PTI Founder Group calls for resignation of KP CM, ministers

ISLAMABAD, Sept 4 (APP): The Founder Group of Pakistan
Tehreek i Insaf (PTI) Sunday called for immediate resignation of KP Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak and all PTI ministers for being involved in corruption.

The Group, in a conference here, also demanded a judicial
inquiry into the distribution of development funds in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), which have been allegedly siphoned off by blue eyed members of the provincial assembly (MPAs) and ministers.

Addressing a press conference after the Group’s first
national consultative conference, Group Convener Akbar S Babar also asked the PTI Chairman Imran Khan to present himself for accountability before an independent commission comprising fair and impartial party members.

He alleged that Imran Khan as the party chief had, prima
facie, failed to enforce fundamental principles of transparency, accountability, and merit in the party affairs.

He said former KP Ehtisab Commission Director General Lt
Gen (retd) Hamid Khan had also started investigation against
the CM and other ministers for their alleged corruption.

Akbar S Babar said the Group had demanded full implementation of all orders of the PTI Election Tribunal, including the expulsion of Jahangir Khan Tareen, Pervez Khattak, Aleem Khan, and Nadir Leghari from the party on serious corruption charges.

He said the conference rejected the appointment of all PTI
office bearers considering the same extra constitutional and devoid of any legal authority.

He said the Founder Group had rejected dictatorship
prevailed in the party and demanded restoration of the PTI constitution to transform the party into a democratic institution.

The conference, he said, acknowledged the services of Tasnim Noorani as the head of the PTI Election Commission along with other members and demanded their immediate restoration to hold honest intra party elections.

The conference also acknowledged the services of Justice
(retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed for his resolute stand against the corrupt and rejected his suspension of party membership, he added.

He said to save the party from serious legal and political
implications, the conference demanded that the PTI should offer the Election Commission of Pakistan to conduct a detailed forensic audit of its accounts to establish the scale and scope of the alleged corruption and violation of relevant laws and hold the guilty accountable according to law.

The conference endorsed an institutional national
reconciliation process to heal the genuine grievances of party workers whose sacrifices have been ignored and continue to suffer in the absence of fair play and merit in the party.

Babar said it was decided to establish a ‘Central
Committee’ of the PTI Founders Group which would be announced within one week after an inclusive consultative process.

Similarly, provincial committees would be formed at the
provincial levels and subsequently at district levels, he said,
adding that their task would be to mobilize the PTI workers at all levels to ensure implementation of the ‘September 4, 2016 Declaration.’

The Central Committee, he said, would finalize the TORs
(terms of reference) of its own and provincial committees.
Speaking on the occasion, Lt Gen (Retd) Hamid Khan, former DG KP Ehtisab Commission, said he was selected by a scrutiny committee set up under the Ehtisab Act 2014 to establish an independent and transparent accountability process in the province.

He said in less than two years, the Commission conducted 90 inquiries, 43 investigations, followed with 13 references.

For the first time in KP’s history, he said, the process of
holding powerful sitting ministers and senior bureaucrats accountable was initiated by the Ehtisab Commission.

The independent and transparent accountability process was
derailed as soon as the Ehtisab Commission started actively pursuing evidence based inquiries and investigations of corruption against the KP Chief Minister, senior ministers, advisors and bureaucrats, he claimed.

He said the tactics employed by the KP government to destroy the independent accountability process was by diluting the powers of the DG Ehtisab as originally stipulated in the Ehtisab Act 2014.

Thus, making the accountability process subservient to the
Executive, he said, an ‘axis of the corrupt’ was formed between the government, opposition, and some senior bureaucrats to derail the independent accountability process that resulted in passing of the amendments through an ordinance in haste.

He said, “I personally briefed Imran Khan about the serious
implications of diluting the Ehtisab Act 2014. Each time he agreed but never took any action to ensure the continuation of an independent and transparent accountability process.”

He said the amendments to the KPK Ehtesab Act 2014
undermined the fundamental principle of an independent and transparent accountability process forcing him to resign in February rather than be part of a ‘farcical accountability process’.

Hamid Khan claimed that Imran Khan had committed to merge the Anti Corruption Establishment Department of the provincial government with the Ehtesab Commission but this was not done.

He said meetings on matters related to Ehtesab Commission, including allocation and release of funds for it, were held at the residence of PTI Chairman Imran Khan and attended by PTI MNAs, including Asad Umer and Jahangir Khan Tareen creating conflict of interest situations.

He said the External Wing of the Ehtisab Commission was not established limiting the capacity of commission to investigate looted money siphoned off to destinations such as Dubai etc.

He said the Ehtisab Commissioners were patronized by the CM to create rift by authorizing salaries and perks and privileges against the Original Ehtisab Act 2014 which only stipulated honoraria for commissioners.

He said, “At the time of my resignation, the CM and his close
family members were under investigations for alleged illegal mining of 60 lakh tons of chromite from Tangi Charsadda worth billions of rupees.”

He said the CM was also under investigations for allegedly
favouring his near and dear ones in profitable mining in Nowshera and elsewhere.

The former DG Ehtisab Commission said 270 kanals of forest land was illegally leased out to a firm reportedly owned by relatives of a PTI’s blue eyed minister for building tourist chalets despite written objections of the forest department.

He said some senior opposition leaders were also under
investigation for accumulating wealth way beyond their known sources of income.

Most of the investigations, he said, started against the
sitting CM, ministers, bureaucrats and opposition leaders have been shelved after changes in the Ehtisab Act and the Commission.

He alleged that after his resignation, the KP Ehtisab
Commission had become practically dysfunctional. Without any fear of retribution or accountability, reports indicated of spiraling corruption in KP, he added.

He said, “In my considered opinion, about 60 per cent of the
development funds are siphoned off in KP due to corruption which, is unacceptable for a province that is in desperate need of development.”