New beginnings: The govt is ready to bring change, Pervaiz Khattak
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s (K-P) newly-elected Chief Minister (CM) Pervaiz Khattak said the government is ready to tackle a plethora of problems faced by the province as soon as they take charge.
Winning 84 out of the 121 votes in the assembly, Khattak became the 26th CM of K-P after the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) contender Waji-uz-Zaman Khan withdrew his candidature in Khattak’s favour. The opposition candidate, and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader, Maulana Lutfur Rehman received 37 votes.
The eager chief minister pointed out the party did its homework ahead of elections and is well aware of the challenges which have to be overcome. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) is ready to start putting words to action from the day it takes charge, said CM Khattak.
He said his government is under a heavy obligation to meet the public’s expectations and delineated the tasks which lie ahead.
Khattak acknowledged law and order was the government’s foremost challenge.
Staying true to their stance on corruption, Khattak announced a ‘zero-tolerance’ policy against the menace.
He said a commission will be set up to manage complaints related to all officials, ministers, lawmakers and even the CM himself. “Government departments and officials should mend their ways.”
“The days when they used to earn millions through corruption are now over.”
CM Khattak also asked overseas Pakistanis to invest in K-P and promised them security and a corruption-free environment.
He also offered complete autonomy to the bureaucracy, however, not without “100% results”.
“We will not victimise anyone,” he said.
The chief minister intends to keep his protocol to a minimum, and once law and order is improved, “People will see me driving my own car among them,” he promised.
He assured transparency in government affairs and said everything will be uploaded on a website for the public to see. Officials and lawmakers will also have to declare their assets.
The PTI government wants to introduce a system of community police in tandem with the local bodies system.
“Do people vote for us to lose their powers?” he asked the lawmakers. His government will make changes to the Local Government Act and hold polls within three to four months, yet another claim made by the chief minister on Friday.
Khattak emphasised on the improvement of tertiary healthcare units of the provincial capital, and insisted doctors complete their eight-hour shifts. The government wants to upgrade District Headquarters Hospitals to teaching hospitals in order reduce the burden on the provincial capital, he added.
CM Khattak also promised the province will utilise its own resources for generating electricity and install a national grid.
The PTI government will also revive the Provincial Finance Commission on district levels to ensure equal distribution of resources.
Regarding the education system, CM Khattak said one curriculum would be introduced for all, “It is the only way to end social disparity.”
In his address he also reached out to the public, asking them to pay utility bills and announced the computerisation of land reforms. With that he also assured protection to minorities and said the government will give full attention to the youth and women.
Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan, Lutfur Rehman, Sirajul Haq, Sikandar Sherpao, Sardar Hussain Babak, Saleem Khan and Shehram Taraki also felicitated the newly-elected chief minister and assured him of their support.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 1st, 2013.