Ice breaks as CM Gandapur takes up KP issues with PM

Published March 14, 2024
KP CM Ali Amin Gandapur calls on PM Shehbaz Sharif.—PM Office
KP CM Ali Amin Gandapur calls on PM Shehbaz Sharif.—PM Office
KP CM Ali Amin Gandapur calls on PM Shehbaz Sharif.—PM Office
KP CM Ali Amin Gandapur calls on PM Shehbaz Sharif.—PM Office

ISLAMABAD: Days after refusing to attend the oath-taking ceremonies of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and President Asif Ali Zardari, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur broke the ice as he called on the premier on Wednesday, assuring him of working together “with a positive intention to resolve problems of the people”.

After a long political battle in which both sides bashed each other at almost every forum, it was the first time that PTI and PML-N representatives sat together and vowed to shun their differences in the larger interest of serving the nation.

Although PTI founder and former premier Imran Khan is still in jail, it is believed his confidant Gandapur, who had earlier expressed reservations over the legitimacy of the mandate of the coalition government, could not meet the PM without his leader’s consent.

According to the PM Office, PM Shehbaz warmly welcomed the KP CM and said all the four provinces were federating units. Senior PML-N leaders Khawaja Asif, Ishaq Dar, Amir Muqam and Ahsan Iqbal were also present in the meeting.

Both vow to shun political differences, serve nation together

The PM assured the CM that keeping in view of current economic crisis, the centre would fulfill all genuine demands of the KP province. “We have to resolve all problems together,” he asserted.

Later, accompanied by federal minister Ahsan Iqbal, CM Gandapur told a presser that the PM assured him that the centre would resolve all problems of KP and provide all outstanding dues to the provincial government. “We have to work together to resolve people’s problems. Resources of the KP will be utilised for the betterment of the people,” he said.

He said he had asked the premier that PTI leaders were facing difficulties in meeting its jailed leader. “On this, PM Shehbaz assured me of facilitating meeting with Imran,” he added.

“I told him that political engagement with Khan sahib is very necessary to resolve political issues. He was very positive and told me plainly he would make my meeting possible so I can complete consultations regarding the Senate election,” he said.

CM Gandapur said he had very “positive” talks with the PM on public and provincial issues, law and order and other matters. “It was very positive and he [the premier] gave full support and reassured,” he said.

Federal Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal said the PM ordered a joint team to work on KP issues. “The summary of today’s meeting is in two words: we all have our own politics but the state is together,” Mr Iqbal said.

He said the prime minister had obligated officials of the finance ministry to sit down with KP officials on the matter of KP dues.

Published in Dawn, March 14th, 2024

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