PESHAWAR - Strongly opposing the proposed shifting of Oil Refinery from district Karak to Kohat, members of the Khattak Loya Jirga warned to stop supply of crude oil and gas, if refinery was not established in the district.

Speaking at a news conference here at the Peshawar Press Club on Friday, Rahmat Salam Khattak, member of the Jirga and provincial leader of ruling PML-Nawaz, said that government has planned to shift the oil refinery unit to Khushalgarh area of Kohat on the pretext of shortage of water at the proposed site Kappra, district Karak. He said the proposed site was technically feasible for the construction of the refinery but the government planned to shift it from the district.

The Khattak Loya Jirga consisted of different political parties, notables of the district and local elders. They included Mian Nisar Gul of JUI-F, Farid Toofan of PML-N, ex-MNA Mufti Jamal, Noor Muhammad Khan, Maulana Mir Ikram, Col (Retd) Khalid, representatives of Khattak Itehad, elders and student activists were in the attendance.

The PML-N leader Rahmat Salam said that it was quite injustice to shift the oil refinery from Karak to Kohat without having any genuine reason. He added if the refinery was shifted to Khushalgar area of Kohat then about 100km long pipeline for oil supply from Karak would also be required. Besides, in the long run the long supply pipeline would be unprotected during worsening law and order situation, he cautioned.

On the other hand, Khattak said that government was even not ready to extend only 3km line for the supply of water from Indus river to fulfil the requirement of the proposed refinery in Kappra area of Karak despite the fact this site was earlier selected by former provincial government and Pakistan State Oil company, he maintained. Khattak also informed that about Rs250 to Rs300 million would be spent on pipeline expansion from Indus River to the already identified site. 

“If the government was failed to provide the required funds for the water supply line, then the entire Khattak tribe would be compelled to initiate the project on self-help basis,” he added.

Khattak also alleged that the refinery was planned to shift due to manipulation of the Chief Minister Special Consultant Amjad Afridi. “We will not allow supplying Oil from Karak to Attock Oil refinery,” he warned. He informed that about 50 per cent oil reserves in Karak, which is not acceptable to supply to Attock refinery and Pak-Arab Refinery Limited (PARCO).