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January 7, 2015

KP PA warns project could cause violence


January 7, 2015

PESHAWAR: A unanimous resolution adopted by the provincial assembly on Tuesday warned that violence could flare up in the southern districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa if work on a gas pipeline from Karak to Faisalabad was not halted immediately.
The resolution signed by 16 lawmakers from both the opposition and treasury benches said the new pipeline to Punjab was violation of the Constitution. It said article 158 of the Constitution guaranteed the local population’s right on gas and only surplus gas could be supplied to other areas.
However, it said, the Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Company has started work on “a huge pipeline” from Karak through Kohat to Faisalabad and other major cities of Punjab. The resolution contended that it was flagrant violation of the Constitution.
The article 158 of the Constitution says, “The province in which a well-head of natural gas is situated shall have precedence over other parts of Pakistan in meeting the requirements from that well-head, subject to the commitments and obligations as on the commencing day.”
The resolution passed in the assembly said the gas pipeline project was injustice with the people of Karak, Kohat and the entire Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The resolution said the pipeline had caused unrest among the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, particularly among the residents of Karak and Kohat. The unrest could turn into violence, the resolution warned.
“This assembly calls on the provincial government to take up with the federal government the issue of providing gas to Karak, Kohat and other areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in line with the spirit of the Constitution of Pakistan,” the resolution said. It was read out by Malik Qasim Khan Khattak, the adviser to chief minister who hails from Karak district.
“Till the provision of gas to Karak, Kohat and the rest of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, work on the pipeline should immediately be halted,” the resolution demanded. Malik Qasim Khan said the low-pressure of

gas in the gas-rich Karak district had already triggered strikes, rallies, firing and tear-gassing and warned the unrest could intensify.
Through another resolution, the assembly paid tributes to Aitzaz Hassan, a student who confronted a suicide bomber on January 6 last year in Hangu and died. The resolution demanded that Hangu-Kohat portion of the road should be named after him. It also demanded that made-up stories should be removed from curriculum and heroic acts of children should be included in it.
A third joint resolution adopted unanimously asked the provincial government to urge the federal government to stop taking tax on card recharge of mobile phones in the tax-free Malakand Division.

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