(03 August 2015)
Under the directives of COAS General Raheel Sharif, Army has been playing a very positive role in rebuilding Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and providing relief to Temporary Displaced People (TDPs), a business leader said Monday.
The sacrifices of Army has changed the situation in FATA to an extent that local and foreign businessmen should start looking into opportunities in that area, said President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain.
Talking to the business community, he called upon investors for taking advantage of emerging situation and divert their investment to FATA.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that FATA has immense potential for investment because of its advantageous location and hardworking manpower.
The potential of FATA could not be exploited in past due to security situation and lack of commitment on part of the successive governments but the incumbent government led by PM Nawaz Sharif seems very serious about it, he said.
The Army has realised that investment in FATA amounts to investing in bright and secure future of Pakistan therefore it has concentrated on it in a way which is resulting in a big change, he added.
Army has also taken a lead in supporting TDPs in a meaningful way winning hearts and minds of people which is not going down well with some politicians, he noted.
Mian Zahid said that situation in camps of TDPs is not as painted by some politicians who have their own objectives to fuel restlessness on the behest of some powers.
The business leader said that law and order situation in FATA during the last decade has forced many industries to close or relocate rendering many jobless who have a right to earn a decent living.
Army is doing its best while other stakeholders should do more for provision of facilities, civic services, infrastructure building and other development to ensure that youth of the area are engaged in healthy and constructive pursuits.
In past US had repeatedly assured to set up Reconstruction Opportunities Zones in FATA but their interest faded for various reasons due to their own priorities and interests.
The US sluggishness has not changed the situation on ground and there is a need for massive investment in FATA which Army alone cannot do.
The Government should provide special incentives to attract investment in infrastructure, tourism, agriculture, cattle farming, forestry and mineral development in once highly volatile region.