PESHAWAR: Opposition and treasury benches in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly Tuesday joined hands with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) legislator Amjad Afridi for the release of funds in the head of oil and gas royalty for his constituency.
Amjad Afridi continued his protest on a second consecutive day by blowing a whistle to get the attention of Deputy Speaker Dr Meher Taj Roghani, who was chairing the session.
Visibly angry Afridi lamented that the provincial government had assured him on the floor the house seven months ago that the funds would be released within a period of 10 days but it did not happen. He vowed to continue his protest till the acceptance of his demand.
Advisor to Chief Minister for Prisons Malik Qasim, who also belongs to gas producing district Karak of the Kohat division, also stood up in support of Afridi and said that they had raised the problem on the floor of the house but were ignored.
Responding to the demands, KP Minister for Information Shah Farman also expressed sympathies with the two legislators and said that the development funds are the right of all members of the house. He assured that the issue would be taken with the chief minister and other concerned quarters.
Minister for Finance Muzaffar Said also assured Amjad Afridi and sought a time of only three days to discuss the matter with the chief minister and resolve it.
Meanwhile, Awami National Party’s (ANP) Sardar Hussain Babak also took the floor and accused the chair of a partisan role by favouring treasury benches in different manners and ignoring the opposition.
He was critical of the treasury members for reading poetries while the opposition was not even allowed to raise the problems of their constituencies.
Muhammad Ali Shah Bacha of Pakistan People’s Party, Mufti Said Janan of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl and another treasury benches member Muhammad Shakil also supported Afridi in his protest.
Advisor to Chief Minister Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani attempted to pacify the protesting Afridi and said that every member has a constitutional right to raise the problem on the floor of the house but no one should be given the right to paralyse its proceedings. He added that the resolution of the issue in a few minutes is impossible.
He also said that a member who did not respect the house should be expelled.