Talks yield 'breakthrough' as KP, Centre agree to work together for relief to masses

CM Gandapur says even though KP provides electricity to entire country, the province itself is experiencing prolonged power cuts

By Azaz Syed
May 27, 2024
(From left to right)Federal Minister for Energy Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari,Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi and KP Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur address the joint press conference on May 27, 2024. —Screengrab/MOIofficialGoP

In a positive development, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Centre — following months-long tussle — have finally agreed to bury the hatchet and work together for public relief.

The development came during a meeting between KP’s firebrand Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur and Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi in Islamabad on Monday. Federal Minister for Energy Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari and the federal interior secretary were also among the attendees of the meeting.


It is pertinent to mention here that the KP government and the Centre had been at odds over multiple issues, including the prolonged power cuts in the province with CM Gandapur even threatening to take control of the power distribution company, the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) after decrying the excessive power outages in the province.

In addition to this, the KP government and Centre have been engaged in a verbal spat in recent days with the former complaining of dues that are owed to the province by the federal government.

In March, CM Gandapur threatened to take the Centre to court over the arrears issue.

Addressing a joint presser, following a “meaningful” dialogue, CM Gandapur said: “The federal and provincial institutions will work together. [We] will work together to remove the causes of line losses.”

Referring to the “consensus” developed between the two sides, the provincial chief executive said that they had found a way through which people would get relief.

"Even though KP provides electricity to the entire country,” he said, "the province itself is experiencing prolonged power cuts."

The chief minister further said that he engaged in talks to solve the problems being faced by the province. “We will have to come to the table for the rights and issues of the province.”

Since KP itself generates electricity, he said, the people of the province wanted to end loadshedding and seek cheap electricity.

CM Gandapur also thanked the federal government for realising the grievances of the people of the province.

Quoting PTI founder Imran Khan, he said that their "fight is not against the state's intuitions".

On his part, the energy minister thanked Interior Minister Naqvi for playing a key role in defusing tensions between KP and Centre and bridging the gap between the two sides.

Without revealing details, the federal minister said: “We have found a solution to the problems.”

A uniform model will be implemented in KP and other provinces, he added.

Referring to the decisions made in the meeting, the minister said that PTI, PML-N and allied parties have taken a “big step” to recover the economy and steer the country out of crisis.

Despite having a different political narrative, the energy minister said that they agreed on this agenda for the sake of the people and the country.

“We have found a solution to the problems. The solution will be applied to other provinces too.”

He vowed to address the issues of power theft and line losses across the country.

“The PTI and the PML-N have jointly taken this step to improve the country’s economy.”

'Meeting witnes breakthrough'

Talking to journalists, the interior minister revealed that the meeting concluded with a “breakthrough”. He, however, did not give details about the breakthrough and said that the session was held in a pleasant atmosphere.

Matters related to public relief were discussed in the meeting, he added.

Ahead of the crucial huddle, Naqvi welcomed CM Gandapur upon his arrival at the Foreign Ministry. During his interaction with the media, the chief minister said: Our cases are in the courts and we hope that we will get relief from the courts. I am sitting with them [federal ministers] to solve the problems of the people of his province. In political matters, different things should not be mixed.”