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SIGNIFICANCE OF KARAK DISTRICT AND SURROUNDING AREAS FOR PAKISTAN’S FUTURE ECONOMIC WELL BEING AS WELL AS NATIONAL INTEGRITY

October 3rd, 2011 by Masood Sharif Khattak Leave a reply »

Karak and Surrounding Areas Oil and Gas Fields

Karak and NA 15 (a National Assembly Constituency composed of the District as a whole) can now no longer be treated as a backyard District or Constituency of Pakistan without serious repercussions to Pakistan’s economic wellbeing. Karak District and some of its adjoining areas in Kohat, Hangu and Mianwali Districts (also Bannu in the near future) are destined to be what may, eventually, be termed as the ‘Petroleum or Energy Province of Pakistan’. This upcoming ‘Energy Province’ of Pakistan that essentially revolves around Karak District now needs serious attention of the economic planners of Pakistan. The more and faster that this area is made to develop the better it shall be for the general good health of Pakistan’s future economy as well as for the Country’s overall good in nearly every sector of national life.

Meet The Press at Peshawar -15 Feb 2011


While Article 161 of the Constitution of Pakistan makes it incumbent upon the Federal Government to be paying to the Provincial Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa a huge amount as excise duty collected at the well head and royalty it is also now extremely necessary to pay attention to some other vital factors which will go a long way in the furtherance of Pakistan’s national interests. Those factors include a Federal and Provincial governmental effort towards ensuring that the areas that are rich in natural resources begin to develop at a fast pace and in that development are included projects like the development of educational infrastructure all the way to the University level, development of industrial areas with an initial concession of tax holidays of different kinds, development of the communication infrastructure, the medical infrastructure and much more. I have no hesitation in saying that if these factors had been implemented in the energy producing and other areas of Balochistan when energy (gas) was first discovered in Sui (Balochistan) it would have given an incentive to the people of other areas of energy rich Balochistan to invite the oil and gas development sector to come and explore in their areas. There would have been no need of any State security for such exploratory efforts as the interest of the locals themselves would have ensured their safety etc. We did just the opposite. The whole of Pakistan was consuming the natural gas from Sui where it was discovered in 1952. The gas from Sui was transmitted for domestic and industrial consumption to all over Pakistan since 1955 but it was as late as the 1980s that this gas began to be supplied in Quetta i.e. the Capital of Balochistan. What I am trying to stress upon people who matter in decision making is that they should think of developing the new energy producing areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which essentially, thus far, revolve around District Karak and its fringes bordering the districts of Kohat and Mianwali. This must be done before the locals start feeling that they are being robbed and nothing is being given to them in return. That is when serious trouble is likely to be encountered. I am also hopeful that the decision makers of today will not like to see Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA deteriorating into a situation such as the one Pakistan encounters in Balochistan due to policy failures of the past.
The royalty presently being paid to District Karak and Kohat is peanuts as compared to what must actually be paid. According to Article 161 of The Constitution of Pakistan, read as a whole, the Federal excise duty levied on oil and natural gas production at the well head and the Royalty collected by the Federal Government will not form a part of the Federal Consolidated Fund but will be paid to the Province in which the well head is located. Unfortunately, only a very meager amount trickles down from the Province to the actual energy producing areas or Districts (District Karak and Kohat in this case). This is exactly what happened in Balochistan too where while some of the proceeds were consumed by those in power at the Provincial level the rest were appropriated to Sardars and other political bigwigs and the people of the Balochistan Province as a whole remained deprived of their share of developmental activities. This must not repeated in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It is wrong to have most of the royalty/excise duty placed at the disposal of those in power at Peshawar and allow some crumbs (or leftovers) pushed down to the local elected representatives as if they were the modern day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa equivalent of the tribal sardars of Balochistan of the 1950s and onwards.

Kohat - Bannu Basin


The Federal and Provincial Governments must stand warned in unambiguous terms that if they leave the people of the new energy producing sectors of the country located in Karak and some other areas of the southern districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa stranded and deprived they would be sowing the seeds of very serious trouble in the near future. Now is the time to pay attention to the situation.
In January, 2011, I had sent a letter to the President of Pakistan along with a comprehensive developmental program of mega projects for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. That letter and the consolidated suggested developmental plan are available here on this site, for those who may not have seen it earlier. The link is http://www.sharifpost.com/2011/01/28/letter-to-mr-asif-ali-zardari-president-of-pakistan-alongwith-an-annexure-outlining-basic-uplift-projects-for-khyber-pakhtunkhwa-and-fata/”>
Let me spell it out in nutshell what I am attempting to put across. The proceeds that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government receives from the Federal Government under Article 161 must be paid back to the Districts in the same spirit i.e. that the excise duty and royalty collected by the Federal Government and disbursed to the Provincial government must, in turn, be disbursed by the Provincial government to the Districts where the well head are situated against which the Federal Government collected that royalty and excise duty. This is what should be done in principle and there is no rocket science required to calculate this disbursement.
However, I am sure that I will be speaking for all the people of Karak and Kohat Districts when I say that we do not wish to see Kohat and Karak prosper and develop as islands of development in the southern parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while the people in the Districts of Lakki Marwat, Dera Ismail Khan, Tank, Hangu and our brethren in the FATA Agencies of South Waziristan, North Waziristan, Kurram and Orakzai remain deprived of funds so essential to bring about development. The magnanimous Khattaks, my tribe, from Karak will in one voice say that though the bulk of collection of royalties and excise duties are collected in the District of Karak the Khattaks of Karak would like to see all of Southern Districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and all the FATA Agencies in the south to develop on the proceeds that are received as their share in the form of collection of excise duty and royalty on the existing well heads in the District of Karak as well as for those wells that are likely to come into production in the coming years. Once the deprived Southern Districts have been developed at par with the northern regions of the Province an equitable distribution of the royalties etc. between the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa can be resorted to at the Provincial level.
In absolute nutshell let me say that Karak needs to have a University, an industrial area and a huge cement plant to consume its vast cement industry raw material reserves. These are just the bare minimum things that shall begin to give a feeling of being rewarded for the natural resources found on its lands. It must happen faster than one can imagine so that the sense of deprivation found in Balochistan does not even start setting into the minds of the locals of the energy producing areas of Southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Proposed Motorway Link to the Energy Rich Areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa


