Letter to Mr Asif Ali Zardari, President of Pakistan alongwith an Annexure Outlining Basic Uplift Projects for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA

January 28th, 2011 by Masood Sharif Khattak Leave a reply »

Reference: -No KPK/1/Projects/President Dated 28 January 2011

From: – Masood Sharif Khan Khattak
District Karak, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Email: – masoodsharifkhattak@gmail.com

To: – Mr. Asif Ali Zardari
President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, ISLAMABAD

Copy To: – Mr. Yousaf Raza Gillani
Prime Minister, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, ISLAMABAD

Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif
Quaid, Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz)

General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani
Chief of the Army Staff, General Headquarters, Rawalpindi
(For projects in Annexure A related to Fauji Foundation)

Dear Mr President,
Assalamalaikum. Today, it truly hurts to be a somewhat privileged Pakhtun when one looks at the general population of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa living in miserable conditions. To my mind it amounts to be a sin if the somewhat privileged Pakhtuns do not speak for the downtrodden population of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas). On my part, I will not hesitate doing that.

2. I am a thoroughbred Pakistani and would like to always talk of Pakistan as a whole, yet, the very pathetic conditions of my home Province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA have forced me to write this letter to you in order to emphasise the need to bring about a master developmental plan for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the FATA which will have to include mega projects of all sorts. Annexure A to this letter only spells out the basic projects around which must revolve the long term master plan.

3. Pakistan owes a special attention towards Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA for all the sacrifices that the Pakhtuns have always willingly rendered for Pakistan. The Pakhtuns now demand peace, progress and prosperity for themselves and their coming generations. The Pakhtuns must mow have easy access to justice, quality education, health as well as social services, a modern communications (motorway) network and to employment compatible to their educational qualifications within their own Province. To achieve all this and to arrest the simmering tensions developing deep within the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA there is now an urgent need to build mega projects revolving around the abundant mineral and energy resources produced locally.

4. Today, the disgust and indignation of the Pakhtuns and the non Pakhtuns of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA needs to be taken seriously and addressed with compassion rather than contempt. Their deprivations must now end. The people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA have waited patiently for the basics of a modern life for the past sixty three years of Pakistan’s independence but that wait has been in vain. No Pakistani ruler has truly looked their way. Therefore, for the sake of Pakistan and for the sake of the poor forsaken Pakhtuns and non Pakhtuns of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA, a benevolent developmental master plan built around the projects given in Annexure A to this letter must instantly be formulated to make up for the six lost decades. Empty promises, packages, committees etc are not going to be acceptable to the people anymore.

5. To show the extreme plight of the Pakhtuns let me ask why is it that the poor Pakhtun must go to every nook and corner of Pakistan and the Middle East in search of hard manual labour (mazdoori)? The obvious answer is that because there are not even enough hard labour jobs available in the land of the Pakhtuns. Those who struggle to get educated grow old looking for jobs and many do not succeed in that effort. This pathetic job situation forces the poor but honest and enterprising Pakhtun, skilled and unskilled, to wander in alien lands looking for odd jobs in order to provide food for the family he leaves behind in wretched conditions.

6. How long can this go on before the backlash is witnessed? Is Pakistan waiting for that to happen? Does Pakistan not need to take remedial measures aimed at the development of Pakhtunkhwa and FATA? Together, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA must no longer be treated as the neglected backyard of Pakistan. Besides a generous allocation of internal resources a major chunk of all foreign aid being currently received must also be spent upon mega projects for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA.

7. Governing Pakhtunkhwa as if it was some far off colony of Pakistan and governing FATA as if it was the Jagir (personal estate) of the man who happens to be installed in the Governor’s House Peshawar must now end. Continuing on the same lines will now be a colossal disservice to Pakistan and to the patriotic Pakhtuns. The growing disgruntlement amongst the Pakhtuns now needs to be stemmed before it turns into anger and beyond. The Pakhtuns are no longer ready to accept that they are destined to only be recruited in the lowest ranks of the military, the police and the paramilitary forces till eternity. Despite the general lack of quality education etc the Pakhtuns have already produced the best of bureaucrats, judges, generals, air marshals, professors, doctors, engineers, scholars, social reformers etc. After sixty three years of independence the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA now demand to be treated with respect and equality with all their other brothers and sisters in Pakistan.

11. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA must now be given peace, progress and prosperity to which they have a sovereign right and that right must not be denied any longer especially because now the Southern Districts of Karak and Kohat are oil and gas producing Districts and shall soon become vital/major contributors to the good health of Pakistan’s economy. A major portion of all revenues and profits earned out of the natural resources of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa itself must now be spent on it and FATA.

