After burying the hatchet, KP and Centre agree to work together for public relief

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ISLAMABAD, MAY 27: Following months-long tussle and exchange of heated arguments over arrears, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Centre have finally agreed to bury the hatchet and work together for public relief.

The development came during a meeting between KP’s firebrand Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur and Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi in Islamabad on Monday. Federal Minister for Energy Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari and the federal interior secretary were also among the attendees of the meeting.

It is pertinent to mention here that the KP government and the Centre had been at odds over multiple issues, including the prolonged power cuts in the province with CM Gandapur even threatening to take control of the power distribution company, the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco) after decrying the excessive power outages in the province.
In addition to this, the KP government and Centre have been engaged in a verbal spat in recent days with the former complaining of dues that are owed to the province by the federal government.

In March, CM Gandapur threatened to take the Centre to court over the arrears issue.

Addressing a joint presser, following a “meaningful” dialogue, CM Gandapur said: “The federal and provincial institutions will work together. [We] will work together to remove the causes of line losses.”

Referring to the “consensus” developed between the two sides, the provincial chief executive said that they had found a way through which people would get relief.

“Even though KP provides electricity to the entire country,” he said, “the province itself is experiencing prolonged power cuts.”

The chief minister further said that he engaged in talks to solve the problems being faced by the province. “We will have to come to the table for the rights and issues of the province.”

Since KP itself generates electricity, he said, the people of the province wanted to end loadshedding and seek cheap electricity.

CM Gandapur also thanked the federal government for realising the grievances of the people of the province.

Quoting PTI founder Imran Khan, he said that their “fight is not against the state’s intuitions”.

On his part, the energy minister thanked Interior Minister Naqvi for playing a key role in defusing tensions between KP and Centre and bridging the gap between the two sides.

Without revealing details, the federal minister said: “We have found a solution to the problems.”

A uniform model will be implanted in KP and other provinces, he added.

Referring to the decisions made in the meeting, the minister said that PTI, PML-N and allied parties have taken a “big step” to recover the economy and steer the country out of crisis.

Despite having a different political narrative, the energy minister said that they agreed on this agenda for the sake of the people and the country.

“We have found a solution to the problems. The solution will be applied to other provinces too.”

He vowed to address the issues of power theft and line losses across the country.

“The PTI and the PML-N have jointly taken this step to improve the country’s economy.”