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The failure of KP Ehtesab Commission

Dr. Asmatullah Khan

Any reformative step taken to control and curb corruption with sincerity and honesty certainly pave ways to achieve its target and objectives, if the steps are taken with sincerity and devotion and is not design to punish the political rivals on personal grudges. However, if such reformative measures are taken to get personal gains and to simply subjugate the political rivals, or for targeted political benefits, than it never succeeds to achieve its goals and objectives with true spirit. It is a known fact that almost in all the developed and developing countries, the government introduces various reforms and adopt serious strategies to control mega corruptions at country level. They grabbed with iron hands, the mighty politicians, bureaucrats, generals and rulers under anticorruption laws to completely root out corruption and mega embezzlements from the society/ country.

In addition, all those countries that is determined to m-ake their anticorruption’s mea-sures productive and successful, have shown substantial achievements in this respect. They have successfully recovered and returned trillion of dollars in the state treasuries from such looters. They have almost eliminated corruption from their countries on the basis of their own fair and honest governance without any discrimination. They acted to play their role to facilitate the poor’s and distributed facilities and amenities of life among the common people with complete justice. All such reforms launched in the larger interest of the country, are not having any ulterior motives. Conse-quently, they very successfully distributed amenities of life equally and put their countries on the track of accelerated development and prosperities and hence succeeded in making their countries free from corruption and accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few.

But unfortunately, the case of such measures in the form of Ehtesab Commissions and such other anti-corruption units in the developing countries like Pakistan are made to punish the political rivals, unwanted bureaucrats, army officials etc., and they use it as a camouflage to protect their own corruption and their fellow’s mighty politicians. Likely, the Ehtesab Commission constituted in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa seems to be a part of such institution, which is used to punish the political rivals and people of anti-groups. It’s almost five years functioning duration, proved the same role in the province, having a very malafide, dishonest and personal grudges based stories of victimizations. The Ehtesab Commission in KP was constituted almost in the early period of the present KP government. Initially, the selections of the members of the commission were certainly made purely on the basis of merit, their honesty and on the good reputation of the candidates. A very long procedure was followed in the selection process and the names of the short listed candidates seeking positions in the commission were floated again and again in the media for comments and observations of the public. But when, no such anti comments and objections against the short listed candidates were received, resultantly, a final selection was made. The names of the selected candidates were again floated in the local and national newspapers for comments and observations, before joining the assignment. The task through media was finalized and final selection of the candidates was approved.

Certainly thousands of rupees were spent on this repeated procedure with the intention to select capable and honest workers for this newly established Ehtesab Commission of KP. Consequently, very reputed, fair and honest selection was made purely on the basis of merit, reputation and honesty. Some of the selected members were highly qualified and were having international exposers as well and were certainly having great reputation during their previous jobs.  But when some dishonest and corrupt MPA’s of the ruling party, the Tehrekay Insaf, came to know about the strictness and straight forwardness of some of the selected members, then they leveled false allegations against some of them with their malafide intentions either on the basis of their personal grudges or on account of their personal enmity with them.

One very dignified member was debarred from the commission purely on personal grudges on account of his strict and honest nature. The involved MPA’s were well aware about his strict nature and non-compromising attitude. Therefore, it was certainly a danger for such corrupt MPA’s.

Hence, simply to keep away him from the commission with their own ulterior motives, and to keep his/ her corruption secrete, the selected member was made out on false and unproved baseless allegations. It is further worth mentioning that today just to protect the corrupt provincial ministers and MPA’s, every day new amendments are made in the Ehtesab Act and regulations.  Those already working in the said commission are also talking openly about its failure and also about the hurdles created in the way of its transparent functioning by the present Provincial Government.

Certainly the induction and selection of such a straight forward, honest, well reputed and highly qualified member, the ulterior designs of the corrupt mafia of the said party would have never been succeeded. Therefore, such well reputed, honest already selected members of the team was debarred from the commission on false, unproved and baseless self-made allegations to pave ways for their own corruption and embezzlements. Today, almost all the newspapers are openly highlighting the open corruption and mega scandals of the ruling party in KP. The everyday stories of their mega corruption published in the daily newspapers certainly needs to be investigated through fair and honest team of the Higher Courts Judges, because their open corruption for the first time in the history of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa kept the province under huge unbearable debt burden. Furthermore, since 2016, almost more than Rs. 400 million of this poor Province, have been spent on this commission, but their output is zero and it has been converted just to a complaints receiving office. It is certainly crystal clear that when such commissions are constituted in the name of controlling corruptions but are used to protect and safe guard the corruption of the ruling parties, how it will succeed to achieve the desired objectives of having a corruption free society. This is the basic reason that except, punishing the rivals; the commission is not having any creditable achievement.

Neither the slogans of corruption free society of the government nor the objective of disbursement of accumulated wealth from the corrupt mafia is achieved. Therefore, the present helpless and powerless Ehtesab Commission in KP is only present in the papers and is not delivering the desired services honestly, due to the regular interference of the KP government in its functioning.

As a result corruption prevails at a very high level in the KP and it is certainly at its climax and after the completion of their tenure cases of mega corruptions would hopefully be surfaced.

