Centre issues white paper on performance of PTI-led govt in KP

Source:  Dawn.com Published in Current Affairs on Friday, September 26, 2014

The federal government on Thursday issued a white paper on the performance of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, led by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI)-

Titled ‘A Great Betrayal in the Name of Change: Performance Overview of the KP Government’ (May 2013-Sept 2014), the white paper highlights unfulfilled promises of the PTI which the party made during its campaign for last year’s general elections.

Accompanied by Information Minister Pervez Rashid and the Minister of State for Privatisation, Mohammad Zubair, Chairperson of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Information Marvi Memon gave a presentation on the white paper at a news conference held here.

Unfulfilled promises of PTI have been highlighted in the paper

Giving salient features of the white paper, Ms Memon accused the PTI of betraying the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and said its provincial government had mismanaged affairs in all important departments.

She said the PTI had brought the youth, women and the educated middle class to polling stations, but it ended up polluting their minds with hatred and introduced a “politics of blame minus proof”.

She said tall claims were made by the PTI about better governance model, but the party’s Naya Pakistan was seen neither at the D-Chowk nor in the KP.

She said the idea of the white paper was not “to attract more abuses in PTI style”, but to open the eyes of those who claimed to be educated to the failed PTI model in KP where real change could have been a role model for Pakistan.

The KP government, she said, continued to stick to the position of second lowest among all provinces for generating tax revenues.

She said out of the total budget outlay of Rs83bn, the KP government had actually spent only Rs25bn and 23 approved mega projects were still pending.

In its election manifesto the PTI had promised that it would impose 15 per cent tax on agriculture. But, the provincial cabinet had proposed only five per cent tax, she added.

During her presentation, Ms Memon compared performance of the Punjab government with that of the KP government’s in the field of education and communication. She claimed that Punjab had increased its overall allocation for education, while the KP had brought it down to more than 0.5 per cent.

She said the KP was the only province that did not have legislation to pursue Article 25-A giving “right to education” to every citizen.

She said the World Health Organisation had declared Peshawar as the world’s “largest reservoir of polio”. Instead of fighting the disease, members of the provincial government were sitting in the party’s sit-in in Islamabad. She said a campaign against polio had been postponed in the province and Fata because of the sit-in.

Ms Memon said the PTI was facing internal rifts and it had become evident when Chief Minister Pervez Khattak disowned Imran Khan’s call for civil disobedience.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Zubair alleged that over 80 per cent of PTI’s legislators did not pay taxes on a regular basis.

“As many as 82 per cent MNAs and MPAs of PTI are not regular tax payers. Instead of lecturing us, Imran Khan should expel tax thieves from his own party,” said the minister.

Mr Zubair, who is elder brother of PTI’s MNA Asad Umar, said Imran Khan himself could solve “90 per cent of the problems” he was highlighting because after the 18th Amendment in the Constitution a number of these subjects had been devolved to provinces.

He said surveys recently conducted about the performance of all provincial governments showed that the “satisfaction level” of people was far better in Punjab than the KP.

In reply to a question, Information Minister Pervez Rashid said the government did not want to use force against protesters as PTI and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) leaders were using women and children as human shield.

“The leadership of both PTI and PAT want the government to use force to disperse protesters so that there is some bloodshed and they can do politics on dead bodies, but the government will not provide them such an opportunity,” he added.

In reply to a question as to why the PML-N was afraid of holding fresh elections if it was a popular party, the information minister said the people had given their mandate to the PML-N for five years and they respected the masses’ verdict and there was no question of dissolving assemblies and holding mid-term elections.

“Tahirul Qadri has a violent mindset and he believes in bloodshed and provocation,” said the minister. The PAT chief made the victory sign when his party’s workers attacked the PTV building, he recalled.

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