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Asad Qaiser asks KP CM to cut all ties with Centre

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ISLAMABAD: PTI central leader Asad Qaiser has advised his party’s chief minister in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to snap all ties with the federal government as the Centre will not accept any of his demands.

The advice came a day after KP Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur met Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi in Peshawar and discussed a joint strategy to fight terrorism.

“This is my advice to the KP chief minister that he should end all contacts with the federation as it [the federal government] will not accept any of his demands,” said Mr Qaiser in a statement on Friday.

“They have not appoi­nted a single officer on your [the CM’s] demand and neither there has been any progress on the issue of the payment of the arrears to the province,” said Mr Qaiser, who had served as the National Ass­embly speaker under the previous PTI government.

“This is the time for resistance and not conciliation,” said Mr Qaiser as he urged lawyers, civil society members, media, teachers, students and farmers to participate in the “movement for constitutional supremacy”.

“This is a question of the rights of the nation. Whe­ther they [people] want to live in a banana republic or in a country where there is the supremacy of the law and Constitution?” he said, announcing that his party will launch a big movement to achieve its objectives.

Mr Qaiser’s statement came a day after the federal government annou­nced its decision to imp­rove coordination between the federal and KP law enforcement agencies and accelerate intelligence-based operations to root out militancy from the province.

The statement was issued after a series of meetings in Peshawar, which were attended by both Mr Gandapur and Mr Naqvi.

Interestingly, Mr Qaiser is the head of a committee formed by PTI’s founding chairman Imran Khan to contact the leadership of other political parties after the Feb 8 general elections in the country.

Mr Qaiser’s remarks come against the backdrop of reported discontent among some PTI hardliners over Mr Gandapur’s meeting with federal officials.

Earlier this month, the KP CM faced criticism from within the party when he met Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Islamabad and also had a photo session.

The KP chief minister had termed the meeting very “positive” and said public and provincial issues, including law and order, were discussed.

“It was very positive, and he [the PM] assured me of his full support,” Mr Gandapur reportedly stated after the meeting on March 13.

The Shehbaz-Gandapur meeting was widely hailed by the leaders in the ruling coalition, including President Asif Zardari, who called it a positive step towards tackling the challenges facing the nation.

On the other hand, PTI founding chairman Imran Khan, while talking to reporters in Adiala Jail, had expressed displeasure over the meeting.

He said the meeting should have taken place after the release of the pending amounts owed to KP.