CM Khattak’s ID absence: ANP seeks clarification

Thursday, August 15th, 2013 12:40:04 by
The new Chief Minister of Khyber Pakthunkhwa province Friday urged Prime Minister-in-waiting Nawaz Sharif to form a decisive policy to stop US drone strikes in the country’s tribal regions. “We call upon the federal government and Nawaz Sharif to chalk out a clear policy against US drones and terrorism and for peace,” Pervez Khan Khattak said after he was elected the Chief Minister. He said if his Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) was elected at the center then the US would not dare carry out drone attacks. The PTI emerged the largest party in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and will for the first time the party has formed government in the province. During the campaign for the May 11 polls, the PTI chief Imran Khan had announced to shoot down US drones if it was voted to power at the centre. Meanwhile the PTI spokesperson, Dr Shirin Mazari lashed out at the US for carrying out the recent drown strike when Pakistan is in the process of new government formation. She told the media that PTI will move a resolution in the National Assembly against the drone attacks. She said that the resolution will strongly urge the US to stop the attacks and the government will also be advised to take action if the Americans refuse to halt the operation. Mazari said that her party’s government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has the right to search the NATO supplies in case of suspicion of presence of arms in the trucks. She said the US has acted as enemy to carry drone strike on Wednesday just few days before the formation of a new government. On the other hand a senior leader of Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) party Shahbaz Sharif said that the Prime Minister-elect Nawaz Sharif will take up the drone issue with the United States. He told reporters in Lahore that majority in Pakistan are opposed to the drone strikes and that the campaign should be stopped immediately. The US spy aircraft fired missiles in North Waziristan on Wednesday and killed at least six people including the senior Taliban leader Wali-ur-Rehman. The Taliban withdrew their peace talks offer to the new government as a protest over the drone strike. They claimed that the drone strikes are being carried out on the behest of the government.

The Awami National Party Thursday submitted an adjournment motion in the Senate against the absence of Chief Minister, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pervez Khattak from the Independence Day’s Flag Hoisting ceremony in Peshawar.

Traditionally Chief Ministers raise National Flag to mark beginning of celebrations in their respective provinces. However, Khattak set example by his absence from the function.

The provincial spokesman said Khattak had gone to Islamabad to attend functions arranged for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, a strange excuse by the spokesman. It would have taken just an hour had he stayed for the ceremony in Peshawar.

Health Minister Shaukat Yousafzai and Information Minister Shah Farman were assigned to attend the ceremony.

The chief minister’s spokesperson said that he was in Islamabad to attend a meeting with United Nations (UN) General Secretary Ban Ki-moon so the health minister was asked to attend the flag hoisting ceremony instead.

Awami National Party (ANP) leader Zahid Khan,  told reporters that it was unfortunate that things that had never happened before were now happening since the PTI government took over.

He claimed that Khattak was not in Islamabad and had not woken up in the morning, which is why he had missed the ceremony.

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