By Fazal Khaliq

MINGORA: Chief Minister Mahmood Khan here on Sunday said that militancy had affected Malakand division while Matta tehsil was the worst affected where the number of orphans was higher than other areas.

“It is our duty to not only give shelter to the thousands of children who became orphans during the three years of militancy in Swat, but also provide them with modern education,”he said while addressing the foundation stone laying ceremony of Khpal Kor village phase-2 in Mingora. The village will be constructed with the financial assistance of Rs50 million donated by the provincial government.

He said that he would work for the development of entire province unlike the past rulers who focused on their own districts.

“In the past, the chief ministers would carry out development projects in their own districts, but I am determined that I will work for the development of the province because I am not the CM of Swat district, but of the entire Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” he said.

The chief minister said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had a vision to eradicate poverty from the country where every citizen enjoyed equal status. He said that the prime minister wanted to eliminate corruption and transform the country into a social welfare state.

“This is why he gave me directives to establish shelter homes for the poor, homeless and needy people in Peshawar. The government has established a well-equipped shelter home with every facility where people get home-like facilities,” he said, adding that similar shelter homes would be established in every divisional headquarters of the province.

I announce here that the government will not leave them alone,” he said and praised the administration of Khpal Kor Foundation for taking care of orphans and providing them with free education and boarding facilities,” he said.

He said that the provincial government would also assist the foundation in its other endeavours.

He urged the well-off people to come forward and take responsibility of the orphans and poor children in providing them education so that they could become useful citizens.

He said that the newly-merged tribal districts lacked infrastructure and their development was a big challenge for them.

“We will work for the welfare of tribal people day and night and carry out development projects on emergency basis,” he said.

Earlier, the foundation director, Mohammad Ali, thanked the chief minister for his generous support in construction of phase-2 of Khpal Kor village.

MPAs Azizullah Gran, Waqar Khan, Sharafat Ali and Sardar Khan, DDAC chairman Fazal Hakim Khan, secretary social welfare, commissioner Malakand division, DIG Malakand and elders of the area were also present on the occasion. The chief minister also opened the newly-established general bus stand in Mingora.