PESHAWAR: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Shah Farman on Thursday denied that the government was violating a code of conduct of the Election Commission of Pakistan by installing solar panels on mosques in the provincial capital.
The ECP had earlier this week warned that a host of political parties was carrying out activities and putting up billboards which violated the code of conduct ahead of by-polls scheduled to be held in the NA-4 constituency of Peshawar on October 26.
However, the provincial government on Thursday defended the project of solarising 400 mosques, claiming that it had been outlined in the provincial budget.
Addressing a news conference to celebrate the defection of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Peshawar District President and NA-4 by-election candidate Hikmat Khan Khalil along with his supporters, Farman asserted that the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had not violated any rules of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
He added that no senior government official had even visited the constituency.
Responding to a question, the PTI spokesperson said that every political party has the right to contest the elections. Moreover, he said that it made little difference to the government if the constituency saw a candidate from PTI’s coalition partner Jamaat Islami pitted against the party’s candidate in the election.
Taking a swipe at the PML-N, Farman said that two types of people contest elections in Pakistan. The first are those who want a transparent system and raise their voice for the poor. The second, the minister said, were those who had joined politics for their own vested interest and want to establish a monarchy in government.
He contended that the PTI was a party of the common of people who want to establish a transparent form of government where the poor can raise their voices for their rights.
Khalil said that due to the injustice in PML-N, he along with his supporters had joined the PTI.
The former PML-N member said that he had worked on some very responsible posts at the tehsil and district level in the region over the past 26 years, but the party had violated its rules by appointing Ameer Muqam as the acting provincial president.
He added that Muqam wanted to implement policies of former dictator Pervez Musharraf which he could not accept.
Reiterating his allegiance to the PTI, he extended his support to the party’s candidate for NA-4 Arbab Aamir Ayub.
Khalil informed that PML-N members in other districts would also join PTI very soon and this process would start from Malakand in the coming week.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 29th, 2017.