The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Assembly asked the government and the Election Commission on Tuesday to extend by a month the deadline for the correction of electoral rolls.
The resolution was moved by MPA Israrullah Khan Gandapur, who told the house that mistakes in the electoral rolls were worrisome. He said that several names on the lists identified as residents of K-P were mentioned as residents of other parts of the country, which was causing unease among the public.
Gandapur cautioned against publishing electoral rolls in haste and demanded that the poll commission should itself supervise the correction process.
Claims and counter-claims
Awami National Party (ANP) parliamentary leader and K-P Senior Minister for Local Government and Rural Development Bashir Ahmed Bilour enumerated his government’s achievements. Bilour said that the government ended terrorism in Swat and opened Abdul Wali Khan University (AWKU) campuses all over the province. He said the government was also planning to open a refinery and another AWKU campus in Karak district.
However, Pakistan Peoples Party-Sherpao parliamentary leader Sikandar Hayat Khan Sherpao said that people were not happy with the government, saying inflation was a result of its policies.
“Can anyone say that we have met the public’s expectations?” asked Sherpao, injecting a dose of criticism into the congratulatory proceedings. Referring indirectly to Bilour, he said that those people who had installed billboards claiming that the province would be receiving funds for a number of projects were now admitting on the floor of the house that K-P is yet to receive this money.
On a milder note, Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl lawmaker Mufti Kifayatullah reminded Bilour that he had forgotten to mention the renaming of the province as an achievement of the incumbent government. This was the only praise he had to offer, however – Kifayatullah then drew the attention of the house towards the Water and Power Development Authority billing K-P consumers in the name of fuel adjustment, which was an injustice to this province, saying K-P generates most of the hydel power in this country. He also criticised the provincial government for failing to receive the province’s share of Rs 110 billion for the net hydel profit agreed under the Muttahida Majlis Amal government. He also lashed out against the ‘War on Terror’, saying “There is blood on one hand, while dollars on the other; dollars were coming to Islamabad, while blood was being spilled in K-P”.
Bilour rubbished the criticism thrown his way, saying the provincial government had brought around Rs60 billion under the net hydel profit, and it was the steady inflow of the money that enabled it to increase the Annual Development Programme (ADP) by more than 80 per cent, adding that the price hike was a result of the global economy.
The provincial assembly also adopted a bill to regularise the contract of extra-assistant commissioners (Ilaqa qazis) who were recruited in 1995 in Malakand.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 7th, 2012.