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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Source The News

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Tuesday decided to construct a new building for the Liaqat Memorial Hospital Kohat.
An official handout said that the decision was made at a meeting chaired by provincial Health Minister Shahram Tarakai.The meeting decided that the old building would be demolished as it was in a dilapidated condition. It was told that the existing building was beyond repair as it was built in 1952.  
The handout said that work on the construction of new building would be started in July this year and completed within next two years at an estimated cost of Rs400 million. It said that the Refugees Affected and Hosting Areas (RAHA) programme would provide financial assistance for the construction of new building.
Secretary Health Dr Jamal Yusuf, Director General Health, Dr Pervez Kamal, Commissioner Kohat Division, Musarrat Hussain and representatives of RAHA programme attended the meeting. The meeting was briefed in detail on the master plan of the new building.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Army Officer gunned down in Peshawar

Source The News International

PESHAWAR: In yet another apparent target killing incident, unidentified assailants gunned down a senior officer of the Pakistan Army at a mosque near Hayatabad at the time of Friday prayers.
The family members of the deceased told The News that armed men waiting in ambush opened fire on Lieutenant Colonel Tariq Ghafoor at a small mosque near the Ring Road leading to Hayatabad.
“Those accompanying him told the police that they went to the mosque in a car. They said they entered the mosque while Lt Col Tariq was parking the vehicle when they heard three shots,” Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Mubarak Zeb told The News.
As the relatives and other people came out of the mosque after hearing the gunshots, they found the colonel critically wounded. He succumbed to his injuries on way to the Hayatabad Medical Complex. His body was sent for an autopsy to the Combined Military Hospital and later to the Khyber Medical College.
Lt Col Tariq Ghafoor belonged to Kohat but was living in the family’s bungalow in Hayatabad. The family owned a gas station on the Ring Road near the place where he was shot dead.
The deceased was the elder son of the late Major General Fazal Ghafoor, who had served as the inspector general of the Frontier Corps in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata. The general had led the Frontier Corps to put down the armed uprising by the black-turbaned followers of the Tanzim Nifiaz Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM) head Maulana Sufi Muhammad in Swat and the rest of Malakand Division in 1995. He was the son-in-law of Mian Mehboob and brother-in-law of Mian Saeed Ahmed.
Lt Col Tariq Ghafoor’s younger brother Asad and a sister are also serving as officers in the army. “He was a thorough gentleman and a friend indeed. He will be missed forever,” said one of his close friends, Muhammad Saeed. Lt Col Tariq is survived by his widow, a son and three daughters. His funeral prayer will be offered in Chambai village near the Kohat prison at 2pm today (Sunday).
Our Kohat correspondent adds: The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the killing of Lt Col Tariq Ghafoor. Its spokesman Muhammad Khurasani called reporters to make the claim and to assert that he was on their hit-list due to his role in taking action against the Taliban in Quetta. He added that the TTP’s special task force was tasked to carry out the attack.

KOHAT: Three men were allegedly killed over a petty dispute in Jungle Khel on Sunday. A police spokesperson told the media the accused Yousaf Khan, Qasim, Asim and Wahid Khan are members of a group. They barged into the hujra of Muhammad Suleman and opened fire on Suleman, Muhammad Hassan and Habib. The accused managed to escape the scene after committing the crime. However, police registered an FIR and started investigation to find the culprits. Rafiullah, cousin of the deceased, told the police the two groups had a petty dispute a few days ago.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 14th, 2016.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Gas royalty funds fail to bring change in Kohat

