LAHORE: Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak has said that he can prove that highest volume of electricity theft takes place in Punjab.
Punjab tops in power theft followed by Sindh and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Khattak said rejecting claim of Minister of State Abid Sher Ali that there was 90% power theft from the 22 power feeders in the surrounding areas of Peshawar.
Talking in the Express News programme ‘To the Point,’ he said that his province was being deprived of its just share of electricity and the people are so unhappy because of this.
Khattak criticised the federal government for power tariff hike. “It was agreed in the meetings of the Council of Common Interests that the subsidy on electricity will be reduced gradually and the prices will not be increased rapidly but what is being done at the moment is contrary to this.”
To a question about his claim that corruption is being eliminted, Khattak said that the partwaris and the police stations used to be the most corrupt institutions but now bribery is not possible there. Engineers working for the provincial government will lose jobs if they do not live within their means.
“If the peace process had started, change would have been more visible,” the chief minister of the strife ridden province said.
“Fazlur Rehman was experienced but he could not stop bribery. It was during his period when the Talibanisation phenomenon began,” he said.
Reiterating PTI’s stance on drone strikes, he said that they should be stopped outright, not just reduced in number. “It is our province which has to pay for drone attacks,” he said.
On catching the militants, the K-P CM said the attackers flee to tribal areas that come under the jurisdiction of the federal government.
“Imran Khan has rightly said that delay in talks is the cause of most blasts. We should remain hopeful about the talks which will take place within the constitutional frame work on the conditions set by the government,” he said.
To a query about rising incidents of extortion through cellphones and inability of the provincial government to control the menace, he replied that thousands of SIMs from Afghanistan were circulating in K-P. He said the victims’ relatives have been found involved in most kidnapping for ransom cases.
Khattak dispelled the notion that he was a puppet CM and asserted that PTI chief Imran Khan does not interfere in the affairs of the provincial governance. He said that corruption in KP has gone down.
He said that situation would have been much different had Imran Khan been the prime minister.
Khattak said PTI’s performance could be judged by what its provincial government delivers. He added that his team had good intentions and would deliver the promises it had made.
He said that the party chairman monitors implementation of health, education and other policies.
K-P chief minister criticised the prime minister’s attitude towards the province.
“I asked Mian Nawaz Sharif why was he ignoring our province?” Khattak said. He has never asked me to accompany him on a foreign visit, he added. He complained that there had been no relief from load-shedding in K-P.
To another question he said, “If I get the mandate and the authority to make decision for the federation and the army, I will go to talk to the Taliban.”
He said that necessary homework for talks had not been done so far.
The province was ready for local government elections, he added. Groundwork had been done and the bill on local bodies elections is ready which will be passed this week, the K-P chief minister concluded.