KARACHI: Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have accused the centre of stealing their share of electricity and never consulting the provincial governments while planning development projects as a result of which the people and industries in the two provinces suffer a lot.
Talking to journalists at the CM House here on Sunday evening, Chief Ministers Qaim Ali Shah of Sindh and Pervez Khattak of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said the federal government sometimes tried to raise the ‘dead issue’ of Kalabagh dam to divert people’s attention from genuine issues.
They urged the federal government to name the under-construction airport in Islamabad after Abdul Sattar Edhi.
The Sindh chief minister said that if the federal government continued to ignore the problems being faced by the provincial governments and failed to fulfil its responsibilities, the people and political parties in the provinces would have no option but to exercise their constitutional right to protest.
He said people were demanding development works and holding protest rallies and sit-ins outside the CM House.
Mr Shah regretted that the federal government neither consulted the provincial governments while working out its development programme nor gave them their due financial share from the federal divisible pool. This was an injustice with the smaller provinces which were left with no option but to launch protest campaigns.
In reply to a question about Sindh’s share in the National Finance Commission (NFC) award, Mr Shah said the provinces had been denied the share according to the formula agreed between them and the centre. “The federal government is reluctant to convene meetings of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) and whenever a meeting is called its agenda is unilaterally set by the centre,” he regretted.
The KP chief minister alleged that the federal government was stealing 500MW electricity of his province and 1,000MW of Sindh. “I have taken up this issue with the federal government and now it is the turn of the Sindh government to fight out its case with the centre,” he said, adding that his province was being denied 100 MMCF of gas despite an agreement reached with the federal government.
The Sindh chief minister said rural areas of the province were facing 17 to 18 hours of loadshedding. “We have written several letters to the federal government, but all our letters, protests and complaints have fallen on deaf ears.”
He said that during his visit to Khairpur, Larkana and Sukkur, people told him that Wapda authorities had sent the cases of recovery from residential consumers to the National Accountability Bureau. “This is quite painful.” On the one hand, he added, they (authorities) were issuing inflated bills to the residential consumers, on the other they were harassing the consumers through NAB.
Answering a question, Mr Shah said Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had come to Karachi to attend the funeral prayer of Abdul Sattar Edhi, and not to discuss any matter with him. “When he (Punjab CM) will come to talk to us we will definitely talk to him,” he said.
Earlier, Chief Minister Khattak, along with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar, MNA Arif Alvi, Haleem Adil Shaikh, PTI MPA Sherzaman and others, held a meeting with the Sindh chief minister and discussed various issues.
They urged the federal government to convene a meeting of the CCI, develop a consensus on the NFC award and devise a formula for an equitable distribution of electricity and development funds among the provinces.