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ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet has reportedly decided to conduct financial and performance audit of Rs417 billion allocated to KPK under the NFC Award, 2010, well-informed sources told Business Recorder.

The decision was taken by the cabinet in its meeting held on February 1, 2023 under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

According to sources, to drawing attention to the special provision in the NFC Award, 2021, it was stated that the provinces, in acknowledgement of KPK’s frontline status against terrorism, had unanimously decided to allocate 1 per cent of net proceeds of the Divisible Pool to KP over and above its share.

Rs600bn spent on KP’s security in a decade: Taimur Jhagra

The Prime Minister regretted that the envisioned counter-terrorism capacity had not apparently been built by the provincial government. He questioned as to where Rs. 417 billion, given to the province under this arrangement during the last 13 years, had been spent when the provincial CTD and the Police were complaining to be ill-equipped to fight the menace. He recalled that as Chief Minister, Punjab, he had raised a professional CTD without any financial support from federal government.

The Prime Minister said it is a matter of concern as to how TTP staged a comeback, when the militants had been vanquished after the successful military operations and its remnants had escaped to Afghanistan.

He unequivocally stated that any dialogue with militants who do not recognize the Constitution of Pakistan, was an exercise in futility and it must be clear that there were no good or bad terrorists. He expressed a firm resolve to once again unite the nation and rid the country from the menace of terrorism.

Thereafter, he invited views/suggestions from the House. The Finance Minister pointed out that besides the funds allocated to KPK under the NFC Award, Rs. 100 billion per year were given for operation Zarb-e-Azb by the federal government for three and a half years. Another member exhorted on the need to bring clarity that terrorists were enemies of Pakistan and their apologists must also be considered as enemies of the state.

The policy of appeasement must, therefore, be shunned. In order to show solidarity with people of KPK, a suggestion was given that next Cabinet meeting and Apex Committee meeting be held in Peshawar.

Highlighting that the terrorists were masquerading their heinous acts by giving them religious colour, it was, therefore, necessary to counter their narrative through Ulema, who should enlighten that militancy was not Jihad but ‘Fitna’ and ‘Fasaad’.

In this regard it was suggested that PBC should start an FM channel, airing programs in Pushto, to educate the vulnerable youth in the Tribal Areas so as to dissuade them from becoming tools at the hands of these anti-state elements.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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