PESHAWAR: It’s strange enough to note that no elected representative or deputy commissioner has ever bothered to visit Lakki Marwat, a far-flung area in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. There are a total six such regions, namely, Dera Ismail Khan, Tank, Lakki Marwat, Bannu, Kohat and Peshawar, which serve as a ‘buffer zone’ between the settled and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).The deputy commissioners of the respective districts adjoining these far flung areas have the additional charge of a political agent to oversee these buffer zones, but ironically, none of the DCs in Lakki Marwat has ever bothered to visit the underdeveloped and deprived places in the area. A visit by this scribe to the various villages in Lakki Marwat reflected a deplorable picture of the tribesmen who have been deprived of their basic rights.The tribesmen of Tajbikhel village, which is settled on a mountain top, complained that no government official or at least their elected MNAs had ever visited their village since the creation of Pakistan. “There is a school but it has no teacher. Similarly, there is a hospital but there is no doctor or other paramedical staff and medicines in it,” a tribal elder, Gul Wali said, adding that they were often forced to take a patient to a hospital in Tajori area in a ‘cot’ as there is no road in the mountainous area of their village where a vehicle could be arranged.“We (tribesmen) are blamed for joining militant groups but let me ask what our children would do if there is no arrangement for children to get proper education at home. Surely, they would grow up no less than beasts if they don’t get education”, he argued.He said there were no arrangements for electricity and potable water in their village. “Half of the population of our village has managed to use solar system for electricity purposes”, he added.Another elder, Sultan Shah, said that they had spent about Rs.300,000 out of their own pockets for the purchase of 12,000 metre-long rubber pipe to get drinking water from a stream.He added that more than Rs300,000 had also been spent on making routes through the mountainous areas for their transport and communication.He pleaded that the government should allow them to go elsewhere if it could not provide proper care, adding they were also equal citizens of the country.Meanwhile, a government primary school in Guz Baba village was presenting a look of a hujra (male guest house) where cots, a television set and other items were found in a classroom.Interestingly, most of the tribal elders literally known as ‘Maliks’ have managed to get schools approved for their community where their sons or relatives are appointed as class-IV or watchmen rather than being educated.The network of the roads and link roads is also in a dilapidated condition and it was learnt that huge funds were approved and swallowed in the past under the head of their repair. A link road between Guz Baba village to Shadikhel has been lying unconstructed since long as the fund approved for its construction was pocketed by the contractor and the officials concerned.An official, pleading anonymity, told the Daily Times that the officials of the Communication and Services Department for Lakki Marwat were posted in Bannu, rather than in Lakki Marwat. They were also involved in misappropriation of development funds approved by the FATA Secretariat Peshawar.Ali Marjan, a tribal elder, said that MNA Qaiser Jamal Afridi had not turned up to the area after winning election, not to mention of his development projects.Despite several attempts by this scribe, the MNA could not be approached for his version. However, an official of the C&S Department in Bannu was contacted, who also expressed his ignorance about the issues brought to his notice.Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra has recently launched a drive to improve education and ensure enrolment of students in FATA.Residents of Lakki Marwat demanded of the governor to take notice of the ghost schools in the area.