the relief package to the tribal districts by the ZTBL.
Briefing the committee, officials of the ZTBL said that notices would be issued to the banks within two weeks and steps would be undertaken to waive the loans of farmers in the tribal districts in the light of the committee’s recommendations.
The committee welcomed the assurance given by the ZTBL, as the members appreciated the measures by ZTBL, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), and other concerned departments aimed at providing relief to the farmers of the ex-FATA who have suffered a lot due to militancy and military operations against the terrorists.
The committee also directed the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) to immediately address the long-delayed increase in quota for students belonging to erstwhile FATA in the country’s medical and dental colleges in light of the federal cabinet’s decision.
The committee expressed serious concerns over the continued delay in implementation of the federal cabinet’s March 02, 2017 decision with regards to 50 percent increase in quota reserved for the students of the ex-FATA in medical and dental colleges for the next 10 years.
The Committee chairman, in his remarks, stated that that the Cabinet had taken a historic decision regarding the students of FATA and their quota in medical college was doubled for 10 years.
He said the facility was provided to the students last year, but only for one year.
He said that the issue was discussed in various meetings of both the standing committees of the National Assembly and the Senate, but the PMC is yet to address the issue.
He said that a one-time notification should be issued with a clear statement that the quota reserved for students of the ex-Fata be doubled for 10 years in light of the federal cabinet’s decision, and the necessary process with the country’s medical and dental colleges should be worked out forthwith. The committee directed the PMC to issue the notification without any further delay and also to inform the committee of the progress.
Senior officers from the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa police briefed the committee about the status of Khasadar and Levies forces and the regularisations in this regard.
They said that that 29,831 posts were sanctioned which were sent to the scrutiny committee and in the first phase about 22,000 personnel were merged with the KP police while 2,000 more were merged in phase II.
Senator Taj Mohammad Afridi said that the number of Khasadars and Levies which was before May 2018 should be maintained.
Senator Hidayatullah said that the promise made to the people of ex-FATA at the time of merger was that steps would be taken to bring all the districts of FATA at the level of the rest of the districts of the province.
Police officials said that Khasadar and Levies have a large number and there is an urgent need to increase their capacity.
Senator Hidayatullah and other members of the committee said that special care should be taken of the martyrs of Khasadar and Levies force, and appropriate policy should be adopted for the welfare of their families.
They said that martyrs have sacrificed their lives for the sake of the country and their families must be cared about.
Senator Fida Mohammad Khan pointed out that youth from Malakand division is neither getting jobs at the Levies nor in the KP police.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021