PESHAWAR - KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has said that provincial government will continue its struggle for achieving constitutional right over its resources and net profit on electricity, saying the matter of ignoring the province in mega projects will be taken up in the Council of Common Interest (CCI).
Talking to a delegation of journalists, which called on him here under the leadership of president Nowshera Press Club Mushtaq Ahmad Paracha and General Secretary Noor Khaliq Khattak, he said that during the recent visit to Peshawar Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been told about the KP government’s apprehensions and reservations. The prime minister, he said, had once again committed and assured the resolution of the genuine problems of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after the passage of the federal budget. He said that the PTI government has full belief in democracy and free media. Media, he said, is the fourth pillar of the state and because of this reason the provincial government is utilising all possible resources for the strengthening of media and resolving the problems of journalist community on priority basis.
On this occasion, the chief minister handed over a cheque of indemnity grant for the welfare of the journalists of Nowshera Press Club and said that for the strengthening of the press clubs and standing of journalists on their own feet, the provincial government is introducing such formula under endowment fund wherein a hefty amount would be released for the welfare of journalists to all press clubs of the province.
The chief minister said that the previous governments released funds sufficient only for the annual expenses of press clubs. But, he added, his government is evolving such a policy, which will turn press clubs self-sufficient. He said that a sizeable amount has been allocated, which will resolve healthcare, accidental death and looking after the children of journalists.
For this purpose, he said, an amount of Rs 50 million each has been allocated both in previous and current financial years.
Pervez Khattak said that journalism is a responsible profession and his government welcomes positive criticism and never dictates to media. He said he feels happiness over the pinpointing of his government’s mistakes. However, he could not be coerced through yellow journalism and blackmailing, saying generally he had remained aloof from media. But, now when it is the requirement of his government and office, therefore, he is giving all possible time to media. “Neither I am the fan of photo session nor like flattering and has always honoured the truth,” maintained the chief minister.
He said that the country in general and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in particular is passing through a critical juncture, adding just like government, military and agencies, the media also has big responsibility. He said, “We should have to keep our national and provincial interests atop, which is also our constitutional obligation.”
To a question, he ruled out any compromise on the rights of the province. He said the rehabilitation of IDPs is the responsibility of the federal government. However, he said the provincial government despite limited resources is extending full cooperation. He said the federal government should frame such policies, which will remove the deprivation of small provinces. He said that they are voted by poor people, which are patriotic Pakistanis and their true service must be PTI’s prime duty. He said the provincial government in the budget for financial year 2014-15 has introduced cash card for poor families, which will be issued on the basis of the list of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP). He said an agreement for provision of food items on concessional prices to the poor has already been signed with Utility Stores Corporation (USC). He said that the IDPs of North Waziristan will be given monthly house rent and Ramazan Package for which initial chunk of amount of Rs 350 million has already been transferred to Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA). He said that the amount will be distributed in a fair and transparent manner.
The independent accountability commission, he said, will become operational from the next month, which has received complaints against prominent figures. Similarly, he said Anti-Corruption Establishment has also been made effective which has started the accountability process and during last one month corruption cases have been registered against 200 corrupt officials.