PESHAWAR, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 1st August, 2016) : People from every walk of life including politicians, lawmakers and civil society organizations have highly lauded the decision of the Federal Government for revoking Customs Act 1969 of Provincial Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) and termed it wise decision with enormous economic benefits for people of Malakand division. Rushad Khan, Member Provincial Assembly elected from Shangla, told APP that Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has won the hearts and minds of hundreds of thousands of people of Malakand Division for taking bold decision regarding repealing of the extension of Customs Act 1969 of PATA, saying this decision has reflected the true wishes and aspirations of people of Khyber Pakthunkhwa and PATA.
He said people of entire Malakand division including Shangla, Dir Lower, Dir Upper, Malakand, Swat and Chitral districts would be largely benefited from this landmark decision of the Federal Government. Rushad Khan people of Malakand division has faced numerous economic and financial problems due to repeated floods, earthquakes and militancy and this decision of the Federal Government would help improve their economic conditions besides alleviating poverty and reduce unemployment.
He said PTI Government had moved a summary to the Federation for extension of Customs Act 1969 to PATA against the sweet will of people of Malakand division and when masses started protest demonstrations in Malakand, PTI has moved another summary seeking for its repealing. He said it would have been better had PTI Government took people of Malakand division into confidence on the issue. Rushad Khan said when the matter was brought into the notice of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, he took a bold decision and directed the concerned quarters to repeal the said Act as per the wishes and aspiration of masses.
To a question about PTI's announced rally of August 7, the MPA said the country's can not afford political instability and agitation politics, saying parliament was best forum for addressal of all problems. He suggested Imran Khan to focus on resolution of problems of about 46000 LG representatives in Khyber Pakthunkhwa who are crying for powers. Rushad Khan said unemployment, poverty, corruption, illiteracy, law and order and poor health services was the real issues of Khyber Pakthunkhwa that needed to be focused.
He said people still remember that PTI has made its owned established Ehtesab Commission toothless, saying Imran Khan has yet to clarify his position about the sterling revelations made by the former Director General LT Gen Retd Hamid Khan and PEDO leaks. He expressed the hope that Imran Khan would withdraw his protest rally on August 7 and sit together with Government for resolution of his grievances. Rushad Khan said people would decide that who is corrupt and who is not in 2018 general election.
Former Minister for Environment and ANP leader Wajid Ali Khan has termed the repealing of Custom Act a positive decision. He said Malakand is a poor division of Khyber Pakthunkhwa and per capita income of its people is very low compare to other divisions and therefore they cannot afford extra taxes burden. He suggested a huge economic plan and package besides linking Malakand division with CPEC to raise living standard of masses besides promoting business and industrialization in the area. Arshad Khan, a local journalist from Dir Lower also appreciated the revoking of Custom Act and termed it an excellent decision of the Federal Government. This would help improve economic conditions of people of Malakand division and financial problems they had suffered due to militancy and terrorism besides floods would be addressed, he concluded.