PESHAWAR: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday launched the Micro Health Insurance Programme and assured to provide health insurance cards to every family in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province Under the Kamyab Pakistan Programme, the micro health insurance will provide free medical services worth Rs1million annually to 7.5 million families in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Imran Khan arrived in Peshawar despite being directed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to not visit in view of the forthcoming local government elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
According to a letter by the regional election commissioner, the Prime Minister has been asked not to visit Peshawar ahead of scheduled local bodies’ elections in the KP on December 19.
The ECP, hence, warned Imran Khan of legal action in case of any violation of its code of conduct under Sections 233 and 234 of the Election Act of Pakistan.
Referring to ECP’s notice, KP Minister for higher education Kamran Bangash clarified that the Prime Minister’s visit to Peshawar is of a “purely official nature”. “He will only take part in a ceremony at the Governor’s House and will not attend any election or public gathering in Peshawar,” he added.
He further added that the day was part of the day-to-day affairs of the state and there should be no restriction on such visits.
However, the premier said that making Pakistan a welfare state is the government’s first priority. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) won a second time in KP over taking steps to reduce poverty, he added.
Earlier in the day, the premier had arrived in Peshawar on a day-long visit where he met the Chief Minister and Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Administrative issues and the political situation of the province were discussed during the meeting.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhary Fawad Hussain was also present.
Meanwhile, Regional election commissioner Saeed Ahmed on Wednesday directed Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan to not embark on Peshawar visit.
In a letter, the election commissioner stated that he got to know about the PM’s Peshawar tour from newspapers. The Prime Minister cannot visit Peshawar after scheduling local bodies’ elections.
After the issuance of election schedule, the president, PM, governor, speaker, deputy speaker of any assembly, chairman and deputy chairman of Senate, federal and provincial ministers, advisors to PM of CM or any other holder of public office shall not visit the area of any local council to announce any development scheme or to canvass or campaign for about political party; in case if someone is resident of the district where elections are being held, he may visit the district, however, shall not take part in any kind of political activity, the letter mentioned.
The regional election commission further stated, “You are advised not to violate any provision of the code of conduct and instructions issued by Election Commission of Pakistan, otherwise, legal proceedings under section-233 and 234 of Election Act, 2017, shall be initiated against you.”
Earlier, addressing a press conference, special assistant to the chief minister on information and public relations, Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif said that the PM during his visit would launch a Pakistan Card that would encompass the government’s welfare initiatives including Ehsaas Ration Card, Health Card and Kisan Card.
Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill has said that Prime Minister Imran Khan is the Chief Executive of the whole country and his visit to Peshawar is purely of administrative nature.
In a tweet on Wednesday, he said Imran Khan could visit any part of the country for administrative purposes. It was absolutely wrong to link the visit of the Prime Minister with any upcoming election, he said.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021