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PESHAWAR: Qaumi Watan Party chairman Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao claimed on Friday that Chief Minister Pervez Khattak had lost majority in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and the provincial governor should ask him to seek a vote of confidence from the assembly.

Speaking at a press conference at his party secretariat here, he also said that the opposition parties would meet within a couple of days to decide their future line of action in this regard. On this occasion scores of people belonging to parts of Orakzai tribal region, led by Hassamuddin Khan, joined QWP.

Mr Sherpao said that by accusing the 20 MPAs of involvement in horse-trading and selling vote in the Senate elections the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan had tried to divert people’s attention from the weaknesses of his provincial government. He alleged that Imran Khan wanted to hide corruption of his party’s government by expelling members before the general elections. He said that PTI still had some people whose names could surface in the coming days with regard to horse-trading.

Urges govt to resolve problems of tribal businessmen

The QWP chief claimed that the number of MPAs who sold their votes was over 25, but the PTI chief avoided disclosing their names just to save his close aides. He also referred to the remarks of Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar during his recent visit to Peshawar about the poor facilities of health, education and drinking water and said that the government had almost completed its tenure, but it could not fulfil its commitments with the people.

He said that all the initiatives, including billion trees project, Bus Rapid Transit and KP Ehtesab Commission, of the government had failed to achieve the required objectives. The BRT project was given to a blacklisted construction firm, he claimed and added that National Accountability Bureau had already started collecting information about these projects. He said that the PTI chairman had said that they would not secure any foreign loan, but now they were leaving a burden of heavy loans for the next government.

He urged the federal government to include the Pakhtun leadership in the decision-making process regarding key issues.

In Landi Kotal, Aftab Sherpao called upon the federal government to take the tribal elders and businessmen into confidence while devising policy about Torkham border. He paid a brief visit to Landi Kotal on Friday to offer fateha on the demise of retired Maj Dost Mohammad, one of his party Khyber chapter leaders, who died on Tuesday last.

Talking to mediapersons on the occasion, the QWP chief said that frequent closure of Torkham border crossing on the pretext of preventing terrorists’ entry into Pakistan could prove counterproductive for bilateral trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

He said that Afghanistan was a lucrative market for a number of Pakistani products, but erratic policies implemented in haste had badly affected exports to Afghanistan. He insisted that most of the Afghans using the Torkham border crossing were innocent and come to Pakistan for medical treatment or personal businesses. He said that thousands of local tribesmen were affiliated with the border trade at Torkham and the government should lend a receptive ear to their grievances.

Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2018