KP CM gives Centre 15 days to resolve arrears, power issues

Mushtaq Yusufzai
Saturday, May 18, 2024

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur on Friday gave a 15-day deadline to the federal government to stop power loadshedding or else he would take over the power distribution company’s headquarters, Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco).

“I will not remain silent on the issue of loadshedding and KP’s rights. I will take extreme measures if my province is denied its due rights,” a charged chief minister said while speaking at the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.

The chief minister had given a similar warning to the federal government and the Ministry of Power and Energy two days back to reduce the duration of the power loadshedding in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by Wednesday night.

Pesco Chief Executive Hameed Akhtar Khan took notice of his warning and agreed to revise the loadshedding schedule after a meeting with the chief minister. However, Gandapur complained on Friday that the Ministry of Power and Energy and Pesco were not fulfilling their obligations and accused them of not reducing the duration of loadshedding.

“Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is generating cheap electricity, but is buying it at high rates while its residents are facing 22-hour loadshedding, which is an injustice,” he added.

Gandapur warned that he would form a fact-finding commission comprising elected representatives to investigate the decisions of the previous caretaker government. He said the extension of the caretaker government’s tenure was unconstitutional, and, therefore, all the decisions made during its term were illegal.

“The federal government also owes the province Rs1510 billion in net hydel profit, which has yet to be paid.” He said, “We are neither being given our rights nor are our dues being paid, and on top of that, we are being taxed. Without taking the provincial government into confidence, no one can impose taxes on the former Fata and Pata.”

The provincial government has not received a single penny for the war on terror. “If the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa come out on the roads like the people of Kashmir, then there will be no way out with you. Sit with us and solve the issues, or else we will go to such an extent that the word irresponsible will seem small.”

He said, “Wapda itself is involved in electricity theft, and our people are being called thieves. You have no idea what kind of person you are dealing with. I am a soldier of Imran Khan, who stands like a rock.”

Gandapur further said, “The federal government gave us Rs300 billion less. According to the International Monetary Fund’s conditions, I will fulfill the requirement of Rs96 billion by June 30. Tell me, will Sindh and Punjab fulfill their responsibilities?”

“We need Rs50 billion within two months. When I speak for my rights, they say I am irresponsible. My message is that we will not remain silent. It is clear who we are confronting. No one makes repeated requests for their rights,” he maintained.

He said, “A new drama has started in the name of taxes. We have not received a single rupee for terrorism, which amounts to Rs16 billion. The federal government owes us Rs1510 billion on account of net hydel profit arrears.”