Opposition lawmakers in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Assembly took the government to task over the inequitable distribution of development funds on Monday.
The issue was part of the eight-point agenda which the opposition aims to debate in the present session requisitioned by it. Opening the debate, parliamentary leader of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Maulana Lutfur Rehman criticised the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government for unjust distribution of development funds. He said treasury lawmakers were given Rs70 million while those on the other side of the aisle were allocated Rs20 million. He said the government’s attitude makes it seem like the opposition MPAs are not from this province.
Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) parliamentary leader Mohammad Ali Shah Bacha said the government should say it out loud if it does not want to give adequate funds to opposition members. “Not a single water supply scheme has been given to any opposition member,” he said.
Awami National Party (ANP) leader Sardar Hussain Babak said the government was pushing the opposition against the wall over fund allocation. He said of the three constituencies of Buner, one got 70% of the funds, while the other two were allocated funds from the remaining 30%.
Qaumi Watan Party’s Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli said women lawmakers were being discriminated against as all have been given Rs10 million each. She noted the PTI government did not appoint a female minister nor has it allocated proper development funds for women.
She asked for the same treatment for women members as is meted out to general seat members.
Law and order
Earlier, while discussing the attack at the Iranian consulate in Peshawar, Minister for Agriculture Shahram Khan Tarakai informed lawmakers the government will arrange a meeting of law enforcement agencies and the chief minister with opposition parliamentary leaders within a day or two.
While responding to opposition lawmakers’ criticism over the government’s security policies, Tarakai asked the federal government to clear its position on the issue.
Speaking on the subject, opposition lawmakers condemned the attack and other terrorist incidents across the province. They asked the provincial government to adopt a strategy to fight terrorism.
Babak said attacks against friendly countries like Iran were meant to isolate Pakistan and warned of repercussions of action in the tribal areas.
“K-P will have to face the repercussions of any operation in the tribal areas and the government needs to be ready for it,” he said.
The house was also informed that about 225 affected families of Tarbela Dam from Torghar district are yet to receive plots in exchange for their land used for the reservoir’s expansion. The issue was raised by JUI-F lawmaker Zareen Gul during the question hour. The house was told land was purchased for about 225 families in 2003 from Nawabzada Salahuddin for over Rs2.2 million. Other issues pertaining to local governance were discussed and the session was later adjourned till Thursday afternoon.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 25th, 2014.
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