The provincial chief minister and his cabinet members did not show up in Swat to receive Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif – which is against protocol.
Interestingly, protocol had been violated by the PML-N itself in the past. When former prime minister Benazir Bhutto visited Punjab on many occasions during her first term, the then chief minister, Nawaz Sharif, did not welcome her.
During the previous Pakistan Peoples Party government, Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif also did not receive the then premier, Yousaf Raza Gilani, when he visited the province.
On Wednesday, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led K-P government followed in PML-N’s footsteps. The conspicuous absence of Chief Minister Pervez Khattak was reportedly a message of disapprobation, according to officials.
The chief minister had requested for an appointment with the prime minister, to discuss several issues, including the handover of Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) to K-P. However, the Centre has been unresponsive so far, which irked Khattak who decided to ignore the PM’s Swat trip, explained officials.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 16th, 2014.