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MPAs protest disparity in uplift funds

PESHAWAR: Members of the provincial assembly from the merged tribal districts continued the protest in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Thursday, demanding due share in developmental funds and special package for the erstwhile tribal areas.

They gathered in front of the speaker dais soon after the assembly session began and sat there for a while.

The MPA demanded full implementation of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution under which the former tribal areas were merged into KP. The parliamentary leader of Awami National Party Sardar Hussain Babak and Jamaat-e-Islami MPA Inayatullah joined the tribal MPAs in the protest.

The opposition leader Akram Khan Durrani in his speech asked Chief Minister Mahmood Khan to hold a meeting with lawmakers from the tribal districts and assure them an allocation of developmental funds and schemes in the next budget.

He said Minister for Culture and Labour Shaukat Yusufzai had promised the protesting MPAs at the assembly floor the other day that he would arrange their meeting with the chief minister on Thursday but he did not turn up at the assembly today.

The assembly, chaired by Speaker Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani, also approved for a debate an adjournment motion by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Ikhtiyar Wali Khan about the prolonged closure of the schools and colleges due to coronavirus pandemic and hence a waste of their precious time during this period.

He wanted a debate on the issue in the assembly and relief for students and relaxations in the examinations by the government.

Special Assistant to the Chief Minister for Information and Higher Education Kamran Bangash tabled an amendment bill for the welfare of home-based workers.

Rangez Ahmad, Rehana Ismail, Momina Basit, Sharafat Ali and Inayatullah also presented their own private members bills.

However, the treasury benches opposed the private member bill by the Pakistan People Party MPA Nighat Yasmin Orakzai. They took the plea that the financial matters were involved in the legislation and, therefore, the government could not support it at the moment.

The bill related to acid throwing incidents and punishment for the accused as the woman MPA believed that the acid throwing incidents had registered an increase in the province in the last few years.

The assembly session was adjourned after the PPP MPA Sahibzadha Sanaullah pointed out the lack of quorum.

The session has been convened on the requisition with a heavy agenda.

However, a minister requested the chair to postpone the session as most of the bureaucrats, particularly those from the Finance, Planning and Development departments employees were busy with the budget making for the next financial year.

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