KOHAT: Kohat district has been receiving a big amount of oil and gas royalty every year, but no corresponding development could be seen in any sector.
District executive officer (finance) Wahidur Rehman Khattak told Dawn that Kohat district had been getting royalty since 2011 according to the ratio of production from the local oil and gas wells.
He said that in 2014-15 Kohat received over Rs61 million in royalty of which 50 per cent was given to the oil and gas producing constituency. Similarly, in 2013-14 the companies gave Rs41 million and so on.
Answering a question, he said that for unknown reasons no mega project could be started.
He admitted that condition of hospitals, roads and water and electricity supply schemes in Kohat had worsened over the years.
Though 50 per cent of the royalty goes to Shakardarra, condition of its hospital could not be improved.
The town has no water and voltage of electricity remains so low that the scheme for bringing water to the area from Indus River was abandoned several years ago.
An official said on condition of anonymity that the funds were being misused otherwise the royalty funds in addition to the annual share of Kohat from the provincial government could solve all major problems of the district.
Mr Khattak said that the royalty funds were released to contractors for the approved schemes, but unfortunately no development could be seen in the district.
Sources said that the companies had promised to reconstruct the hospital and road, but the lawmakers from the area were employing people of their constituencies and keeping mum about the development projects.
It may be recalled that the oil and gas companies had announced a mobile hospital for Shakardarra to reach the scattered population and establishment of a burns centre in Kohat. Residents said that the lawmakers never bothered to pressurise the companies to help resolve problems of their constituencies.
Published in Dawn, February 26th, 2016

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Govt asked to resume train service to Kohat, Mardan, Khyber

Source Express Tribune

A civil society organisation has launched a campaign to press the federal government to resume train service to Kohat, Hangu, Mardan and the tribal areas so that people can benefit from the facility.
The activists of Karwan-e-Amal, a civil society group in Kohat, on Sunday staged a rally to ask the federal government to resume the train service to their district.“We have approached the political leaders, federal government officials and others concerned to resume this important service for the people of Kohat,” said Saleem Altaf, chairman of Karwan-e-Amal.
He added that the campaign would continue for a few weeks for which the political leadership and elders of Kohat have been taken into confidence.According to the elders of Kohat, infrastructure is already there in the shape of tracks, railway station and other facilities and only the federal minister for Railways needs to approve resumption of the cargo as well as passenger trains.
“This will benefit thousands of people of not only Kohat, but the entire southern districts and the tribal belt,” one of the elders said.
Hundreds of miles of railway tracks were built in the past up to Mardan, Dargai, Torkham in Khyber Agency and Kohat and Bannu in southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. However, the tracks are not being used by any passenger and cargo train for the last several years. The government and the Pakistan Railways have lost interest in reviving the train service to any of these destinations.
The Khyber Train Safari from Peshawar to Landikotal in Khyber Agency used to be popular with local and foreign tourists but it was closed several years ago due to insecurity and other unspecified reasons. It ought to be revived now that the security situation has improved.
Thousands of kanals of land of the Pakistan Railways also hasn’t been utilised properly to benefit the public.
A number of elders have also asked for usage of the railway track in Mardan and Khyber Agency. There are reports that most of the properties of the Pakistan Railways have been occupied due to negligence of the department and the ministry. In Mardan, the railway station has been converted into a market.

Kidnapping for ransom : CTD arrests suspect in Kohat

KOHAT: The counter-terrorism department (CTD) has arrested a suspect who was allegedly involved in a kidnapping for ransom in Kohat. According to a handout issued by the department on Tuesday, the suspect was identified as Khushi Mohammad, who hailed from a village in Gujranwala. “He had abducted Fazal Mohammad, son of Khan Mohammad, on January 19,” read the handout. “After kidnapping Fazal, Khushi demanded Rs10 million as ransom for his release.” As per the document, CTD officials conducted a search operation in the area and managed to arrest the accused. Khushi has been shifted to an undisclosed location for interrogation. Further probe is underway
Published in The Express Tribune, March 2nd, 2016.

Two Kohat Circle engineers suspended

source: Tribune

Two engineers of Kohat Circle have been suspended for using substandard material in development projects and negligently carrying out their duties. This was stated in a handout issued on Friday. Adviser to CM for Communication and Works Akbar Ayub Khan and C&W Secretary Muhammad Asif Khan took the decision after they noticed substandard material was being used in the construction of two playgrounds at Lachi and Babri Banda. They sought a report from the superintending engineer to this effect and discovered two engineers, Shakir Kamal and Saeedullah, had negligently performed their duties. Action will also be taken against the subdivisional officer in-charge.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Kohat news bites

