PESHAWAR – The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Monday witnessed a heated debate on the Punjab by-election and the resolution of a treasury member about the attacks on businesses of the Pakhtuns in Sindh.
The members of the treasury and opposition greeted the newly elected MPA from Swat Fazle Maula who was administered the oath. Minister for Labour Shaukat Yousafzai, Minister for Higher Education Kamran Bangash, and Minister for Housing Dr. Amjad Ali said that people had reposed confidence in Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan by supporting his narrative and electing his party candidates with a thumping majority.
They said the results of the Punjab by-election showed the people supported PTI’s politics and Imran Khan’s narrative. They added the PTI’s victory in the Punjab by-polls was the last nail in the coffin of the Pakistan Democratic Movement.
They alleged that government machinery was used and the Election Commission of Pakistan was partial, but the people voted for the PTI candidates. Calling for holding the general election, they demanded the resignation of the chief election commissioner, saying fresh polls were the only solution to end the prevailing crisis in the country.
Taking part in the debate, Sardar Hussain Babak of the Awami National Party (ANP) said his party believed in upholding democratic values, adding that political forces should be treated equally.
He said that though natural gas was discovered in Karak, it was being supplied to Punjab. “Ali Wazir, a Pakhtun MNA from South Waziristan, was put in jail for mentioning the name of the army chief though he did not use any derogatory words like Imran Khan, Fawad Chaudhry, Sheikh Rashid, and others.
The PTI and other leaders from Punjab used abusive language and pointed the finger at the army generals, but nobody took exception to it, while Pakhtuns are sent behind bars, targeted and killed,” he added.
He said all ethnicities should be treated equally as they were equal citizens under the country’s constitution. Congratulating the newly elected MPA from Swat, Naeema Kishwar of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUIF) hoped he would work for the welfare of his people.
She said the Election Commission of Pakistan deserved praise for holding free and fair by-polls in Punjab. Munawwar Khan of JUIF, Mir Kalam, independent MPA from North Waziristan, Bilawal Afridi of Balochistan Awami Party, and Nighat Orakzai of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) said winning or losing was part of the democratic process but one should show respect to his or her opponents.
Appreciating the PMLN leadership for conceding defeat in the Punjab by-election, they said the PTI leaders should have responded in the same manner. They also lauded the Election Commission of Pakistan for holding a transparent election and condemned a minister calling for the resignation of the chief election commissioner. Nighat Orakzai condemned PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry for his remarks against the establishment and judges of the superior judiciary.
(Source: National online and print media with input from social media and local sources).