PESHAWAR: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Assembly on Monday passed a unanimous resolution demanding an in-camera briefing for K-P legislators on the peace process with the Taliban and the security situation from the federal interior minister.
The resolution was jointly moved by members from both sides of the house after Chief Minister (CM) Pervez Khattak took flak from opposition members over attacks on leaders of the Awami National Party (ANP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) a day earlier.
Information minister Shah Farman, Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) leader Sikandar Sherpao, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl lawmaker Maulana Lutfur Rehman, Pakistan Peoples Party legislators Saleem Khan and Nighat Orakzai, PML-N’s Sardar Aurangzeb Nalotha and ANP’s Mian Jaffer Shah moved the resolution which was passed unanimously.
The resolution stated that as all the major political parties have given their consent to the federal government for initiating peace talks with the Taliban, lawmakers demand an in-camera briefing by the federal interior minister on the issue.
Earlier ANP’s Shah, on a point of order, said the government must talk to the centre about law and order and peace talks and in case of an unfavourable response, the province should formulate its own strategy.
Orakzai backed up Shah’s demand and said the government must make up its mind on peace talks and if they do not achieve results, an operation should be launched against militants.
The CM informed the house he has been trying to meet the prime minister for the past four months but his efforts have been in vain.
Khattak also clarified his position regarding his perceived failure to condole with Aitizaz Hasan’s family and said he was criticised by his party chief over the issue as well. He then announced a Shuhada Package for Hasan’s family, Rs5 million in financial compensation, the naming of a school after Aitizaz, construction of a playground and recommendation of the brave teenager for the Sitara-e-Jurrat award.
Khattak said no one would be allowed undue protocol and said he feels ashamed when he discovers that commuters had to suffer owing to traffic closure on his official routes, adding it would be stopped forthwith.
Moreover, the assembly unanimously asked that the federal government to arrange for opening the Balahisar Fort for public. Balahisar Fort, located at the centre of the city, presently serves as the headquarters of the paramilitary Frontier Corps.
The resolution was moved by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf lawmaker Ishtiaq Urmur who said the fort was part of the region’s heritage.
The assembly also passed amendments to the K-P Ministers (Salaries, Allowances and Privileges) Act 1975, raising their house rent allowance from Rs40,000 to Rs55,000 which opposition members contested. The house also passed the K-P Promotion, Protection and Enforcement of Human Rights Act 2014. The session was later adjourned till Wednesday afternoon.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 14th, 2014.