Khattak threatens to move court for KP rights

Source: Published in Politics on Monday, February 23, 2015

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has said that his government would have no other option but to knock the door of Supreme Court if their due rights are not given to them honourably.

He expressed these views in a meeting with high-ups of gas and petroleum ministry in Islamabad the other day. The meeting besides Federal Secretary of Petroleum, Oil and Gas Arshad Mirza, Sui Northern Gas General Manager Arbab Saqib and others was also attended by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Additional Chief Secretary Dr Hammad Awais Agha, Provincial Secretary of Energy and Power Abdul Lateef and elected representatives of the oil and gas producing areas.

According to a handout issued here on Sunday, Mr Khattak showed grave concern over delaying the right of using the share of gas of the province for industrial purpose despite the fact that prime minister and federal ministers concerned had approved it accordingly.

Says federal government is hesitant to implement 18th Amendment in its true spirit

The chief minister said that federal government was hesitant to implement 18th Amendment in its true spirit and henceforth not willing to enable provinces to get autonomy and prosper as such.

Instead, he said, hurdles were being created in the way of giving provinces their due share and get developed. He said that his government would have no other option but to move the Supreme Court if their due rights were not given to them in an honourable way.

“Centre, working against interests of provinces, is simply acceptable to none,” Mr Khattak said. He expressed his dismay over the zero progress on right of the industrial use of 100 mcf gas of the already promised share, regularising the illegal gas connections of the people of Karak and provision of the required funds for the purpose.

The chief minister said that in-spite of all the approvals, the case of industrial use of the province’s gas was first sent to Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet division and then to Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) of the ministry of water and power where it was put in the cold storage with certain intentional objections.

Mr Khattak said that the plight of this province owing to economic and industrial downfall and alarming increase in unemployment and poverty due to unrest and terrorism was a secret to none. It was also a known fact that all those critical and sensitive issues were continuously raising concerns of the people, he added.

The chief minister said that the sincere cooperation of provincial government to check illegal connections of gas and oil pilferage in Karak was responded in negative by the Centre. “Despite our formal request and repeated demands of the people of the area, undue delay is committed in regularising gas connections in the area with the excuse that the funds of Rs8 billion required for the purpose are not made available,” he added.

Mr Khattak said that the sensitive issue needed immediate attention because Centre must realise the fact that they couldn’t seek cooperation of the people when they were deprived of their rights.

The petroleum ministry authorities assured him that both the issues would be taken seriously and provincial government would be informed of the results within two weeks.

The chief minister, while conditionally agreeing with the assurance, directed for convening the meeting again with a fortnight gap. He regretted that provincial ministers and elected representatives provided funds to the gas authorities for provision of gas in various parts of the province and even performed inaugural ceremonies of the schemes but later the projects were left incomplete that caused inconvenience for the public and provincial government.

The petroleum secretary assured him of immediate and result-oriented steps in this matter as well.

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