ISLAMABAD  - Leader of Opposition in National Assembly, Syed Khursheed Shah, has expressed serious reservations over the statements of the PML-N ministers depicting the government’s intention to run the country as one unit, and made it loud and clear that they would not let anyone usurp the rights of smaller provinces.

Talking to media persons at his residence Syed Khursheed Shah said that stability and strength of the federation rest with making the federating units strong and any attempt to infringe upon the rights of the smaller provinces in negation to the 18th Constitutional Amendment would have disastrous fallout.

Referring to the statement of federal petroleum minister, Shah said that under the 18th Constitutional Amendment provinces have complete control over the natural resources and any attempt to limit this authority and control would be just opening up of a Pandora’s box.

The leader of opposition said that they would raise their concern in the upcoming National Assembly session starting from August 13 and in this connection they would also take the other opposition parties on board and would resist any move to limit the provincial autonomy by the federal government.

He came down hard on the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz for its failure to come up to the promises made with the masses during the election campaign and deplored the rulers for increasing the electricity rates and continuous increase in the prices of petroleum products which would bring in a flood of price-hike.

To a question about appointment of chairman National Accountability Bureau, Shah said that the process of consultation would resume after Eid, as Prime Minister was nowadays in Saudi Arabia for performing Umera and before that he was not available due to bad health.

To a question about the resignation of Justice (Retd) Fakharuddin G Ibrahim as chief election commissioner, the leader of opposition welcomed the move and said that their point about the presidential elections was validated by his resignation.

He further said that in upcoming session the Speaker National Assembly would constitute a 12-member committee with six members each from Opposition and Treasury benches to select the new CEC.

Referring to the current floods in various parts of country, Shah asked the federal government to come in aid to the provincial governments in providing relief to the flood-hit people.

To another question he said that Sindh government was trying its best to help out the people in flood-hit areas and quickly added that the federal government must come in aid to the provincial administration in mitigating the sufferings of the people.

To a question Shah said that though law and order is a provincial subject, the federal government must take action over incidents like DI Khan jailbreak and summon Governor KPK and seek report as to how such a massive attack was carried out and terrorists managed to free over 200 criminals involved in cases of heinous crimes.

To a question about local bodies elections, Shah said that they were trying to hold these elections in Sindh by December this year for which the provincial government was already doing necessary arrangements.

To another question in this connection, he said that the proposals of MQM about new local bodies system were baseless and without any weight.

To a question about the government’s plan to privatise PIA, Shah said when the government would come up with something concrete in this regard then the Opposition would come up with its formal response and strategy.