ABBOTTABAD: The Abbottabad district nazim’s decision to protest against the provincial government is facing strong opposition from within the ranks of his own party, as elected representatives including an MNA, MPAs and tehsil nazims have announced they would not support him.
District Nazim Sardar Sher Bahadur, however, remains upbeat and is committed to proceed with his protest.
The Abbottabad District Nazim Bahadur, who had been at loggerheads with the provincial government since the day of his election, had announced he would stage a sit-in against the Pervez Khattak-led provincial government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
The reasons he is apparently taking his own party bosses on is, in his own words, is Peshawar’s failure to transfer powers to the local governments in line with the Local Government Act, and the lapse of the Rs220 million development budget for village councils in Abbottabad. He also accused the Abbottabad deputy commissioner and district police officer of not being cooperative with him despite being subordinate to his office.
Bahadur also openly accused the local PTI leadership including the area MNA and all three PTI MPAs from Abbottabad, of creating obstacles and conspiring to dislodge him from the office.
“My protest is against those anti-democratic elements that parachuted into the party and are now impeding the work of my office,” he said, adding that since PTI’s agenda was to end corruption and devolve power to the grassroots level, he was only following the party’s set agenda.
Following true party tradition, Bahadur said he had decided to stage a sit-in against the injustices which the provincial government has been committing with his district.
He claimed that the district councillors, tehsil councillors, village nazims and councillors would be supporting his protest. Bahadur added that he had also held talks with the local traders who too would join his protest.
Meanwhile, the local PTI leadership, including MNA Dr Azhar Jadoon, MPAs Sardara Muhammad Idrees, Qalandar Lodhi, Mushtaq Ghani, Ali Khan Jadoon and some district councillors have denounced Bahadur’s protest and have urged their workers and supporters to stay clear of the sit-in.
Tehsil Nazim Ishaq Sulemani has publicly declared that he has no plans to join the sit-in adding that met CM Khattak had personally assured him that funds which had lapsed would be provided along with additional funds to develop Abbottabad.
“When the senior government leadership has assured that the rights of Abbottabad’s citizens would be protected, there was no justification for protesting against the government of our own party,” he said, adding that he would not violate party discipline.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 22nd, 2016.
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