12. I must add that a similar master plan must also to be made for the utterly neglected Province of Balochistan. If this happens and it is executed in consonance with the master plan for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA we shall have a happy, well integrated and prosperous Pakistan.

13. Finally, Mr President let me say that I have written this letter to you because I was duty bound to my downtrodden kith and kin in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA to do so. Unfortunately, those who should have done this i.e. the political people in power in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (for FATA) have unscrupulously abdicated from this responsibility of theirs towards the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA respectively.
I end this letter with my best wishes and warm regards.
Sincerely,

(MASOOD SHARIF KHAN KHATTAK)

Annexure A
To Letter No Kpk/1/Uplift/President Dated 28 January 2011 addressed to Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, President of The Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Basic Uplift Projects Around Which Planning Commission of Pakistan Must Evolve a Master Developmental Plan for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA

1. The Communications Sector. The only worthwhile and major projects in the field of communications that have ever been undertaken in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are the Indus Highway, the M1 Motorway from Islamabad to Peshawar and the Pakistan-Japan friendship Tunnel in Darra Adam Khel. As far as the Indus Highway is concerned it was constructed with the aim that Pakistan must have a major line of communication west of the River Indus so that the north of the country is not cut off from the south in case the Lahore – Karachi National Highway is ever cut off by the Indian armed forces in the eventuality of a war. The developmental fall outs of the project to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were thus consequential. The M1 Islamabad – Peshawar Motorway has served Khyber Pakhtunkhwa well but is this something that can be considered enough for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA? It certainly is not and really amounts to peanuts in sixty three years of independence. The Pakistan- Japan Friendship Tunnel in Darra Adam Khel was made through Japanese financing and funds were not diverted, despite efforts, only because the Japanese insisted that the finances being provided by them has to go into this particular project. For an example, in order to illustrate the national indifference towards the needs of the people of Pakhtunkhwa, let me say that I had personally seen and processed files on Lowari Tunnel as a young Army officer in the early eighties. Is it, therefore, not a pity indeed that even today that Tunnel, which is so important to Pakistan and the Chitralis, is still not in operation? Did Pakistan never have enough funds for the Lowari Tunnel in all these decades or was it only because it was the farthest end in the north of Pakhtunkhwa that made everyone callous towards it despite the military importance of the Project? With that prelude let me suggest some Communication Projects that must be immediately undertaken in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA.

a. A Motorway From Kalam in Swat to the Gomal Pass in DI Khan from where onwards it must be connected to the National Motorway network. This is an absolute must for the development of Pakhtunkhwa and FATA. The alignment can be so made that this cross Pakhtunkhwa Province Motorway runs through hitherto remote areas i.e. along the boundary between the settled districts and the FATA. The people of Pakhtunkhwa deserve this as the minimum. But, unfortunately, even, today new motorway projects are being announced in one area of Pakistan or another depending upon the political clout that those areas wield in terms of political offices held. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA continue to be totally ignored because of the absence of strong political representation at the Federal level. Such an attitude now needs to be replaced with a thought for uniform development to happen in all of Pakistan in order to further national integration as well as spread the fruits of development in a uniform manner.

b A Motorway From Islamabad to Kohat Linking it with the Motorway mentioned at para 1 a above. A large chunk of Punjab lying between Islamabad/Rawalpindi to Khushal Garh Bridge will also benefit from this project. The Khushal Garh Bridge is a pathetic bridge that has long outlived its life and now vibrates when traffic passes over it. The Bridge at Khushalgarh is, in fact, a major disaster waiting to happen someday soon. It is indeed a pity that after sixty three years of independence all of Southern Pakhtunkhwa, Orakzai Agency, Kurram Agency, North Waziristan and South Waziristan have access to the rest of Pakistan through a sub standard Kohat-Khushalgarh-Fatehjang road, With all the oil and gas being produced in Karak and Kohat Districts and the coal emerging from Darra Adam Khel and Orakzai Agencies it is now imperative for this Project (Islamabad- Kohat Motorway) to be undertaken instantly so that then a bigger industrial and commercial infra structure can be built around these natural resources now found in abundance in the southern parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and in Fatehjang-Jand areas of Punjab.

c Expeditious completion of the Lowari Tunnel Project. The way the people of Chitral suffer every year due to snowfall over the Lowari Pass that closes the road for many weeks warrants expeditious completion of the Lowari Tunnel Project. Many desperate Pakistanis from Chitral trying to cross over Lowari Pass either way on foot perish every year. In fact, it is now time to make at least a two-lane (each side) motorway from Chakdarra to Chitral in order to bring prosperity to that area besides giving domestic tourism a big boost. This suggested road joining the motorway mentioned in paragraph 1 a above at Chakdarra will then play a huge role in bringing about national integration also. Does the Planning Commission of Pakistan even consider these aspects or is development in Pakistan reserved only for the politically privileged areas of Pakistan?

d A vast road infrastructure within all the FATA Agencies which is well linked to the proposed cross Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Motorway (at sub paragraph 1 a above) must be instantly initiated.

e. Feeder roads joining far flung areas to the Indus Highway and the proposed cross Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Motorway (para 1 a above) must be planned and constructed.

