KARAK: District councillors of all union councils in Banda Daud Shah, Karak have constituted a committee to provide rights to the people of the region.
The announcement was made during a news conference held Tuesday evening. The forum consists of district councillors from Niri Panos, Bahadur Khel, Teri, Jitah Ismail Khel and Gurguri. They were Inayatullah Khattak, Rafi Khattak, Intikhab Alam, Hazrat Ali and Maulana Daud Shah, respectively. Inayatullah has been appointed as the chairman of the committee while Rafi was general secretary.
Under the radar
Speaking on the occasion, the district councillors said the residents of Banda Daud Shah have been deprived of their due rights. They said oil and gas generation was given priority to bring progress and development to the region. However, the public has not benefitted from this venture as resources extracted from Banda Daud Shah have primarily been used to serve the rest of the country.
According to the district councillors, at least 50% of revenue from oil and gas extraction had been earmarked for development in the region and the public should be given its share. “A large fraction of the money was either spent on Khushal Khan Khattak University or has been given to Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited,” one of the district councillors said. “Meanwhile, no signs of progress have been witnessed in Banda Daud Shah. This is unsettling because the five union councils of the region are entitled to revenue from such projects.”
Other speakers stated the resources extracted from Banda Daud Shah were redirected to Punjab to help build factories there. However, they added, Banda Daud Shah residents were left to burn firewood to fulfil their own needs.
Woes and behold
The district councillors drew attention to the woes faced by residents. They said companies which operate in the region have caused pollution, destroyed local infrastructure and failed to employ locals. The public has been edged out of all debates and their grievances have not been taken into account, they added.
“We will be forced to take to the streets if these concerns are not addressed,” another district councillor said. During the conference, speakers also threw their weight behind plans to establish an oil refinery in Krapa, saying it will fulfil the needs of the region. They said Krapa would fulfil the water requirement of the refinery from local dams.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 1st, 2015.