Conspiracy theory: K-P MPAs fear 18th Amendment rollback

Minister presents bill aimed at banning smoking in public places

Sohail Khattak September 26, 2016
Minister presents bill aimed at banning smoking in public places. PHOTO: AFP

PESHAWAR: Members of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Monday expressed fears that certain forces wish to see the seminal 18th Amendment rolled back and called for concerted efforts to prevent this from happening.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) lawmaker Sardar Fakhar Azam moved an adjournment motion in the house, stating that some kind of conspiracy is being hatched in the ‘centre’ to take back the provincial autonomy by abolishing the 18th Amendment.

“A conspiracy is under way in the centre to abolish the 18th Amendment,” Azam stated, adding ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan and Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani have pointed towards the threats to the 18th Amendment in their statements.

Opposition lawmakers endorsed Azam’s views and requested Speaker Asad Qaiser to allow a debate over the subject so that they can express their concerns properly and stop any such move from happening.

The speaker told the lawmakers to pass a joint resolution in this regard with a view to intimate the federal government of the concerns of small federating units to avoid any such move.

Minister for Minerals Development Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli refuted the notion, saying she doesn’t see any such move at the federal level. She also called for a resolution and the house agreed to it.

Provincial Health Minister Shahram Khan tabled the Prohibition of Tobacco and Protection of Non-Smokers Health Act designed to ban smoking in public places and public services vehicles.

Anyone who uses tobacco in public places or public service vehicles, shall be punishable with a fine of up to Rs1,000 and on repetition of the offence the fine shall extend to Rs10,000.

The bill also states that there shall be no designated areas for using tobacco in any public place. The owner, in-charge or manager shall display boards on “No Smoking Zone” and “Smoking is an offence” in the public place and will ensure that no one uses tobacco in public place.

The house also passed the K-P Tuberculosis Notification Act 2016. The health minister also tabled ‘The K-P Blood Transfusion Safety Authority Bill 2016’ which aimed at regulating collection, testing, processing and storage of human blood components and for this purpose it calls for establishment of K-P blood transfusion authority.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 27th, 2016.


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