KP govt awaiting Centre’s response, Bilour tells PA
PESHAWAR: Senior Minister Bashir Bilour on Tuesday told the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly that the provincial government had discussed with the federal government the shifting of Dr Shakil Afridi, who allegedly helped CIA track down Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, to other jails from the Central Prison Peshawar.
Responding to the points raised by the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid deputy parliamentary leader Nighat Orakzai, he said the provincial government was waiting for the response of the federal government.
He said the provincial government would shift Dr Shakil Afridi to the Balahisar Fort if he was not shifted to any other province. “As far as his security is concerned the provincial government has provided all the possible security to him at the Central Prison Peshawar,” the minister said. PML-Q’s Nighat Orakzai, on a point of order, had expressed concern over the presence of Dr Shakil at the Central Prison Peshawar.
Recalling the recent attack by the militants on the Central Prison in Bannu district, she asked the government to take steps to prevent the Bannu-like attack on the Central Prison Peshawar. She said the government should shift Dr Shakil Afridi to some other prison and make sure that nobody knew about his whereabouts.
Debating the provincial budget on the second consecutive day, Pakistan People’s Party-Sherpao (PPP-S) parliamentary leader Sikandar Sherpao termed it deficit budget and asked the federal and provincial governments to revisit the National Finance Commission (NFC) award after the passage of the 18th Amendment.
He said the provincial government should devise some mechanism for the collection of the General Sales Tax (GST) and take the responsibility of the departments after the 18th Amendment.
The PPP-S leader believed the government had repeated the same mistakes it had committed in the previous budgets that had been declared as balanced by the government. He said the government had to present supplementary budget last year and this time too it would do the same.
Sikandar Sherpao said the provinces had the right to collect the GST after the 18th Amendment. He said the government had expected Rs20 billion, but it could collect only Rs8 billion and that too through the federal government. He also expressed apprehensions over the projected income from electricity royalty.
The PPP-S leader urged the government to utilise its resources and assume its responsibility after the 18th Amendment. He asked the federal and provincial governments to revisit the NFC award and give 80 percent share to the provinces.
Taking part in the debate, JUI-F’s Hafiz Akhtar Ali, independent lawmaker Habibur Rehman Tanoli, Saeeda Nasir Batool, PML-N’s Abdus Sattar Khan, PML-Q’s Nighat Orakzai and Sanaullah Khan Miankhel suggested the government to set its priorities and take the elected representatives into confidence for launching development schemes for the welfare of the people.
Nighat Orakzai objected to the remarks of the PML-N lawmakers and chanted slogans in favour of Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and against Nawaz Sharif. This infuriated the PML-N lawmakers, who all stood up and almost all of them started talking loudly.The speaker repeatedly asked the members to confine their speeches to the budget or else he would adjourn the session.