PESHAWAR: The removal of Member Provincial Assembly (MPA) Khushdil Khan as chairman and member of a Standing Committee in the provincial assembly may strain the otherwise friendly relations between the treasury and opposition benches as the lawmaker has moved the court against the speaker Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.
Khushdil Khan, former deputy speaker of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and now deputy parliamentary leader of Awami National Party (ANP), was appointed as chairman of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Livestock.
However, he was removed and replaced with ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s MPA Arbab Jahandad Khan for certain reasons after having chaired the first meeting of the body.
As a goodwill gesture earlier, Speaker Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani had nominated at least 10 opposition MPAs as chairpersons of various standing committees of the House.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly had authorised the speaker to constitute standing committees under the assembly rules.
When contacted, Khushdil Khan said he had filed a writ petition in the Peshawar High Court against speaker Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly as he had violated the rules by removing an incumbent chairman of the assembly’s standing committee.
“I have challenged this act of the speaker in the court as under the assembly rules a speaker cannot remove or replace a member or head of standing committee,” Khushdil Khan argued.
He added the speaker in his notification had ordered his removal and replacement by another MPA belonging to the ruling party.
He said that after his removal he had informed his party’s parliamentary party leader and opposition leader in the provincial assembly and both termed the decision as one-sided and unjustified.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MPA from Peshawar, Arbab Jahandad was appointed as member and chairman of Standing Committee No 5 for Agriculture and Livestock.
Khushdil Khan maintained that the PTI government and speaker Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly could not face criticism against the government departments.
He said that in the standing committee’s first meeting he had sought details of all the projects of the concerned departments during the previous PTI-led government.
Speaker Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani, Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs and Human Rights Sultan Muhammad Khan and Arbab Jahandad were repeatedly contacted on phone to seek their comments but none of them responded.