Friday, June 7, 2013

Do or Die - In pursuit of Naya KPK - the way forward for PTI

Elections season 2013 is over. Govts at federal & provincial level have been formed. Rigging & electoral malpractices were the hallmark of 2013 elections especially in Karachi and many areas of Punjab and Balochistan. PTI protested against the rigging and rightly so, however, with all such cases already filed with election tribunals, it is now time to move on.
PTI has got two proving grounds now -  a coalition govt role in KPK and an opposition role at federal level. Our performance in both these proving grounds will brighten or darken our prospects in future politics especially 2018 elections. What should PTI do to ensure it reaps the greatest dividends in both roles? The answer is
PTI must synchronize both these roles so that its opposition voice at federal level should aid its governance at KPK level.
Confused? Let me explain point-wise.
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White Paper about state of KPK Province as of June 2013:
PTI should publish a White Paper on the state of KPK as of today when PTI has taken over the province. It should point out all the problems and issue being faced, all the destruction done by previous govts and how the organizational structures have been ruined in KPK. This should serve as a yardstick for PTI performance and improvement in the situation may be periodically published too.
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Drone Strikes in FATA:
Drone attacks are being carried out in FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas). As the name suggests, FATA is not under KPK control so PTI has practically no say in ending drone strikes since neither the Chief Minister can order the Army / Airforce to shoot down nor are drone strikes happening within KPK limits. PTI assured the nation during election campaign that drones will be stopped (or shot down) if PTI comes to power at Centre. Since that has not happened, there is little PTI can do practically.
However, on moral and political grounds, PTI's KPK govt should get a strong-worded resolution passed from KPK assembly within weeks explicitly asking the feds to stop the killer birds or shoot them down. Simultaneously PTI MNAs must take up the issue in National Assembly and a strong worded resolution to the effect should be moved by PTI in National Assembly too. Also the issue should be highlighted in media forcefully. If possible, international organizations like CODEPINK and REPRIEVE may be involved in lobbying against the drones and forcing the federal govt to act.
Benefits:  If the Federal Govt agrees to this PTI demands on drones, KPK / FATA will become a bit peaceful and will help PTI bring the militants to talks table. Thus the province's people will get a great relief. If, however, the demand is not met, PTI can forcefully take on the Federal Govt over American Slavery. In this way PTI's electorate in KPK will be satisfied that their chosen representatives have done all they could for their relief.
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NATO Supplies:
NATO supplies from Karachi go Afghanistan via Chaman (Balochistan) and Torkham (FATA). The Torkham route includes a 50-70 km road travel within KPK but since the main highways are under National Highway Authority (a Federal organization), PTI's KPK govt can't stop the NATO supplies legally. However, it can use police to carry out detailed checking checking of every NATO supply truck passing through KPK limits. The Americans would never like their sealed containers to be opened and checked by Pakistanis, therefore, they will be forced to abandon this route and rely on Chaman route instead.
In addition PTI's KPK govt should get a strong-worded resolution passed from KPK assembly within weeks explicitly asking the feds to stop NATO supplies through KPK as the public outrage over the supplies disturbs peace in KPK. Simultaneously PTI MNAs must take up the issue in National Assembly and media and a strong worded resolution to the effect should be moved by PTI in National Assembly too.
Benefits:  If the Federal Govt agrees to this PTI demands on NATO supplies, it will help PTI bring the militants to talks table. Thus the province's people will be able to see a relative peace. If, however, the demand is not met, PTI can forcefully take on the Federal Govt over American Slavery. In this way PTI's electorate in KPK will be satisfied that their chosen representatives have done all they could for their relief.
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Energy Issue / Load-shedding:
KPK produces more than 4000 MW of highly economical hydro electricity (Tarbela, Warsak, Malakand I, II, III etc). The peak demand of KPK on the other hand is just around 2500-3000 MW which means KPK produces a surplus of 1000-1500 MW but the loadshedding hours in KPK are worse than Punjab or Sindh. 16-18 hours of scheduled and unscheduled outages are common in summer season.
