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KP lawmakers to stage sit-in outside Parliament House

KP lawmakers to stage sit-in outside Parliament House

PESHAWAR: The members of treasury and opposition benches in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly will stage a sit-in outside the Parliament House in Islamabad to protest what they call depriving the province of its legitimate rights.

The lawmakers, who didn’t let go any assembly session without raising the issue of ‘discriminatory’ attitude of the federal government with the province, finally decided on Wednesday to stage a protest outside the Parliament House in Islamabad to vent their anger on May 12.

Chief Minister Pervez Khattak announced the protest on the floor of the house. Earlier, the decision was taken in the parliamentary parties’ meeting held on the premises of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.

The parliamentary leaders of different parties including PML-N decided unanimously to stage protest outside the Parliament House against deprivation of the masses of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of their legitimate rights.

When the assembly session started, Speaker Asad Qaiser set aside the agenda and allowed the members to speak on the decision taken in the parliamentary parties’ meeting about the sit-in.

“All the lawmakers will assemble in KP House in Islamabad at 10am on the coming Tuesday from there they will move towards the Parliament House,” the chief minister said.

In the parliamentary parties’ meeting, issues related to Wapda, Pakistan-China Economic Corridor, arrears on account of net hydel power and royalty on oil and gas were discussed, he told the house.

He criticised Pesco for not installing electricity transformers and poles despite depositing millions of rupees with it from the fund of the MPAs. “If Pesco fails to provide electricity transformers and poles immediately then we will seal the Pesco warehouses and will distribute transformers among the MPAs,” the chief minister said.

The other option was to withdraw the deposited amount from the Pesco with interest, he said. He added that it was responsibility of Pesco to arrest the consumers involved in power theft.

Mr Khattak said that provincial government was ready to provide more police to Pesco for conducting raids in the supervision of the local MPAs. He warned of withdrawing police from Pesco if it was not interested in curbing power theft.

The chief minister also criticised the federal government for changing the initial plan of Pakistan-China Economic Corridor, depriving Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of the huge investment coming from China. Under the original plan, two economic zones had to be established parallel to the road in Mansehra and Dera Ismail Khan, he said. Of the $45 billion China’s investment, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would have only $2 billion while the rest of the investment would go to Punjab.

During the previous two years, many meetings were held with the federal government on the rights of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but in vain, the chief minister said. Ironically, he said, the federal government agreed in every meeting to provide their rights but in written it didn’t agree with them.

Mr Khattak said that federal government was also adopting delaying tactics in convening the meeting of National Finance Commission.

QWP parliamentary leader Sikandar Hayat Sherpao said that the China’s investment seemed to be in Punjab rather than the rest of the country. He said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was producing cheap electricity additional to its need but despite that its people were facing the worst kind of the loadshedding.

PML-N lawmaker Sardar Aurangzaib Nalotha, whose party is ruling the centre, said that all the lawmakers of his party would support the provincial government in the struggle for the rights of the province. However, he said that the PTI-led provincial government should also stop step-motherly treatment with the opposition MPAs. He said that members of opposition benches were ignored in the development schemes.

Munawar Khan and Mufti Janan of JUI-F and Saleem Khan of PPP also criticised the federal government for usurping the rights of the province.

The speaker adjourned the session till 2pm of Friday.

Published in Dawn, May 8th, 2015

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