Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervaiz Khattak, while speaking to Shahzeb Khanzada on Express News show To The Point, said 16 per cent of the electricity produced in the country is the right of the province and it is just this right the PTI-led government is asking for.
The CM expressed hope in mutual cooperation but warned the centre that the K-P government may come out on the roads to protest if pressing matters were not resolved. People have not voted PTI in K-P and the PML-N in the federation into power to fight among themselves. “We understand that the federal government has not got enough time to solve the problems and I do not blame them for the situation.”
“Though it is the responsibility of the federation, I am ready to contribute two to three billion rupees to improve our distribution system, if it helps. We want the problems of the people solved,” the Chief Minister offered.
We want the federal government to clear our schemes fast. “The PM said that our proposals will be approved within 45 days and if they are not, they will be deemed as approved, but this is not the case.” The provincial government wants Nepra-like organizations to give them clearance soon, as they are in the process of talking to investors. The electricity produced will attract further investment in the north western province, the CM pointed out, assuring potential investors of a safe environment.
He said that the federal government has been negligent in carrying out its duties, including maintenance of electricity production and distribution. Talking about the federal government’s offer of handing over Pesco to the K-P government, the CM called it unacceptable, since without the province’s due power share the move will do no good.
He said that Wapda agrees on paper to supply the due share but takes back its promise by forced load-shedding and this brings a bad name to the provincial government. “If we could only get what is our share and a timetable for load-shedding, it will be very easy to convince people to be patient.” We know that Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan are also suffering from the energy crisis, but we produce enough electricity and we insist our favoured right on it.
I have not spoken for the transfer of Pesco chief as this is not a solution of the issue. If one officer is not delivering, he should be dismissed, rather than transferred. “However, I have told him to speak in clear and unambiguous terms, which he failed to do.”
Lastly, he said, the federal government should keep all of us on board in events like visits to China or briefing from DG ISI, but was hopeful that the centre may compensate for this in the days to come.
He said that he was sure if he invited Nawaz Sharif to KP, as Shahbaz Sharif invited the PM to Faisalabad recently, the PM will definitely grace them with his presence.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2013.