PTI's KPK govt should raise this issue with Federal Govt and also in the Council of Common Interests (CCI). Constitutionally, a province producing an energy resource is the first priority user of that resource (as in the case of Natural Gas where Sindh is given 1st priority use). PTI's MNAs must follow this up religiously in National Assembly and in media. PTI's line should be that since KPK's electricity production is more than its peak demand, it should be completely exempted from loadshedding. The excess power may be given to other provinces only after meeting KPK's demand.
Benefit: If the Federal Govt agrees to this PTI demand, KPK will be free of loadshedding and the province's people will get a great relief. If, however, the demand is not met, PTI can forcefully take on the Federal Govt over injustices to KPK. In this way PTI's electorate in KPK will be satisfied that their chosen representatives have done all they could for their relief.
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Net Hydel Profit (NHP):
Article 161 (2) of the constitution guarantees the payment of Net Hydel Profit (NHP) to the province where a hydro project is located. The formula for payment of NHP was devised by the famous A.G.N Kazi Cimmittee and is known as Kazi Committee Mechanism (KCM). According to this formula KPK's share in NHP for 1991-92 was Rs. 6 Billion (with a provision for annual increase in accordance with electricity tarriff increase), however, the Govts of Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto flouted this consensus committee decision and NHP for KPK was capped at Rs. 6 Billion. On the persistent stand of KPK govt, an Arbitral Tribunal was formed to resolve the dispute which ruled partially in favour of KPK govt and decided that an annual increment of 10% over the capped amount of Rs 6 Billion be paid to KPK govt. For the 22 year period from 1991 to 2013, the arrears of NHP amount to more than Rs 200 Billion. Also the annual NHP for 2013 alone (according to the Arbitral Decision) becomes more than Rs 40 Billion. Sadly the Federal Govt is using delaying tactics even after the Arbitral decision and only 6-8 Billion per year is paid as NHP instead of 40 Billion.
PTI's KPK govt should raise this issue in writing with Federal Govt and Council of Common Interest. In synergy with KPK govt's official efforts on the issue, PTI must raise this issue vociferously in National Assembly and media.
Benefits: If the federal govt agrees to this PTI demand, these additional 40 Billion rupees per year will enable the KPK govt to develop the province and spend more on health and education etc. If, however, the demand is not met, PTI can forcefully take on the Federal Govt over injustices to KPK. In this way PTI's electorate in KPK will be satisfied that their chosen representatives have done all they could for their relief.
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Hydel projects in pipeline / SHYDO etc
KPK is blessed with abundant water resources and sites have been identified for small and medium hydropower projects at dozens of locations in Chitral, Kohistan, Shangla, Batgram, Mansehra, Swat, Dir etc. Some projects (nearly 1000 MW) are already in the advanced feasibility, implementation or completion phases.
With a concerted effort for completion of these projects in 2-3 years, KPK govt will be in a position to mitigate some of the electricity-related miseries of KPK.
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Management of MHP projects in Chitral, Kohistan, DIr, Swat
The hilly districts of Malakand and Hazara Divisions have hundreds of micro hydel power (MHP) stations where electricity is generated and consumed locally by the communities with support from govt / NGOs. A major problem with these projects is technical and management sustainability i.e. the implementing agency / govt forgets about the MHPs once they are commissioned. Since the technical expertise of the communities is limited, the plants run into trouble soon, with nobody to assist technically. KPK govt can learn a lot from the AKRSP (Aga Khan Rural Support Program) model whereby continued technical assistance is provided to communities in order to manage scores of MHPs in Chitral and GB.
This way KPK govt will be able to reduce the sufferings of population living in isolated hilly communities.
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Security Issues / Return of 290+ FC Platoons
The greatest challenge for KPK govt will be improving security situation but can that be done without adequate number of security personnel on duty? Surely not. However, one is shocked to learn that while KPK remains the worst hit by militancy etc, more than 290 platoons of its core civil security force FC (Frontier Constabulary) are attached on duties outside KPK i.e. Islamabad, Karachi etc. This means more than 10,000 security personnel of KPK are performing duties outside KPK while our province is burning; sounds like a big terrible joke.
Therefore, as a 1st step in this regard, PTI's KPK govt should in writing demand return of these 290+ FC platoons so that security situtation can be improved. Peshawar High Court has already given a judgement to this effect in November 2012 and the same can be used by KPK govt to press for the demand.
