PESHAWAR: Demanding the immediate resignation of Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and several ministers over the National Accountability Bureau’s inquiries into corruption charges against them, the joint opposition on Tuesday submitted a requisition for convening the provincial assembly’s session.
The requisition carried the signatures of a total of 33 lawmakers of five opposition parties in the house.
It also contained 22-point charge-sheet against the chief minister and his cabinet’s members.
The lawmakers of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, Pakistan People’s Party, Awami National Party and Qaumi Watan Party.
Opposition Leader Maulana Lutfur Rehman was not present at the joint news conference, which was addressed by PML-N parliamentary leader Sardar Aurangzeb Nalotha.
Mr Nalotha said the NAB was looking into different charges of corruption against the CM and several ministers.
He said the CM should resign before the completion of NAB inquiries.
Accompanied by Awami National Party parliamentary leader Sardar Hussain Babak and Pakistan People’s Party MPA Ziaullah Afridi, Mr Nalotha said Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan should ask Pervez Khattak and ministers to resign immediately.
“Imran is morally bound to ask the chief minister and ministers facing corruption charges to step down,” he said, adding that the joint opposition would stage a sit-in in front of the chief minister’s house if he didn’t resign.
The PML-N leader said the PTI chief always asked the prime minister and Punjab and Sindh chief ministers to resign over corruption charges but didn’t say anything when the NAB began inquiries against his party’s chief minister and ministers.
“We (opposition) demand Pervez Khattak resign otherwise we will force him to step down through street protests,” he said.
Mr Nalotha levelled serious allegations of corruption and financial mismanagement against the provincial government’s functionaries and said the province faced serious financial crisis and lawlessness.
He alleged that the CM Khattak, his ministers and advisers were involved in financial irregularities in several development projects, including the multibillion rupees Bus Rapid Transit and Billion Trees Afforestation projects.
The PML-N lawmaker said after the assembly’s session, the opposition parties would ask the chief minister to resign and would set up protest camp in front of the CM’s House if he ignored demand.
He said the opposition would hold debate on BRT project, Billion Tree, performance of provincial Ehtesab Commission, illegal appointments, delay in delegation of powers to local governments, energy projects and spending of billions of rupees on publicity of the ruling PTI and borrowing loans.
“The provincial government has borrowed Rs33 billion loans during the last five years. The NAB has already started inquiries into different charges of corruption,” he said, urging the Supreme Court chief justice, too, to take notice of the ‘use of taxpayers’ money on the publicity and promotion of the PTI and provincial government’.
When asked about the appointment of the caretaker chief minister in the province for the coming general elections, Mr Nalotha said the opposition parties would soon begin consultation to choose name for the office.
He said the sitting government should not present the budget for financial year 2018-19 and let the newly-elected government do it.
PPP MPA Ziaullah Afridi, who was also in attendance, termed CM Khattak ‘founder of horse trading’ in the province and appealed to the Election Commission of Pakistan and Supreme Court chief justice to take notice of the allegations of the ruling party MPA, who accused the PTI senator of bribing MPAs in the Senate elections.
Published in Dawn, March 28th, 2018