Development works should not be suspended in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), members of the Mohmand Contractors Association said at a press conference on Monday. They said the region was already suffering from multiple crises and in such a situation the authorities were only increasing the miseries of the people by suspending work on development schemes. MCA president Haji Lal Badshah, along with others including Haji Khan Mohammad, Haji Rahim Dad Khan, and Sheibar Khanand said that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had announced that all the development work was closed till the general election of 2018. They said that extension of the suspension orders to FATA would have harmful effect on the region and its people because tribesmen were suffering from the fallout of terrorism and economic instability for two decades. They said FATA was not the same as other parts of the country and it should be treated in view of the specific conditions. “There is no industrial zone in the region and economic situation remains volatile due to the closure of Pak-Afghan trade route.” The MCA president said there was still a lot of time remaining in the election and that the contractors should be allowed to continue work on their projects. Separately, more than 300 patients of Leishmania disease were vaccinated in all three tehsils of Mohmand Agency, an official of the local administration said on Monday. In Safi tehsil, the area with higher incidence of the disease were identified as Lakaro, Qandahari, Mamad Gat, Alingar, tehsil Prang Ghar and some parts of Haleemzai. The official said Leishmania was caused by biting of a kind of a mosquito namely, Sand fly, found in hilly areas and around fresh water sources. Dr Rawesh Khan at the Agency Headquarter Hospital, Ghalanai, said, sand fly had been transported to the region from Europe. It could stung on exposed portions of human body in morning and evening hours and could fly up to the height of four to five feet and that was the reason that children were the most affected. Political Agent Muhammad Wasif Saeed said on Monday that the Agency Health Office had run out of vaccines. To replenish the stock, the Health Directorate at the FATA Secretariat and the WHO was contacted. The WHO provided 1,000 sets of the requisite vaccine to thee Health Directorate. Of these, 250 vials were sent to Mohmand Agency on an emergency basis. “To cover the maximum number of affected people with available resources, a vaccination campaign was planned in the most affected tehsils of Prang Ghar, Ekkaghund, and Safi.” Published in Daily Times, April 24th 2018.