PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly echoed with the slogan ‘respect the vote’ as newly-elected MPA of the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz from Nowshera Ikhtiar Wali Khan took oath of his office on Monday.
Ikhtiar Wali made headlines by defeating Omar Kakakhel of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf in the PK-63 by-election by a margin of over 4,000 votes.
Speaker Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani, who chaired the sitting, administered the oath to him.
Mr Ikhtiar shouted slogans ‘Mian Nawaz Sharif Zindabad, Vote Ko Izzat Dau’ amid applause from opposition benches as well as visitors’ gallery.
He came down heavily on the ruling party over ‘flawed policies and victimisation of political opponents’.
“I have become a member of this august house after 32 years of political struggle,” he said. Mr Ikhtiar began political activism from the platform of the Muslim Student Federation, the student wing of the PML. He remained runner-up twice in the previous elections.
PA seeks diplomatic passports for speaker, relatives, blue passports for MPAs
He told the house that a common political worker couldn’t think about contesting elections and only billionaires could take part in the electoral politics.
The PML-N lawmaker alleged that defence minister Pervez Khattak, who belonged to Nowshera, misused his official status and resources to get the ruling party’s candidate elected but failed.
He said the residents of Nowshera rejected the PTI’s narrative in by-election, so the PTI couldn’t retain its seat though the defence minister announced development packages and provision of jobs to them during the election campaign.
“Pervez Khattak, who had served as the chief minister for five years, could not build a single college in Nowshera,” he said.
MPA Inayatullah Khan of the opposition Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal praised the PML-N leadership for awarding the election ticket to a genuine worker.
He said turn-coats had polluted political culture and they had become a stigma for national politics.
The lawmaker urged political parties to promote ideological workers in the electoral politics.
Labour minister Shaukat Ali Yousafzai welcomed the victory of the PML-N nominee in the Nowshera by-election but gave the credit for his victory to the PTI workers, who, he claimed, played a key role in his success.
“The PML-N was in no position to win this seat,” he said.
Differences between defence minister Pervez Khattak and his younger brother, Liaqat Khattak, the former irrigation minister, played a decisive role in the victory of the PML-N candidate in Nowshera by-election. The PTI’s defeat resulted in the removal of Mr Liaqat from the cabinet.
The house unanimously passed four resolutions.
A resolution tabled by PPP MPA Nighat Orakzai demanded of the federal government to issue diplomatic passports to the speakers of the four provincial assemblies and their family members.
She said the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly had also passed a resolution demanding blue passport for MPAs.
Another resolution moved by PTI lawmaker Faheem Ahmad condemned the detention of opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh and demanded the provincial government ensure his safety in jail.
A resolution tabled by labour minister Shaukat Yousafzai declared the building of the KP Assembly polling station for the Senate election to be held on March 3.
Speaker Mushtaq Ghani read the order of the governor and prorogued the session.
Published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2021