Governor Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan offering Dua on the inauguration of the Municipal Committee in District Bara. PHOTO: INP
BARA/JAMRUD: The civil administration of Bara, Khyber Agency was formally handed over responsibility for the area during a function on Monday. This transfer of authority will help resume trade, business and social activities in Bara after seven years.
“Now the assistant political agent and his subordinates will resume their official responsibilities in Bara town,” said Governor Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan. He was addressing a function in the area held to celebrate the inauguration of the first-ever municipal committee in Bara and the return of the civil administration. Mehtab said business activities in Bara will formally resume from February 1, however, affected traders and shopkeepers will be allowed to reconstruct their damaged shops and properties.
“The government is firm on its commitment of eradicating terror from its roots from the tribal belt,” the governor added. The ceremony was also attended by a large number of tribal elders, traders, businessmen, MNAs Haji Nasar Khan Afridi and Haji Shah Jee Gul Afridi, former MNAs Haji Mohammad Shah, Pir Noorul Haq Qadri, Awami National Party’s Imran Afridi and Pakistan Peoples Party’s Malik Waris Khan Afridi.
Mehtab announced the establishment of a formal industrial estate over 1,600 kanals of land. He said locals will also be asked to invest in the industrial estate. The governor added affluent tribespeople like Jahi Mohammad Shah, Shahjee Gul among others have assured the establishment of industries in the new estate. A family park is also said to be in the plans and will be looked after by the newly inaugurated municipal committee.
Journalists from Jamrud were prevented from entering Bara on invitation from the governor.
Tribal journalists protested in Jamrud tehsil, Khyber Agency on Monday against the political administration for stopping them from entering Bara during the governor’s visit. Journalists said the governor visited the area to attend the inauguration of Bara Bazaar and they were invited to cover the event but Monday morning they were stopped from entering the tehsil. “We condemn this act by the political administration; the ban on entering Bara is a ban on journalism,” said one journalist.
An official from the political administration told them their names were not on the list of those who were invited, hence they could not enter.
Before flying in from Governor House to Bara, Mehtab chaired a jirga of tribal elders from the area.
After a prolonged discussion, the tribal elders and governor agreed upon certain points of a proposal, including the repatriation of displaced Sipah tribespeople to their native areas. Wanted militant Mangal Bagh belongs to the Sipah tribe, therefore the government has been reluctant to allow the tribespeople’s repatriation.
However, at the event at Bara, Mehtab announced their return journey will begin January 12. The governor also announced the reduction of fines against the tribe from Rs80 million to Rs10 million. The fine was imposed against Sipah under the Frontier Crimes Regulation.
“The Sipah tribespeople have already promised establishing a peace militia and surrendering all wanted persons,” said the governor. He appreciated Bara tribespeople for extending their support to the government and the armed forces during operations Khyber-I and Khyber-II. “As a result, peace has started to prevail in Bara and all terrorists have been flushed out.”
Published in The Express Tribune