GILGIT (ET): Former Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf was subjected to much criticism in the Gilgit – Baltistan (G-B) Assembly on Friday as treasury benches held him responsible for the delay in the construction of the Diamer – Bhasha Dam.
“It is the former premier who diverted funds for the dam in G-B to his constituency just to woo voters before the general elections,” said Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) lawmaker Syed Raziuddin on a point of order in the house as the proceedings entered their fifth day.
“He did it as if it was his personal money and he had the authority to use it for whatever he wished,” added Raziuddin, who has recently joined PPP.
Opposition leader Janbaz Khan also accused Ashraf of spending Rs15 billion – the cost of the dam – in his constituency during the election campaign.
“Much of the work would have been completed if the government had the funds at its disposal,” said Khan, a resident of Diamer valley, where the dam is under construction.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam – Fazal (JUI-F) legislator Rahmat Khaliq went a step further in criticising the former prime minister, whose last days in the office saw approval of the controversial ‘forest policy’ for G-B, and said he must be answerable for all this.
Speaker of the assembly Wazir Baig said it is hoped that now the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) government in the centre would settle the issue.
As the proceedings progressed, PPP lawmaker from Ghizer valley Ayub Shah drew attention to the sale of drugs without doctors’ prescription.
“Young people have become addicted to drugs which are openly available in the market,” said Shah, asking the government to impose a ban on the sale of such items without doctors’ prescription.
Another lawmaker Nawaz Naji seconded Shah and added that the use of narcotic drugs is also common in Ghizer valley and police has rather “diligently” helped smugglers in the past.
Upon hearing these statements, Baig asked the house to make a legislation that declares this practice illegal.