2 The Education Sector. . The absolutely deprived and outdated Pakhtunkhwa educational infra structure needs to be overhauled entirely. Whatever exists on ground needs to be upgraded and made into quality institutions that MUST impart quality education rather than going through the motions of rushing through the academic years. The existing Universities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have to be upgraded and the staff quality improved by the provision of better salaries in order to improve the general standard of higher education so that the Pakhtun youth, after graduating, are able to be more competitive than at present which is, primarily, because of the sub standard higher education provided in the Province. Some of the new Projects that must be taken in hand are as under:-

a. A University Campus at Karak. The people of Karak have served the country well and deserve to be given more attention than the people in power in Pakistan have so far accorded to this District which boasts (despite absence of a good educational infrastructure) of being a District having one of the best literacy rates in the country. It is absolutely essential now for Karak District to have a full fledged University Campus offering higher studies in all disciplines. It is time that the government of Pakistan and the Pakhtunkhwa Government put their planning officials together and create resources for a University at Karak on an emergent basis because being located on the Indus Highway Karak is almost the heart of rural southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Today, Karak District contributes enormously to Pakistan’s economy through the oil and gas wells in the District. The current production of natural resources (oil and gas) found so far in Karak and Kohat Districts of Southern Pakhtunkhwa is worth millions of dollars each day and this is going to increase manifolds in the days to come as more and more exploratory wells are becoming hits (producing wells). The oil producing companies and the Federal Government of Pakistan should now share the income they are accruing from the soil of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Districts Karak and Kohat) and spend it on mega projects meant for the uplift of these areas. The people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA now expect that the revenues generated from the natural resources found on its’ land in the southern Districts of Karak and Kohat must be spent on Karak, Kohat, their neighboring districts and the FATA Agencies before these revenues are spent anywhere else. This must happen to keep the peace in the area as the demands for such a policy will keep getting louder by the day and if the Government continues to ignore these demands the civic peace is bound to be broken through demonstrations, road blocks etc. It will be prudent for the Government of Pakistan to pay heed to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa now rather than wait for civilized calls, like the one I am making through this document, to convert themselves into loud, vociferous and progressively aggressive calls asking for the rights of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province and FATA. The time to heed calls is quickly running out. Time to act is now. The government must not make the mistake of reading Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA as two different entities but must understand that the Pakhtuns of today are wiser and more educated people and now understand the two as one whole body of Pakhtuns – they must, therefore, progress at an equal and uniform pace in the coming years.

b. A Medical College in Karak. The arguments are basically the
same as in sub paragraph 2 a above.

c. At least two more Cadet Colleges each for the Southern and Northern Districts of Pakhtunkhwa and one each in all the eight FATA Agencies. This is an absolute must so that a good number of Pakhtun youth are able to make a good basic educational foundation so as to be able to reach out for higher education and then rise in life which will then consequently lift the area to new heights of prosperity, peace and tranquility. If finances are made available for this and the other projects in this Annexure rather than for baseless mega projects in politically privileged constituencies those finances would have served Pakistan’s cause (national integration and uniform development) in a far better and more effective manner. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA now call for their rights to progress and prosper. For too long they have been treated as a backyard battle ground by successive governments. The Planning Commission of Pakistan must now put Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA top most on its agenda rather than only planning and executing extravagant and unnecessary mega projects in politically privileged Constituencies at the cost of a uniformly developed Pakistan.

d. An Engineering University at Lakki Marwat. This Engineering University along with the proposed University Campus at Karak (para 2 a above) will cater for the needs of the entire region (Southern Districts and bordering FATA Agencies) till more Universities are brought up at other places to fill in the blanks or voids. These Universities will play a huge role in producing a crop of very productive young Pakistanis. Ignoring the Pakhtun youth development process any longer and that too when it is a MUST to give them their due from the proceeds of the natural resources found in their own areas will be a wrong thing to do as, in due course, very forceful reactions will be witnessed. The people of the area are not likely to sit idle when they see very valuable natural resources being taken away from their lands every day and they not getting anything in tangible terms soon enough. It is bound to happen. It MUST be avoided and the surest way is to share the peoples wealth with them right there and then. The simmering currents already exist and the people do not wish to see oil companies earning and getting richer along with the Federal Government at their collective cost. Instead, they want to see substantial betterment in the quality of their own lives. For Pakistan, it is now time to do justice to the people of the Southern Districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the adjoining FATA areas from the earnings now accruing out of the natural resources found in Karak and Kohat Districts. It is also needed to be done for all the deprived Districts in the Northern Pakhtunkhwa which are barely a shade better than the Southern parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

e. A University Campus must also be built in the northern parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to serve the needs of the people of Dir and Chitral by locating it conveniently.

