Frontier Assembly demands Musharraf honour Rs 2b pledge
By Zakir Hassnain
PESHAWAR: The Frontier Assembly passed a unanimous resolution on Monday demanding President General Pervez Musharraf honour his commitment to give the NWFP Rs 2 billion to spend on the supply of gas to new areas and gas infrastructure.
Zakat Minister Hafiz Hashmat Khan said on a point of order there was unrest in areas of the province without gas and this could lead to a law and order problem.
The minister said Gen Musharraf had announced during a visit to Peshawar before his referendum that the Frontier province would be given Rs 2 billion for the provision of gas to new areas and to streamline gas infrastructure. Mr Khan added that the president also pledged the installation of 200 tube-wells in the Frontier province.
Bashir Ahmed Bilour, parliamentary leader of the Awami National Party (ANP), proposed that the opposition and treasury benches unanimously pass a resolution demanding the president fulfil his election promises.
Law Minister Malik Zafar Azam told the house the provincial government was in touch with the federal government and had reminded it that the president’s pledges had not been fulfilled.
Mr Bilour tabled a handwritten resolution that was passed unanimously by the provincial assembly.
The house also resumed debate on the non-release of funds for development work under the Tameer-e-Sarhad Programme.
Nighat Yasmeen Orakzai of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-e-Azam (PML-QA) said voters thought the MPAs had received development funds and either misused them or embezzled them, as it had come out in the newspapers that they had received Rs 5 million each. “The fact is we haven’t got any money from the government,” she said.
Nasreen Khattak of the Pakistan People’s Party-Sherpao (PPP-S) appreciated the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) government’s lack of discrimination. “Every MPA is getting Rs 5 million for development work. There is no discrimination and that’s a good thing,” she said, but added that there were flaws in the distribution of funds that needed to be ironed out.
Mushtaq Ghani, PML-QA parliamentary leader, urged the provincial government to release the funds, which he said would create jobs in the NWFP.
Anwar Kamal Marwat, parliamentary leader of the PML-Nawaz, said a military operation against Al Qaeda militants in Waziristan and Bannu was about to begin.
Mr Marwat suggested a government-opposition joint resolution to condemn the operation. Saeed Khan (PML-QA) said there was no need for a resolution as there was no operation, just military exercises.
Law Minister Zafar Azam supported this view, saying there were no Al Qaeda men in the Frontier province and thus there could be no operation. Mr Azam said the chief minister had met separately with the Peshawar corps commander and the federal home minister and both had assured him there was no operation planned.