PESHAWAR: Days after the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) showed its power by staging a massive rally in Peshawar, a provincial minister hit back, stating that his government’s work was available for all to see.
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Minister for Energy and Power and Elementary and Secondary Education Muhammad Atif Khan on Tuesday claimed that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz were simply ‘unaware’ of the real change which the incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had brought to the province with record work in all sectors.
His comments came after Nawaz and Maryam had claimed in the February 4 rally that the provincial government had done nothing and had failed to establish a single new school in the province.
“I think both Maryam and her ousted father have been misinformed by their courtiers because they were not aware of the real developmental works carried out by PTI in the past four and half years,” he said, adding that the government had set up 817 new schools while as many as 2,412 schools across the province had been upgraded.
With Atif also holding the portfolio of energy minister, he chose to respond to the former prime minister’s question about the 350 dams the provincial government claimed to have built.
“I want to share these details to correct the former prime minister and his daughter that the K-P government has completed a 74-megawatt project but the federal government — led by the PML-N — was not ready to sign a power purchasing agreement with the provincial government,” Atif pointed out.
The minister went on to claim that if the federal government signs only one agreement to purchase power, the K-P government would not only provide electricity to the country but also will also generate Rs2.5 billion in revenue for the province.
The provincial energy minister also blamed the federal government for stalling on a notification for approving a 66-megawatt project in the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra).
In this regard, he said that the provincial government twice wrote to the federal government in 2015 and in the current year, urging Islamabad to include power projects slated to generate 1,978 megawatts of power under the multi-billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. However, Atif accused the federal government of adopting delaying tactics, claiming that Peshawar has yet to receive a reply to any of its letters.
Over the past five years, Atif claimed, the federal government has failed to conduct an auction for gas extracted in K-P and to then supply it to other parts of the country. This, he explained, had caused a great financial loss to the province.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 7th, 2018.
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