NATO supply blockade : Coalition partners decide to close sit-in camp at motorway

Major shift in policy in six months will test all, Imran tells provincial govt officials .

Umer Farooq December 04, 2013
A file photo of a Nato truck making its way to Afghanistan. PHOTO: FILE


The ruling parties of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government unanimously decided to close the sit-in camp set up at the Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway Interchange after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s visit.

PTI’s Peshawar General Secretary Younas Zaheer, who confirmed the development, told The Express Tribune that the Hayatabad Toll Plaza was the main route for transportation to Afghanistan. Only those containers carrying goods under the Afghan Transit Trade use the motorway, claimed Zaheer, adding, “Our sit-in at Hayatabad will continue.”

The decision was taken in a meeting held between office bearers of the PTI, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Awami Jamhoori Ittehad Pakistan (AJIP) late Tuesday evening, after Imran Khan told party workers not to harm the Afghan Transit Trade.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) central leader and Adviser to the Prime Minister Amir Muqam came down hard against the PTI’s Nato blockade. “The PTI is receiving dollars in the name of aid while staging a drama to block supplies,” said Muqam. The so-called blockade is economically ruining people in the region, he added.

Muqam was addressing PML-N workers at a convention attended by both K-P and Fata chapter party activists. “We do not want to end the K-P government but Imran Khan himself seems to wish for it.”

Those who would claim to gather millions earlier are now unable to bring in thousands to its gatherings, said Muqam, referring to PTI sit-ins in Peshawar to stop Nato supply lines. In fact, the PML-N leader added, the PTI has failed to deliver in K-P, which is why the party has resorted to ‘drama’.

He asked party workers to fully prepare themselves for upcoming local bodies elections. Muqam shared there will soon be an office in K-P to look after federal departments functioning there.

He mentioned three big challenges faced by the government currently, including law and order, economic issues, and the issue of power outages in the country. The PML-N led government in the centre has taken it upon itself to meet these challenges with success, said Muqam.

Imran calls on K-P govt officials

Major changes are afoot in this region in the next six months, said Imran Khan, addressing K-P Chief Secretary Muhammad Shehzad Arbab and administrative secretaries of government departments at CM Secretariat on Tuesday.

These changes will test the vision and capabilities of federal and provincial governments as well as the politicians, shared Imran. PTI chairman expressed satisfaction over the steps towards bringing change in K-P and felicitated government officials.

“It is a good omen that people are satisfied with these processes of change, while its impact is also reaching other provinces – I have witnessed it there,” added Imran. “We are being criticised over the price hike but all know the centre was responsible.”

Discussing corruption, Imran stated there is zero tolerance for corruption in the K-P coalition government. Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and all ministers were present on this occasion. Earlier, Khattak and the chief secretary highlighted the achievements of the province in various social and economic sectors.

Khattak regretted political parties adopted unanimous resolutions in the assemblies against drone strikes and Nato supply lines but had disappeared now.

“We have taken to the streets against drone strikes and we believe we will succeed in the long run,” said Imran.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 4th, 2013.


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