ISLAMABAD - Due to the lingering row between the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz-led federal government with Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government, the meeting of Council of Common Interests (CCI) could not be held since June last, hampering any development on the important issues required to be discussed and settled between the federation and all four provincial governments.

Sources aware of the developments taking place on this front, informed The Nation that the CCI meeting was last held on May 29, and since then the meeting was deferred thrice because Chief Minister Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Perviaz Khattak had refused to attend the meeting and without the presence of all the four chief ministers the CCI meeting could not take any decision concerning the provinces.

Sources said that important matters relating to the devolution of ministries and issues relating to the assets distribution to the provinces under 18th constitutional Amendment required settlement but matter was in limbo because the CCI, the forum to settle the issues, could not hold the meeting.

Sources in the federal government said that government wanted to hold census across the country, mandatory for delimitation of the constituencies and preparation of fresh voters’ lists, but again the Chief Minister Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, on the direction of his party chairman, flatly refused to attend any official meeting called by the prime minister.

The matter of holding fresh census in the country, long overdue, was on the agenda list of the last CCI meeting held on May 29, 2014 but the matter was deferred for the next meeting on the request of Balochistan Chief Minister who expressed his government’s inability to carry out the exercise in his province owing to poor law and order situation.

Sources in the government said that the CCI meeting could only be convened when all the four chief ministers would confirm their participation in it as the forum was meant to take up important issues relating to the federating units. These sources added that right now the issues like payment of royalty of power generation, settlement of pending matters after the devolution of power and holding of fresh population census and holding of local bodies elections across the four provinces, needed to be addressed but could not be taken up due to deferment of CCI meeting.

These sources said that the deferment of CCI meeting would also cost the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa dearly as they had important issues including the royalty of power generation, settlement of financial matters relating to the devolution of a number of ministries and divisions to provinces under the 18th Amendment, holding of fresh census and local body’s elections unsettled.

The sources in Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf said that the party leadership was divided over the issue as some of the senior party leaders were of the view that Chief Minister KPK must attend the CCI meeting to plead the case of the province while there were also some voices against his participation in the meeting, especially in the face of deepening political crisis between the PTI and federal government.