It has taken the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly exactly one year to acknowledge the sacrifice of brave Hangu teenager Aitzaz Hasan who embraced a suicide bomber on January 6, 2014 and saved the lives of 300 schoolmates.
As Hasan’s death anniversary was marked across the country on Tuesday, opposition and treasury lawmakers of the provincial assembly showed rare unity and adopted a unanimous resolution praising the young hero.
PPP lawmaker Nighat Orakzai raised the matter in the house on a point of order and Speaker Asad Qaiser asked her to table a resolution after consulting other parliamentary leaders.
In stark contrast, when the assembly met on January 11, 2014 after the Hangu incident, Orakzai had raised Hasan’s sacrifice in the house only to be sidelined by a minister who tried to brush the issue under the carpet with a confusing rant about the causes of terrorism.
However, this time the house had a consensus; Nighat Orakzai, PPP’S Syed Mohammad Ali Shah Bacha, QWP’s Bakht Baidar Khan, JI’s Inayatullah Khan, PTI’s Imtiaz Shahid, JUI-F’s Munawar Khan and AJIP’s Shahram Khan Tarakai jointly moved the resolution.
“For more than a decade, K-P has turned into a battlefield. Not only security personnel but civilians have laid down their lives,” read the resolution. It added that the sacrifices of Aitzaz Hasan and Army Public School students and teachers have united the nation against terrorism.
“Aitzaz sacrificed himself to save 300 of his schoolmates and teachers. This assembly pays tribute to him for this selfless act,” the resolution read, asking the provincial government to name Kohat-Hangu Road after Aitzaz Hasan.
Lawmakers also demanded “fictitious tales” be removed from school curriculum and chapters on local heroes added.
Incidentally, ANP’s Syed Jafar Shah also attempted to put Swat teenager Malala Yousafzai’s name in the resolution. However, the final draft passed by the house did not have her name. The provincial assembly has yet to praise or congratulate the Swat teenager who recently made the nation proud by winning the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize.
Another resolution was unanimously adopted by the assembly against Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited’s construction of a gas pipeline from Karak and Kohat gas fields to Faisalabad. Lawmakers from the treasury and opposition benches moved the joint resolution which stated that by law, natural gas should be provided to residents of the area where it is produced.
According to the resolution, providing gas to Faisalabad and other cities of Punjab is an injustice to the people of Kohat, Hangu and Karak as well as the rest of the province. The house pressed the provincial government to request the Centre to stop work on the pipeline, provide the resource to K-P’s districts first and then to other provinces.
Yet another resolution presented in the house was passed by the lawmakers on Tuesday. The decree asked the government to stop the collection of Rs24.99 as tax on Rs100 prepaid mobile recharge cards in Malakand Division, which is a tax-free zone.
Meanwhile, the K-P Sensitive and Vulnerable Establishments and Places (Security) Bill 2014 was passed, while an amendment to the K-P Speaker and Deputy Speaker (Salaries, Allowances and Privileges) Amendment Bill 2014 was also passed.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 7th, 2014.