Confrontational Politics

The Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) is replicating the politics of his party leader and to little use and more harm. The issue of pending payments is a routine administrative matter that is better addressed when dialogue and communication are convened. But CM Gandapur seems more convinced that he can find a way through threatening ultimatums and loud speeches. A unison between the Centre and the provinces is the definition of a federal political system. Roles are defined, areas of collaboration are distinct, and regular channels of dialogue and negotiation exist. With all this, resorting to threats is something that made little sense in Gandapur’s recent outburst over power outages.

The situation with taxes is not hidden and it is out in the open that some additional taxes are the fallout of the IMF conditions. If Rs 1510 billion is due on the Centre, KP province owes Rs 120 billion in electricity bill payments. Pakistan deals with a long trail of illegal power usage and non-payment of utility bills. KP must acknowledge the problem for what it is and for the funds that are due at the Centre, the way to go is not threats but mutually agreed-upon solutions. Threats and fumed commentaries will benefit no one. CM KP must be aware of the role that he has taken up and must serve the province accordingly.

With this tone, the risk of igniting all other existing fault lines between the Centre and the province comes attached. For Pakistan of today, and the number of challenges that demand priority action, this is a recipe for triggering a provincial revolt. The stylised PTI politics must tone itself down for the greater good of the country. Administrative affairs need thorough dedication and yes the CM must represent his province for all its issues but in an amicable way. The solution does not lie in confrontation.

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