Government using all means for peace in FATA: President

Islamabad: President Mamnoon Hussain has said that the government is using all means including dialogue with militants to bring peace back to Federally Administered Tribal areas (FATA).

He was addressing a two day conference on “FATA: In the Shadow of the Military Pullout from Afghanistan” organized by Institute of Strategic Studies here Monday. The President said draw down of international troops from Afghanistan will bring new challenges to FATA.

We need to give greater attention to ensure lasting peace and stability in the tribal areas a peace and stability in the country is directly related to development, there.

Mamnoon Hussain said the aim of the government’s Afghan policy is to promote peace and stability in Afghanistan. He said stability in Afghanistan is a pre-requisite for progress and development of the country.

He said FATA remained a peaceful region for decades but the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the subsequent conflict left negative impact on the tribal areas. The government, however, is aware of the issues faced by the tribal areas and undertaking every possible step to address them.

He said brave people of FATA have rendered great sacrifices for Pakistan and we accord high priority socio economic development at the area.

Giving an outlook of government’s ongoing and future plans for the betterment tribesmen, Mamnoon Hussain said a sustainable development plan has been evolved to address their problems and bring them at par with other areas of the country.

Funds have been allocated for the area which will bring qualitative improvement in the lives of people there.

He said ongoing development program primaries focuses on health, education, clean drinking water , forestry and technical training programs. These, he said, will guarantee new era of development in the tribal areas.

Mamnoon Hussain said FATA has no shortage of hard-working and talented young people. They can rise to the highest ranks in all walks of life if given opportunity.

Government is trying to generate economic activities in the tribal areas, however, there is a need for international cooperation in this regard.

Mamnoon Hussain said FATA Youth Commission is being set up to create, harmony and increased coordination in programs for various institutions.

He said the main responsibility of the commission will be to speed up implementation of the Youth Policy, monitor performance and provide overall guidance on youth policy.

In his key note address on the occasion, Former Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General retired Ehsanul Haq said homemade solutions should be evolved to tackle the situation in FATA.

He said the people of the area should be brought into the national mainstream and development projects should be expedited to remove the grievances of the people.

He said the complex situation in FATA has been complicated by the fragile Afghan situation. The situation in FATA will not improve unless the security situation improves in the neighbouring country.

Earlier, Director General of Institute of Strategic Studies Rasul Baksh Rais gave an overview of the conference’s objectives.

During the two sessions, the speakers will discuss a host of subjects including deradicalization and disarmament of FATA, importance of tribal areas for future Afghan-Pak relations and role of international community.

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