Source Dawn
The rains continuing in Hangu and Orakzai Agency for five days have flooded the Kohat Toi natural stream and thus, inundating dozens of houses in Hafizabad area in Kohat.
Kohat Toi originates in Orakzai Agency.
The rain water damaged the people’s belongings and forced residents to move out.
According to locals, a former MNA had occupied Kohat Toi section in Hafizabad area before selling plots on it. Also, cultivation of orchards in its way shortened the natural stream’s width.
They, however, insisted their repeated requests to the administration for crackdown on encroachers fell on deaf ears.
The stream bursts its banks every year and flooding nearby areas.
The local residents demanded strict action against illegal sellers and buyers of land on the course of stream to ensure smooth flow of water.
They complained that no official or volunteers came to their help and therefore, they had to vacate houses on their own.
MAN KILLED: An elderly man died and another suffered injuries after lightning struck them in Kamalkhel area on Friday.
The deceased was Nabeel and the injured Samiullah.
Local police registered a case and began investigation.
MAN DROWNS: Noor Mohammad, 8, on Friday drowned in flood water in Kohat Toi.
The efforts of the local residents and divers to trace the body didn’t bear fruit.
The deceased belonged to Dhoda area in Kohat.
DEADLINE FOR SHOPKEEPERS: The local administration on Friday gave shopkeepers seven days to vacate a hospital’s occupied land in Hangu, saying if encroachment stays put, shopkeepers will face the music.
The deadline was set by assistant commissioner Farrukh Attique during a visit to the area along with additional assistant commissioner Hussain Bangash and officials of the tehsil municipal administration and education department.
Mr Attique examined the land record and found that three shops built in a corner of the Liaquat Memorial Hospital at Hangu Square were illegal and that the property belonged to the health department.
In 2011, the administration had asked shopkeepers in question to pay rent to the hospital but the latter refused to do so.
POLICE FORM COMMITTEE: The police on Friday formed a 16-strong committee for bridging the gap between the department and the people and controlling crime in Mansehra.
Former chief justice of the Peshawar High Court Syed Ibne Ali is the committee’s chairman and poet Shahid Zaman its secretary, while Dr Matiullah Shah, district khateeb Maulana Sharifullah, Azam Khan, Feroze Khan, Mohammad Shuja, former district nazim Haji Sardar Khan, Dr Haji Gul, Qamar Zaman Shinwari, Malik Fazl e Rabbi, Mohammad Anwar, Shafiullah Durrani, Mian Shah Raza, Syed Haji Mohammad and Syed Qasim Ali Shah will be its members.
The committee was set up at the office of district police officer Saleem Marwat.
Mr Marwat highlighted the committee’s role for peace and people’s welfare in the district and said members of the panel would sit in the Saddar police station next Monday.
He expressed the hope that the committee would help resolve the people’s minor problems at the police station level.

Corruption probe underway against six ministers: CM

Source Dawn
Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has denied the existence of a forward bloc in Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and said that some members of his party have demanded removal of corrupt ministers.
He said this while talking exclusively to Dawn at Azeem Bagh, the residence of his adviser MPA Amjid Afridi, on the occasion of marriage of his son here on Saturday.
He said that allegations of corruption against six ministers were being investigated and if anybody was found guilty he would be removed from the provincial cabinet.
He hoped that the talk of forward bloc would automatically end after removal of corrupt ministers, if any.
The chief minister said that at present the government had stopped release of development funds.
He said that the government would first put in place a mechanism to stop corruption and from next year funds would be released regularly as required by the ministers, MPAs and the government departments for development projects.
On the issue of royalty from gas and oil of Kohat, the chief minister said that they were trying to divert additional funds of the MPAs and MNAs in Kohat and Karak to development and spend it on construction of hospitals and other big projects of public interest in southern districts of the province.
He said that at present the royalty and routine funds of parliamentarians were not being used properly and in this regard talks were underway with them to spend the funds in a purposeful way.
About local government elections, Mr Khattak said that the provincial government was ready for holding the polls and waiting for the decision and declaration of date by the Election Commission of Pakistan.
He said that they would take full part in the LG polls and if required form alliance at district level with like-minded parties.
Asked about the peace talks with Taliban, the chief minister said that the federal government was doing its job in a positive manner.
He said that some elements did not want that the dialogue should continue for establishing peace. He hoped that the talks would resume soon.