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January 13, 2021

KP Assembly: Opposition reiterates demand for Jirga formation to get KP’s rights

National

January 13, 2021

PESHAWAR: The opposition in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Tuesday reiterated the demand for constituting a parliamentary jirga for achieving the constitutional rights of the province and rejected the state policy of distribution of resources.

Debating the issue of electricity and gas loadshedding in the province, the opposition members said people of the KP were not stealing power and gas but the Centre had usurped the province constitutional rights. They pointed out that KP was producing electricity double than its consumption but its dwellers were facing the worst type of loadshedding.

Karak, they added, was producing oil and gas, but refineries were established in Punjab. They said the provincial government had failed to pursue the case of the province in the centre.

Initiating the debate, Ahmad Kareem Kundi of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) said people in the province that produced the cheapest hydel power and was rich in natural gas were facing loadshedding. He said KP was producing 20 billion units electricity and its consumption was 10 billion units but industries in the province were not being provided electricity and domestic consumers were also facing hours-long power cuts.

“We are producing electricity at the rate of Rs2 per unit but getting it for Rs22 and the same is the situation of gas,” he added. Rehana Ismail of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) said the country suffered a lot due to delay in LNG buying deal.

Ehtisham Akbar said electricity remained suspended for hours in Dera Ismail Khan villages and consumers were facing problems, including water shortage.

Inayatullah Khan, Humera Khatoon, Naeema Kishwar and Nighat Orakzai said the chief minister should constitute a parliamentary jirga to take up the matters with the federal government. They said the Centre had to pay Rs1500 billion to the province, which should be properly pursued and the chief minister should lead the jirga to fight the case of the province.

In his reply, Minister Ahmad Hussain Shah said that the provincial cabinet had discussed the case of provincial rights in detail and the government was in touch with the federal government.

However, he said the government was ready for formation of a parliamentary jirga. Earlier, the select committee’s report on the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Violence against Women (protection and prevention) Bill, 2019 was presented in the House.

The bill suggests imprisonment from one to five year besides fine as per Pakistan Penal Code to the ones accused of violence against women. It also suggests giving the district and session judges the jurisdiction of hearing of cases of domestic violence instead of judicial magistrate.

The KP Board of Technical and Commerce Education, Bill, 2021; Anti-Narcotics Bill and the KP Ministers (salary, perks and privileges) (Amendment) Bill, 2021 were also introduced in the House.

The assembly unanimously adopted a resolution asking the federal government to establish jails in different parts of the province or pay the province for prisoners imprisoned in cases related to the federal government.