PTI MNAs must raise this issue in National Assembly and PTI should forcefully take up this issue on media and in talk shows.
Benefits: If federal govt returns the 290+ FC platoons, it will be a huge boost for security in the province.  If, however, the demand is not met, PTI can blame the federal govt for worsening law and order in the province. In this way PTI's electorate in KPK will be satisfied that their chosen representatives have done all they could for their relief.
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Education & Health Sector Funding from Federal Govt
PTI is getting KPK govt at atime when health and education infrastructure is in a precarious situation. More than 800 schools and scores of health facilities (BHUs, RHCs, Hospitals) have been destroyed in KPK and FATA (Note: FATA's education and health are managed by KPK govt). Reconstruction of these destroyed schools and health facilities is not possible within the limited health / education allocations of the province. Therefore, KPK govt at the very onset must take up this issue with federal govt in writing. It should be the responsibility of federal govt to fund reconstruction of these schools destroyed as a result of the federal govt's policies on war on terror and military operations etc.
PTI's MNAs must raise their voices in National Assembly in synergy with KPK govt's official correspondence. PTI must take up the issue on media.
Benefits:  If federal govt agress to the PTI demand, KPK govt will be in a position to concentrate on funding other education & health reforms. If, however, the demand is not met, PTI can blame the federal govt for ignoring KPK's legitimate demands. In this way PTI's electorate in KPK will be satisfied that their chosen representatives have done all they could for their relief.
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Local bodies elections:
There should be no dilly-dallying on this issue and KPK govt must hold LB elections within the promised time period of 3-4 months. Also the local bodies laws need to be revisited to ensure that the LB system is able to deliver in a true sense.
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Police / Patwari / Katchehri corruption:
Police, Patwari and Katchehri are three institutions where corruption is too evident and where the public suffers most and the whole impression of a govt can be suined. There fore PTI's KPK govt must ensure to rid the masses of corruption and mismanagement in these institutions.
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Development projects corruption / PWD works:
Thekedar Mafia must be reined in as they are the primary source of leakage and corruption in development schemes.
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Social Media Vigilance:
Youth and Social Media are definitely PTI's two strengths that have taken PTI this far. This is a huge potential and must be used to keep a check on performance of PTI MNAs / MPAs and administration officials in KPK. PTI KPK govt must maintain a vibrant social media cell (preferably volunteer or at most as interns) and keep themselves updated about any wrongdoings in KPK. Social media volunteers may form regional groups on Facebook to discuss and point out any flaws in implementation of PTI aganeda in their respective areas.  Corruption of govt officials and elected representatives should be reported and PTI must ensure that all such matters are probed and action taken against the concerned, if found guilty.
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KPK Govt Performance Review:
Performance of KPK Govt should be audited by PTI advisory committee on a quarterly basis and non-performing cabinet members should be removed after 6 months. Tasks should be given to MNAs / MPAs and ministers on quarterly basis and performance appraisal be done each quarter. This will ensure that they remain on their toes and the aim of good governance is achieved amicably.
Also, there should be a Zero Tolerance policy for corruption in the higher echelons of govt i.e. ministers, secretaries and top bureaucracy etc. PTI high-level inspection teams should periodically audit their conduct and performance and complaints against any top official must be probed thoroughly.

Word of Caution: PTI MNAs / MPAs / ministers must remember that KPK govt or MNA seats is by no means the ULTIMATE GOAL. These are merely the roads to the ultimate goal i.e. Naya Pakistan (2018 InshaAllah). Remember this is a Do or Die for PTI. We have to deliver in both our proving grounds, especially in KPK govt, to be able to lay a claim to the 2018 elections. Its upto us now. We may deliver Naya KPK and then claim Naya Pakistan in 2018 or we may do blunders in KPK and ruin chances of Naya Pakistan. Do or Die.
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The writer is a tribesman from Bajaur Agency (FATA) and tweets at @PTI_FATA (Just a volunteer; no official association with PTI)
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Disclaimer: This blog is not an official PTI webpage and is run by a group of volunteers having no official position in PTI. All posts are personal opinions of the bloggers and should, in no way, be taken as official PTI word.
With Regards,
"Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf FATA Volunteers" Team.


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