PESHAWAR: All is set for holding elections for the Senate as the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Monday through a unanimously adopted resolution allocated the assembly hall for the polling scheduled to be held on Wednesday.
The House unanimously adopted the resolution moved by Minister for Labour and Culture Shaukat Yousufzai. The 145 Members Provincial Assembly (MPAs) would elect 12 members for the Senate from the province like the other three federating units.
Earlier, the newly elected MPA from PK-63 Nowshera, Ikhtiar Wali took the oath of his office. He elected recently in the by-election by defeating ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate, Mian Mohammad Umar Kakakhel, the son of late MPA, Mian Jamsheduddin Kakakhel, who had died of Covid-19.
The House witnessed a rumpus after the emotional speech by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lawmaker, Ikhtiar Wali, who severely criticized the government, especially Federal Minister for Defence Pervez Khattak, saying the voters from Nowshera had reposed confidence in him by rejecting the offers of money, jobs, development schemes, electricity poles and water supply pipes.
Ikhtiar Wali alleged that government machinery was used against him. He claimed Rs800 million were spent against him in the by-election but the people elected him despite being an ordinary political worker.
He thanked the electorate and component parties of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), arguing that he had been struggling for the last 32 years and at last succeeded in winning the polls to get elected as MPA. “It was because of my party leadership’s services for the country and the nation that people voted for me”, he said, adding, his party leader Maryam Nawaz and Amir Muqam played a vital role in his by-election campaign.
Amid rival slogans from the treasury benches, he counted the achievements of PML-N by pointing out that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had made Pakistan a nuclear power, brought the country out of darkness by generating 12,000-megawatt electricity, built motorways, restored peace to the country, established 70 hospitals and put Pakistan on the path of progress. “Still he was politically victimized,” Ikhtiar Wali maintained.
He said his rival Pervez Khattak, who had remained chief minister as well in the past, had done nothing Nowshera district and this is the reason the people rejected him despite being in the government as federal defence minister. He said due to the wrong policies of the government the people were committing suicides and selling their children.
Sardar Muhammad Yousaf, the parliamentary leader of PML-N, welcomed his colleague in the House and said his victory was a referendum against the PTI government. He said being a devoted worker, Ikhtiar Wali deserved the win.
Khushdil Khan of the Awami National Party (ANP), Naeema Kishwar of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Jamaat-e-Islami’s Inayatullah Khan, independent MPA from North Waziristan Mir Kalam Wazir and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)’s Nighat Orakzai also greeted and welcomed Ikhtiar Wali in the assembly.They said his election was the victory of democratic forces.
In his reply, Minister Shaukat Yousufzai said Ikhtiar Wali should thank the PTI workers as their support had helped him win the by-election. The previous governments, he alleged, had destroyed the economy and the country’s current account was in deficit and we had to repay Rs20,000 billion foreign loans.
Counting Pervez Khattak-led PTI government’s achievements, he said he completed the Qazi Hussain Ahmad Hospital which was a project launched by the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) government and established a medical college in Nowshera, five small dams were under construction in the district and almost 90 per cent of the population was provided natural gas supply.
His speech was interrupted by the opposition, especially PML-N’s Sobia Khan who shouted slogans of ‘Go Imran go’ and the speaker had to ask her repeatedly to remain silent and follow the House decorum.
The House adopted Nighat Orakzai’s resolution demanding Red Passports for the speakers of all provincial assemblies and inclusion of family members in the MPAs’ Blue Passports.The PTI lawmaker Fahim Khan’s resolution asking the Sindh government to stop the alleged victimization of opposition leader in Sindh Assembly, Haleem Adil Sheikh and provide him protection was also passed before the Speaker Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani prorogued the assembly session sine die.
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