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PESHAWAR: Qaumi Watan Party on Sunday announced to launch a mass contact campaign to mobilise the people against the government’s policies and to build public pressure on it to withdraw the new taxes announced in the federal and provincial budgets.

This was stated by QWP leader and former provincial senior minister Sikandar Hayat Khan Sherpao while speaking at a press conference at the party’s secretariat here.

On the occasion, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf activists led by Khazana village council nazim Basharat Khan announced joining the QWP.

Mass contact drive will start from Swabi to put pressure on govt to withdraw new taxes

Mr Sherpao said the mass contact drive would be launched from Swabi in the coming days, adding it was duty of the opposition parties to create awareness among the people to take unified stand against the ‘wrong’ policies of the government.

He said a report of the Auditor General of Pakistan into irregularities in the Bus Rapid Transit project was a test case for the National Accountability Bureau.

Sikandar Sherpao said the PTI government was now closing the Project Management Unit after flaws were pinpointed in it. Commenting on the federal budget, he said new taxes had been proposed in it which had led to increase in daily use commodities even before its approval.

He claimed that the federal budget was made on the dictates of the International Monetary Fund which offered no relief for the poor. He said Rs45 billion were allocated for the uplift projects in Karachi and Rs15 billion were earmarked for Quetta, but no allocations were made for Peshawar in the federal budget despite the fact that the people had extended full support to PTI in the election for the second term.

Sikandar Sherpao also expressed concern over the government’s decision to conduct elections for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly seats in the merged districts under the supervision of army, saying it showed that the civil administration did not have the ability to hold the polls.

He added that soldiers could be deployed for security as conducting elections was the job of the Election Commission of Pakistan.

He said on one hand ECP was asking for participation of maximum women voters in the election, but on the other, the presence of security personnel in polling booths would force women to stay away from voting.

Sikandar Sherpao said the announcement of uplift projects for the tribal districts amounted to pre-poll rigging and the ECP should take notice.

He said a three-member delegation of the party led by Aftab Ahmed Sherpao would participate in the all parties’ conference convened by the opposition.

Published in Dawn, June 24th, 2019