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February 17, 2020

KP Assembly holding first session today after ministers’ sacking

Peshawar

February 17, 2020

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly is holding its first session today (Monday) after the sacking of three important provincial ministers on January 26, which could be a heated session.

The assembly session had been adjourned on January 14 till 27th and then adjourned till February 7, but again prorogued sine die without holding the sitting to avoid any untoward situation in the House due to removal of the ministers. The government also did not want the opposition to exploit the intra-party differences in the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

Following that the opposition submitted a requisition on January 31 for calling the session that was rejected on technical grounds but another requisition was submitted on February 7. However, again the opposition’s requisition was ignored and the governor summoned the session for February 17.

The three ex-ministers, Atif Khan, Shahram Khan Tarakai and Shakeel Ahmad will have to sit on the back benches instead of the front row if they attended the session.

The sitting could be fiery as the opposition would try to give a tough time to the treasury benches.

It is also expected the opposition would raise the issues like price-hike, flour and sugar crisis, non-payment of the net hydel profit arears, the much-talked about Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and billion three tsunami projects as well as non-release of uplift funds besides exploiting the differences within the ruling party that led to removal of the ministers.

The government has been trying to avoid the assembly session and most of the ministers usually remain absent from the proceedings of the house which provide the opposition an opportunity to criticize the government for its performance.

The government is accused of not taking the House business serious. But the joint opposition has also made it clear that the session would be requisitioned again and again if prorogued without fulfilling the agenda especially discussing the issues like BRT, billion three tsunami and uplift funds.

Since the portfolios held by the then senior minister Atif Khan i.e. sports, culture and tourism and revenue and estates held by Shakeel Ahmad have not been assigned to any other minister, the government

might face embarrassment in case of questions regarding these departments. Though Finance Minister Taimur Salim Jhagra has been assigned the additional charge of health, which was earlier given to the former minister Shahram Tarakai.

Although Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Sultan Muhammad usually reply to the questions in absence of relevant cabinet member.

The current session agenda also include regularization of the services of six thousand personnel of the special police force which has already been approved by the cabinet.