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Non-provision of uplift funds: Opp threatens resignation from KP Assembly standing committees

By Nisar Mahmood
April 24, 2019

PESHAWAR: The opposition lawmakers on Tuesday walked out of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and threatened resignation from the assembly’s standing committees to protest the non-provision of development funds.

Opposition leader Akram Khan Durrani of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) said the government had failed to fulfill its commitment with the opposition members who had no option but to resign from all the standing committees.

“We are staging a walkout and will sit together to write our resignations from the standing committees as it seems the ministers who had made the commitment are powerless. The Irrigation Department has issued directives about the allocation of Rs100 million each to the ruling party members from southern districts of the province but it allocated Rs50 million to me which I rejected,” Akram Durrani announced.

The opposition leader said he would not accept any uplift fund until all the opposition members were allocated their share of the development funds.

He said it was decided in a jirga of the treasury and opposition members that all problems and issues would be resolved with mutual understanding but the commitment was not fulfilled.

He complained that the issue of removal of Khushdil Khan of Awami National Party (ANP) by Speaker Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani as chairman standing committee on agriculture has still not been resolved. He said it meant the government was forcing the opposition lawmakers to resign from the standing committees and also as chairmen of District Development Advisory Committees (DDACs) Earlier Munawwar Khan of JUI-F announced resignation from the assembly standing committees and said the opposition MPAs would not beg for their legal rights but would get it by knocking the doors of court of law.

He asked that for how long the elected public representatives from southern districts would remain deprived of their rights. Sardar Hussain Babak said that as the parliamentary leader of the ANP he was announcing that his party members would not remain part of the standing committees and would strive to get their rights through the courts. All other options are open for the opposition as allocation of development funds was their legal right being the elected representatives of the people, he added.

Mehmood Khan Bhittani of the JUI-F raised the issue on a point of order and complained that directives have been issued about allocation of funds to the lawmakers but all the nine members from the southern districts belonging to the opposition have been ignored.

He said some funds were issued to the opposition leader to create misunderstanding and divide the opposition. He said Senior Minister Mohamad Atif Khan and Minister for Local Government Shahram Khan Tarakai should explain why they made the commitment if they had no power to honour it.

After emotional speeches and warning of moving the court of law, the opposition members belonging to the JUI-F, ANP, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Jamaat-e-Islami and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) walked out from the house.

Speaker Mushtaq Ghani asked the ruling party members to talk to the opposition MPAs and convince them not to resign from standing committees. After the passage of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill, 2019 the Speaker adjourned the session to meet again today at 1:30 pm.