3. The Industrial Sector

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a. Establishing an Industrial Zone in Karak. With Karak District lying on the Indus Highway almost in the Centre of all the Districts of Southern Pakhtunkhwa and it being easily accessible to all the adjoining FATA Agencies there should be a tax free industrial zone established on a massive scale (like the one that was once established at Gadoon Amazai). This is now an extremely feasible proposition because Karak District is now easily accessible on the Indus Highway and is a gas producing area and the provision of gas to the proposed industrial zone is not going to be a problem. Besides using the locally produced gas to drive the industry the same gas can also be easily used to drive a gas driven power plant (or plants) that would then cater for the electricity needs of the industrial zone as well as the millions of people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa living in the Southern Districts and the adjoining FATA Agencies. This population today is subjected to a sub standard human life and even a basic need like electricity hardly exists. Most of the times it is so bad that the current coming through lights a normal tube light just enough to provide light that is equal to that of a lantern. Pakistan planners must realize that at some stage when, hopefully, the Afghanistan issue is settled this industrial zone can play a huge role in what will then be a much increased trade with the Central Asian States (CAS).

b. Establishing an Industrial Zone in Lakki Marwat so located that it is accessible from DIK and to the people of Waziristan Agencies.

c. Establishing of an Industrial Zone in Hazara.

d. Establishing of an Industrial Zone in Mardan – Dir area

e. Free Trade Zones for FATA.

f. Cement Plant for Karak. With gas to run more than one such plant abundantly available right in the heart of some of the country’s biggest gypsum reserves there is simply no explanation for not allowing consortiums of investors from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa itself to set up at least one such plant in Karak and more such plants in the surrounding areas also so to ease the unemployment for the local population as well as to generate huge commercial activity with its obvious positive fall outs. In the years to come trade with Central Asian States will certainly involve a lot of cement export so the time to bring up the manufacturing units is now. Karak supplies gypsum to many cement factories in very far off places in Punjab so why cannot cement plants be made where the gas and gypsum are both readily available.

5. The Energy Sector

a. Natural Gas For Domestic use to all of the Southern Districts and adjoining FATA Agencies before it is taken elsewhere for domestic use. Since natural gas is being produced in abundance in Karak District and in some bordering areas of Karak-Kohat District warrants that all Southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Districts along with all their adjoining FATA Agencies must be provided gas for domestic use before any of the gas being produced in the region is taken anywhere else.

b. Gas driven Power Plants in Karak and Lakki Marwat. Pakistan is gripped by an acute power generation crisis. Why more than one gas driven power plants cannot be permitted to be commissioned by Pakhtunkhwa businessmen in the general areas where gas is being produced in abundance in Districts Karak and Kohat beats common sense and all logic. Consortiums of businessmen from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa itself should now be invited to build and commission at least three power plants i.e. in Kohat, Karak and Lakki Marwat in order to meet the total power demands of the Southern Districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the adjoining FATA Agencies as well as the rest of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

c. Commissioning of a suitably located oil refinery in oil and gas producing District of Karak.

6. The Agricultural Sector

a. Water supply scheme for the vast tracts of land between Lakki
Marwat and Dera Ismail Khan must be brought about.

b. Series of small dams in the mountainous regions must be built.

c. Reclamation of land to be used for agriculture through a well planned and conducted campaign.

7. Fauji Foundation Projects.

strong> Karak District being second only to District Jhelum in the number of soldiers provided for military service per district deserves to be put on the planning board of The Fauji Foundation. At present the Fauji Foundation has only made a negligible effort as far as Karak District is concerned. The Fauji Foundation owes the ex servicemen of District Karak (number being second only to District Jhelum) the following minimum attention and that too immediately to make up for lost time.
a. A 200 Bed Modern Facilities Hospital at Karak.
b. A modern school and College on the lines of FG Public Schools
c. A vocational training institution
d.A modern college on the lines of the cadet colleges exclusively meant for the children of ex servicemen.

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53 Responses

  1. Muhammad Shifa Khan Bangash says:

    AOA,
    Khattak sab very well said it will be a great step towards the prosperity of KPK. But we must ensure that who ever will be in Government / leadership we will have the same demands will be sending this letter on weekly basis and will keep publishing in print & electronic media will be e mailing to each and every contact and issuing a white paper for each and every person of KPK. We will fight till the targets are achieved. We r with the one who will be fighting for us having this letter as a road map.

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