It is expected that the ruling ANP would not be able to gain the results it hoped from the conference, particularly in terms of its purpose to pass on a strong message to the centre to halt hours-long loadshedding in the province.
The APC will commence at 3:00 pm in the Chief Minister House, Peshawar, wherein the participants would devise a strategy to overcome the power crisis, as after 18th Constitutional Amendment, the provinces had been empowered to start their own projects in the energy sector. The ANP after growing protests against power breakdown in the province which it has been ruling since April 2008, decided to hold the APC.
It, however, received a setback, when all opposition parties except PML-Q, announced not to participate in the APC. To announce boycott of the APC, the joint opposition held a press conference. Prominent among them were opposition leader in KP assembly Akram Khan Durrani, PPP-S Parliamentary leader Sikandar Sherpao, PML-N KP General Secretary Rehmat Salam Khattak, JUI-F Attaur Rehman and Abdul Jalil. They held ANP equally responsible for severe power outage in the province and announced that they would not participate in the APC.
Opposition parties alleged that ANP, which has not only been ruling KP, but also part of the federal government, has done nothing to overcome loadshedding in the province. This menace has not started one month or two months back, but it has been since the ANP came into power. So, why did not it resolve it earlier and why it is so imperative now to hold APC on the issue. The opposition termed it just a joke with people of the province and vowed to hold province-wide meetings so that to take people onboard and then make a strategy as whether to start agitation movement or long march towards Islamabad.
Interestingly, in the beginning, PPP, a coalition partner in KP government, also expressed reservations over holding of the APC. PPP leadership was of the view that ANP has not taken them on board before announcing schedule for the APC. However, ANP later persuaded it and now it has announced to participate in the APC.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Sami and Jamaat-e-Islami, which have no representation in the assembly, also backed the opposition and announced that they would not be a part of the APC, as time for holding APCs has over. This made the ANP upset and resultantly contacted Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, National Party and Pakistan Tehreek-Islami. But, it’s crystal clear to all, that these parties have very little say in provincial politics.
The ANP did not stop here, but to make the APC successful at all costs, a delegation led by the party provincial chief Afrasiyab Khattak visited KP Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KPCCI), trade and civil society organisations and extended them formal invitation to attend the APC.
Not only this, KP Minister for Information Mian Iftikhar Hussain has appealed to all the political parties to participate in the APC on energy crisis. He added that it was not an issue of a particular party or person but rather a national issue, therefore each and every one should play its role in this respect.