Rift deepens between K-P chief minister, governor

Published: February 11, 2019
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Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan. PHOTO: PTI

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan. PHOTO: PTI

PESHAWAR: A rift brewing between the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and Governor Shah Farman deepened on Sunday after the governor sought control of three departments in the tribal districts.

He, however, faced tough resistance from the chief minister.

Farman has sought control of the communication, local bodies and home departments but has run into an obstacle shaped like the chief minister who has refused to grant him the departments.

Sources said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had directed the K-P chief minister and provincial cabinet to expedite development projects in the erstwhile federally administered tribal areas (Fata) but some provincial ministers had decided against giving the rights of three departments to the governor.

Meanwhile, Farman has denied reports of a conflict between him and the chief minister. In a statement issued after the CM transferred the K-P police Inspector General of (IGP) Salahuddin Khan and province’s chief secretary, Farman refuted reports that he wanted administrative control of three government departments in the tribal areas.

In the statement, he maintained that there were no conflicts at all.

Call-to-attention notice

Separately, the opposition has moved a call-to-attention notice in the provincial assembly, as it gears to resume on Monday, against transferring the authority of provincial departments to the governor. The notice was submitted in the K-P Assembly Secretariat by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). It.

According to the notice, it was argued that CM Mahmood was the chief executive of the province, including the erstwhile Fata areas after last year’s merger.

The notice explained that the CM of the province was the constitutional head of the province while the role of the governor — who previously exercised sweeping powers in Fata — was only confined to being a representative for the federal government.

The notice iterated that it was unlawful and a breach of provincial autonomy guaranteed under the 18th Amendment to the Constitution transfer the departments of interior, local bodies and communications to the governor.

“According to the Article 29, and sub-article 1 of the Constitution of the country, the chief minister was the executive of the province while the ministers had the authority of their respective departments,” the notice stated.

The notice is expected to be taken up when the assembly meets today.

WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM DNA

Published in The Express Tribune, February 11th, 2019.

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