There is also now an urgent need to immediately announce and start work on a motorway from Islamabad to Kohat/Karrapa and onwards. These are things that will save Pakistan a lot of worries in the years to come. The time to wake up is now. Is anyone listening?

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13 Responses

  1. dr irfan says:

    what exactly is your party position now sir. ppp or you r joinin us PTI

  2. Respected Masood Sharif sahib,

    Your sincere and experienced hands need to join
    IMRAN KHAN ( PTI ) and change the future of
    District Karak .
    KHATTAKS of Karak will remeber you even in
    paradise ( JANNAH ) .

  3. tariq rasool khattak says:

    sir with due respect,
    we have all resources but still lacking in every field due 2 leadership crisis…………..contest election independently…………lastly sir give attentn 2 ur district bcoz(mausmi) parande are searching 4 votes who r once rejected……….thnx sir…..may Allah bless u

  4. tariq rasool khattak says:

    sir with due respect,
    we have all resources but still lacking in every field due 2 leadership crisis…………..contest election independently…………lastly sir give attentn 2 ur district bcoz(mausmi) parande are searching 4 votes who r once rejected……….thnx sir…..may Allah bless u

  5. Naeem Ur Rashid Khattak says:

    A very comprehensive article covering all aspects of Karak’s significance in the comity of nations. But Sir, a well coordinated efforts will be required to raise this issue on a possible forum (NA) to get due share of royalty. For this consensus building among the local leaders is essential to spell similar words for making this land of Karak properous.

  6. ijaz says:

    to article writer what he did for the district when he was on executive position just to give some jobs to their own village peoples,now he is writing column for what,shame shame now u r a fired bullet (chala huwa cartos) so plz dont show u r patriotism to karak,people of karak know welllll

  7. sibghat says:

    salam Sir
    Sir why dont u prepear for elections.u r a great and talented leader and will be elected by people but f u properly come to karak ang give people sometime

  8. @Ijaz. I will only pray for you to have better judgement and also a more refined way of expressing yourself, even if it be total disagreement or heavy criticism of anyone. INSHA ALLAH with ALLAH THE ALMIGHTY’S Will I shall never be what you have assumed in your infinite wisdom till as long as I live. May ALLAH THE ALMIGHTY be your Guide and Protector always. All my prayers for you to be a happy man…But someday soon we shall INSHA ALLAH meet and I will remind you of your comment and ask you then…”what do you think now?”. Such is my optimism and my Faith in ALLAH THE ALMIGHTY .

  9. jamshidkhattak says:

    sir the khattak nation always respict you sir pleas visit your home disttrict karak every month and meat to the people of khattak and conway to the next election

  10. In some seminars and conferences, I attended while pursuing my career at ICAP, I came across the above information. And I really appreciate that you are posting such information on the public forums and social websites for awareness and government attention.
    But what I really believe that we need a sincere government to pursue such project. The Gold projects at Saindak (I have seen the contracts of the Govt through Saindak Metal with the Chinese company that sold the billions worth project by 50% share), the coal reserves, ceramic, stones and other metals and not the least the oil and gas reserve in Karak are the most neglected projects in Pakistan.
    Mr. Shoukat Aziz was kind enough to boost our financial sector, but unfortunately, did not contribute in the above project.
    Mr. Khattak, my sincere belief that Imran Khan is really keen to work on these projects and he has shown his plan in several occasions. Lets join hand with PTI to get to the mark, where You as nation want to be!!!

  11. Dear Sir, Your idea and approach about the future of this area is superb and I wish that Almighty Allah do the same and make this regime truly the economic back bone of loving Pakistan. It will probably happen if we have loyal leaders and they, from there hearts, try in the best interest of nation.

  12. Dr Tariq Khattak says:

    sir, i appreciate your efforts. we all pray for you. i know that people our area r very much in love with pakistan. half of our brothers r in military serving at borders. we want our area to be developed like lahore and islamabad. may allah help you. i suggest you a make a site on facebook also.

  13. Khursheed, Karachi says:

    Let us put our hands togather and start looking at future. Allah Almighty has blessed us with education and awareness. Petro exploration is a new boom bastic blessing of Him. Think before casting a vote again and again and do not accept any pressure from any body influencing your opinion. This way, you will be sending representatives to Peshawar and Islamabad, capable enough to fight for your rights. Good Luck, loving you all.

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