ISLAMABAD: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak was leading a rally of provincial parliamentary leaders outside the Parliament House on Tuesday to protest against the federal government for denying the province its legitimate rights.
The protest march started from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa House in Islamabad and reached the Parliament House around 12:00PM.
Scuffles were witnessed between police and demonstrators as the protestors demanded to enter Parliament House in an attempt to press the federal government for acceptance of the demands of the province.
Demonstrators including Khattak and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq were currently holding negotiations with Federal Minister for Water and Power Khwaja Asif, who was representing the government.
The demonstrating parties, led by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) which governs KP province, are protesting against prolonged electricity cuts, changes to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and financial dues that they claim the federal government owes to the province.
The Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), part of the ruling coalition and the two main opposition parties in the KP Assembly, are not participating in the protest rally.
Speaking to The News on Monday, provincial minister Mushtaq Ghani said that the decision to stage the protest was taken at a meeting of parliamentary parties’ leaders chaired by Chief Minister Pervez Khattak.
“This war-affected province is facing acute problems but the federal government since the day one has meted out step-motherly treatment to it. Our entire infrastructure has been ruined. Being a frontline province in the war against terrorism, the federal government should have concentrated on resolving its problems and sharing its woes but instead it was left in the lurch,” said Ghani.
He said that the leaders that decided to first stage a demonstration outside the Parliament House and will draw a future line of action to win provincial rights if their demands are not met.