PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Monday deferred a bill seeking the holding of the local body elections in the province in two phases.
Though the proposed KP Local Government (third amendment) Act, 2021, was on the house’s agenda for the day, Deputy Speaker Mahmood Jan, who was in the chair, deferred the bill due to the absence of the minister for local government and rural development.
The bill provides for the holding of LG polls in the province in two phases. Through an amendment to Section 79, two new sub-sections have been added to the law to provide for the phase-wise LG polls.
According to Section 79(1A), if the government decides that the elections shall be held separately for village/neighbourhood and for the chairman tehsil local government, it may request the Election Commission of Pakistan to hold elections in two polls and the ECP shall hold polls accordingly.
“If the elections of village council and neighbourhood councils are held in the first instance, under sub-section 1A, then the tehsil council shall be constituted whenever elections are held for chairman tehsil local council government. The tenure of the tehsil council’s chairman shall be four years.”
Treasury, opposition condemn killings in Karachi mini-truck blast, assault on woman TikToker
Under Section 81(1), in case of the seat of the tehsil council chairman falls vacant on account of an official’s resignation or death, the government may appoint another officer as the chairman till the election of the new chairman and the introduction of the new LG system.
The house also deferred the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Medical Transplantation Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
It, however, passed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Shops and Establishment (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
Earlier, the treasury and opposition benches condemned the killing of 13 people, including women and children, in a bomb attack on a mini-truck in Karachi and assaults on a woman TikToker in Lahore’s Greater Iqbal Park.
On a point of order, Pakistan Peoples Party member Nighat Yasmin Orakzai flayed the Independence Day assault on the TikToker and her colleagues and the harassment of another woman while traveling in a rickshaw.
She asked the KP government to ban the entry of single men to parks to prevent such incidents.
The other members also regretted the harassment of and assaults on women in public places.
Lawmakers from Swat demanded judicial inquiry into the Karachi mini truck bombing, which left 13 people dead on the Independence Day. The deceased belonged to Swat district.
Awami National Party MPA Waqar Ahmad Khan expressed displeasure at the failure of the prime minister to take notice of the incident.
Housing minister Amjad Ali Khan said the house’s inter-provincial coordination committee should take up the incident with the Sindh chief minister. He demanded the early arrest of culprits.
The lawmakers held discussion on the rising incidence of drug abuse and asked the government to take concrete steps to control it.
Initiating debate on his adjournment motion, MMA member Inayatullah Khan said the market had a new drug called 10 Wheeler.
He said the Anti-Narcotics Force, excise department and police handled the issue of drug trafficking at the same time but even then, the number of drug addicts and abusers were on the rise in the province.
The MPA regretted that the government didn’t have fresh accurate data of drug addicts.
He said after Fata’s merger with KP, the police and other departments could directly act against drug traffickers and users in the merged tribal districts, which was earlier not possible due to the autonomous status of the region.
“The government should set up rehabilitation centres for drug addicts across the province,” he said calling for the close monitoring of pharmacies, which provide an easy drug access to people.
Pakistan Peoples Party Ahmad Kundi said the institutions set up to control drug trafficking were involved in perpetuating the issue.
“The employees of these organisations should be tested for drug abuse,” he said.
Minister Shaukat Yousafzai said 78 drugs were covered by the Narcotic Substances Act and that more could be added to the list without recourse to the amendment of the law.
He said 10-Wheeler, a new designer drugs available on the local market, was a combination of different chemicals.
Responding to a calling attention notice, housing minister Amjad Ali Khan informed the house that 29 hotels had been demolished in Swat district under encroachment rules on the directives of the court.
He said owners of six hotels had obtained a stay order from the court against demolition.
Published in Dawn, August 24th, 2021