Saturday October 16, 2021

Alleged anomalies in recruitment: KP Assembly turns into fish market

September 11, 2021

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly turned into a fish market on Friday as members from the treasury and opposition members from the merged districts exchanged harsh words and abusive language against each other over the issue of recruitment.

Soon after recitation from the Holy Quran, the opposition members circled the speaker dais and started a protest.

The treasury members reacted sharply to this protest. They stood on benches and started exchanging abuses.

The exchange of barbs led to bids for physical attacks by lawmakers. Other members tried to control the situation, and even security staff had to intervene.

Speaker Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani had to adjourn the session when the situation could not be controlled and shouting and harsh exchanges continued. The opposition members started a sit-in in front of the speaker dais for the rights of merged districts when the session began.

After question-hour, the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) parliamentary leader Bilawal Afridi, through an adjournment motion, drew the House’s attention towards irregularities in recruitment in tribal districts.

He said on 24 October 2020, the director-general of the health services had invited applications from candidates for 481 posts of male and female nurses.

But during recruitment, only candidates for 29 out of 481 posts were recruited from the tribal districts while the remaining seats were filled out by candidates from Swat, Dir, Chitral, etc which, he said, was in injustice with the people of the merged districts.

In his reply, Minister for Labour, Culture and Parliamentary Affairs, Shaukat Yousafzai, said the recruitments were not from tribal districts but for the tribal districts that was why candidates from all over the province could apply for that. He claimed the recruitments were made purely on merit.

The minister and MPA Bilawal Afridi exchanged harsh words while Special Assistant to Chief Minister Kamran Bangash and Awami National Party (ANP) lawmaker from Mohmand district, Nisar Mohmand, even tried to attack each other after exchanging abuses.

However, the timely intervention of Sergeant-at-Arms and other members’ physical brawl was avoided.

The speaker adjourned the session till Monday at 2 pm when he failed to stop the legislators from using abusive language and creating pandemonium. Meanwhile, the House offered fateha for veteran journalist Rahimullah Yusafzai who had passed away on Thursday.

Members from both the treasury and opposition paid rich tributes to the late senior journalist.

Minister Shaukat Yousafzai, Maulana Lutfur Rahman of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI), Nighat Orakzai of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), the Awami National Party (ANP) Sardar Hussain Babak and Inayatullah Khan of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) said Rahimullah Yusufzai was a legend and journalist of international repute. They said the late Rahimullah Yusufzai was not only an impartial journalist but also a down-to-earth man who never compromised his profession. They said he during his almost five decades-long career contributed to various national and international media organisations and highlighted issues of public interests.

The legislators said he was equally respected by the government and opposition and always preferred national interests over personal gains, they said and added his services for the community would be remembered for long.