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KP opposition tenders resignations from house committees to protest 'denial of funds'

April 23, 2019

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Opposition members stage a walkout from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on April 23. — DawnNewsTV
Opposition members stage a walkout from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on April 23. — DawnNewsTV

Members of the opposition in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Tuesday tendered their resignations from all 36 standing and district development advisory committees in protest against the alleged denial of development funds to them by the provincial government.

The opposition members submitted their resignation to Speaker Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani before staging a walkout from the assembly session.

Jamiat Ulema-e Islam (F) lawmaker Akram Khan Durrani, in a brief chat with the media, said that the opposition "will not attend the assembly session until the development budget is released".

The leader of the opposition further said that "we wanted a peaceful environment during the assembly session but the government [has] forced us to resign from the committees."

Durrani demanded that “the government fulfills its promise of directing 35 per cent of the development budget to opposition constituencies on an immediate basis".

He said that the government must realise how "shameful" it is that all the opposition members resigned en masse from all 36 committees.

He warned that the opposition would take legal action against the government and vowed to make it difficult for it to run the House.

Mehmood Ahmad Bethani, another member of the opposition, had earlier lashed out at government officials during the session, reminding them that opposition members "are also answerable to their constituencies".

"Developmental funds are not [meant] only for the treasury benches," he said.

Speaker Ghani, meanwhile, told DawnNewsTV that he had tried to reason with the opposition members as they submitted their resignations.

"Your complaint is with the government. Why are you resigning from the committees?" he asked.

The speaker said that the opposition had made a hasty decision and expressed hope that the resignations would be withdrawn.