Originally published in Dawn.com on January 21, 2020
January 20, 2021: Prime Minister Imran Khan, during a visit to Wana, announced that 3G/4G internet services will become operational in Waziristan from today (Wednesday).
The premier made the remarks while addressing a cheque distribution ceremony for the successful applicants of the Kamyab Jawan Loan Scheme and the Youth Internship Scheme.
“I know that 3G and 4G is important for education and development […] this was a huge demand of the youth, one that is justified,” he said, as participants of the ceremony cheered.
The prime minister went on to explain that “security issues” were a major obstacle in the delay behind providing 3G/4G internet services.
“[India] is trying its best to spread terror in Pakistan. We know of their efforts to spread chaos in Balochistan […] we have all the knowledge. Even in Waziristan, they are trying to instigate the youth against Pakistan. So that is why there was a problem regarding 3G/4G services which terrorists could also use.”
“But I spoke to my security agencies […] we agreed that we need to be cognizant of terrorists using this facility. Despite this, we also thought that it is the need of our young people and that is why this service will become operational from today.”
The prime minister stated that approximately 70 per cent of the population lived below the poverty line in Waziristan. “That is why we have the Ehsaas programme, the aim of which is to uplift those living below the poverty line by giving them cash stipends and scholarships.”
He assured the people of Waziristan that the government was fully committed to working for their welfare. “Whoever you voted for, it doesn’t make a difference to us. We will try to uplift this area and provide whatever facilities we can,” he said, adding that the government was working on bringing an “olive revolution” in the area.
“This is the best area for growing olive trees. We have carried out a survey and will start planting trees next month which we will hand over to the people.” He said that the people’s income will increase drastically due to the olive trees, resulting in them not having to travel abroad for jobs.