This poor province already suffered for almost more than 15 years due to the devastating terrorism and imposed afghan war. Regular bomb blasts in the province for almost 15 years has not only made the province socio -economically paralyzed and faced losses of precious lives but billion of financial losses, property damages and business collapses were also seriously observed due to the ill foreign policies and poor governance. Now, the open corruption and growing unemployment has further collapsed this poor province on account of ill planning policies and corrupt governance. The scandals of open mega corruptions at higher levels, which has been exposed recently by the opposition leaders in the news conference held on March 27th, 2018, like Khyber Bank Scandal, appointment of relatives and friends on key positions, corruptions of millions in the hospitals by the MTI’s, misuse of official helicopter, unproductive burden of Rs. 33 billion loan on the treasury of the province etc., are such issues, which certainly need to be investigated through fair commission constituted under the supervision of the senior judge of the High Court.

In KP almost all businesses, industries, trade and agriculture have been flopped and poverty and unemployment has reached to its climax, because of the incompetency of the government. The higher educational sector is also not functioning appropriately, due to the induction of the Vice Chancellors from other provinces and lack of Higher Education Commission office in KP for boosting the higher education and research. It is further worth mentioning that, all other provinces have established their own HEC offices for the acceleration of the Higher Education and Research in their provinces, except KP. Hence, it is essential to fairly reshape the Ehtesab Commission in the province for transparent working without any interference from the provincial government. The everyday negative reports published in the daily newspapers about the KP Ehtesab Commission are certainly lamentable. Furthermore, a severe punishment be given to those MPA’s, involved in making the commission unproductive due to their interferences, and debarring the already selected capable candidate from the commission.

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PM’s stance on Senate elections

Taking broad side of the state institutions has now become a routine matter for PML-N leaders. The Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, while addressing the inauguration ceremony of Chaudhry Abdul Hameed Cardiology Center in Lahore, said that recent Senate election should be scrapped and the senators who bought their way to the parliament should be sent packing. He said, “I have said it before and I will say it again that we reject these senate elections that were contested with the power of money.”

The Prime Minister criticized his party’s political opponents and opined that they do not expect any justice from accountability courts. He claimed that that all allegations against the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif are baseless. Accusations of horse trading in the elections of members of the upper house is not a new phenomenon in the political culture that was introduced in the country by the two mainstream political parties in the decade of 1980s and it was emulated by the regional parties as well. There is no need to cry over spilt milk. The recent Senate elections were apparently held in democratic manner through secret balloting and the statements that are tantamount to make it controversial run counter to national cohesion.

Pointing an accusing finger on law courts is the demonstration of an attitude which is conflict with the rule of and respect for the court of law. Every opportunity was given to the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to produce a money trial of the offshore assets of his family in the Supreme Court in Panama Papers Case and now the due process of law is fully being observed in the trial against him and his family members in the accountability court. One should better wait for the completion of hearing of the case in the court and announcement of verdict.

The Prime Minister gave a rosy picture about the performance of the government. He claimed that 10000 megawatt additional power has been inducted in the distribution system and economic rate growth has been raised from 3 percent to 5.7 percent. Load shedding of electricity for four hours has been started from 1st April on feeders wherefrom the recovery of bills is 100 percent and line losses are less than 10 percent. The consumers of cities and rural areas from whom the recovery is less than 50 percent and line losses on their feeders are more than 20 percent the duration of load shedding is 20 hours. The government stopped the import of furnace through PSO to encourage the conversion of private thermal power station to LNG but the move backfired and now the import of furnace oil has been allowed. However, the generation of thermal power dropped. The government can not clear the entire amount of circular debt and the likely shut down of IPPs will result in the power outages of much longer duration during June-September.

The positive impact of increase in economic growth is neither reflected in the macro economic indicators nor has its trickle down effect reached to the common man on micro side. Current account deficit has reached $ 18 billion; exports are stagnant at $ 20 billion for the last four years, and imports are at $ 36 billion plus. The burden of foreign debt has gone up to $ 90 billion, showing an increase of $ 45 billion and the country will face insolvency if a fresh IMF bail out does not materialize before June. The economy has slipped down to 147th position in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index. The percentage of population living below the poverty line has gone up from 40 to 60 percent. As per the UNDP report the Human Development Index of Pakistan is 0.5 percent which is even the lowest in comparison with number developing countries of South Asia. Tall claims and numbers game can not conceal the bitter facts for long.

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Trump accuses Amazon and The Washington Post

President Donald Trump escalated his assault on on Saturday, accusing the online retail giant of a “Post Office scam” and falsely stating that The Washington Post operates as a lobbyist for Amazon.

In a pair of morning tweets sent during his drive from his Mar-a-Lago estate to the nearby Trump International Golf Club, the president argued that Amazon costs the U.S. Postal Service billions of dollars in potential revenue.

Trump has repeatedly advanced this theory, even though officials have explained to him that Amazon’s contracts with the Postal Service are profitable for the agency.

The president also incorrectly conflated Amazon with The Post and made clear that his attacks on the retailer were inspired by his disdain for the newspaper’s coverage. He labeled the newspaper “the Fake Washington Post” and demanded that it register as a lobbyist for Amazon. The Post is personally owned by Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon, and operates independently of Amazon..

In Trump’s first of two tweets about Amazon, sent at 8:45 a.m., he wrote: “While we are on the subject, it is reported that the U.S. Post Office will lose $1.50 on average for each package it delivers for Amazon. That amounts to Billions of Dollars. The Failing N.Y. Times reports that ‘the size of the company’s lobbying staff has ballooned,’ and that…”

The president continued with a tweet sent seven minutes later: “…does not include the Fake Washington Post, which is used as a ‘lobbyist’ and should so REGISTER. If the P.O. ‘increased its parcel rates, Amazon’s shipping costs would rise by $2.6 Billion.’ This Post Office scam must stop. Amazon must pay real costs (and taxes) now!”

courtesy Chicago Tribune