PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly here on Monday passed a resolution with a majority vote demanding of the federal government to arrest its minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MNA Javed Latif for ‘using the religious card to incite the people against former prime minister Imran Khan’.

The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, which has an overwhelming majority in the assembly, moved the resolution amid sloganeering by the opposition benches.

During the session chaired by Deputy Speaker Mahmood Jan, elementary and secondary education minister Kamran Khan Bangash presented the resolution, which was passed by the house with a majority vote.

The resolution alleged that the federal government, especially PML-N MNA and minister Javed Latif, was using the ‘religious card’ against PTI chairman Imran Khan besides carrying out a malicious campaign against him that would have very dangerous consequences.

Assembly adjourned over lack of quorum amid sloganeering by opposition

“Imran Khan is the ambassador of Islam. As the prime minister, he had raised his voice against Islamophobia at different international forums,” the resolution read, adding that people of Pakistan and Muslims across the world would foil that conspiracy against the PTI chairman.

Calling leaders of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) and its coalition partners in the centre ‘shameless people’, Mr Bangash alleged that members of the federal government were conspiring to kill Mr Imran.

He said that many people had lost life to religious provocation.

“Such a malicious campaign will plunge the country into a crisis. Parties like ANP and PPP should not support the use of the religious card in politics.”

The resolution said the federal government should ask its minister, Javed Latif, to immediately resign from the cabinet and that he should be arrested for punishment.

In a news conference, PML-N leader Javed Latif had alleged that Imran Khan was attacking the basic principles of Islam and supported the Ahmadiyya community during his tenure as the PM.

The opposition benches shouted slogans to disrupt the proceedings.

On a point of order, Awami National Party MPA Sardar Hussain Babak asked the chair to expunge ‘un-parliamentary’ remarks from the proceedings, but his request was ignored.

When Mr Babak was speaking on his point of order, a lack of quorum was pointed out. The chair ordered the ringing of the bells twice but only 17 members were found present in the hall during the final count.

The sitting was later adjourned due to a lack of quorum.

Earlier, during question hour, the house was informed that 304 industrial units were not operational in the province, so 5,902 skilled workers had lost jobs.

MPA Khushdil Khan, who moved the question, informed the house through his supplementary question that an industrial unit was not function in Karak district due to the unavailability of gas.

He said Karak produced natural gas but regrettably, the government was unable to provide gas connection to the residents.

Special assistant to the chief minister Abdul Karim Khan, responding to the question said that major issues were related to the federal government that caused the closure of industrial units in the province.

He said that the provincial government had approved an industrial policy, while interest-free loan up to Rs20 million was given to small units.

The house did not take up a question related with the registration of brick kilns in the province as its mover, MPA Ahmad Kundi, was absent.

A written reply said that total 186 out of 1,055 brick kiln units had been registered in the province. The reply said that the registration process had been stopped as owners of brick kilns had filed a petition with the Peshawar High Court.

The document quoting the Brick Kilns Association as revealing that the labourers associated with brick kilns totalled 67,480 but the Employees Social Security Institution had registered 6,113 labourers only.

The assembly passed the Upper Swat Development Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2022.

The government also introduced the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Educational Testing and Evaluation Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2022.

Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2022

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