Governance in KP?

Ghulam Idris Khan

A news appeared in a national daily that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government is unable to utilize development funds as per their allocation, even though finance department releases funds in time and in a demand-driven fashion. The Annual Development Program (ADP) of government reflects its seriousness for the upgradation and improvement of the status of masses. The non-utilization of funds allocated for particular projects or schemes, or low expenditure on the program, shows the direction of government and reflects the attitude of the government towards the governance and is seriousness in solving common man’s difficulties. The newspaper carried news item with this headline: “KP utilized only 18% of development fund in six months”

The total annual program of KP government is 208 billion rupees, which include 82 billion foreign loans, grants from World Bank, European Union, DFID, JICA, UNDP and USAID.

There are some areas where expenditures are more than allocation. For example, road sector in KP is most fortunate to get lion’s share and utilization is up to 85% in six months, whereas the PTI government has only less than five month at their disposal. The trend indicates that government’s thinking is that of showcase projects.

The utilization of district government and other poor people, rural community base departments like agriculture is around 10%. The religious minority department is 8.92%. Finance department of government of KP midyear report indicates that out of released amount of 70 billion, KP govt utilized only 39.6 billion which comes to the same amount against the total development budget as reported in press. The PTI leadership has claimed that they have made reforms in health sector but looking at the allocation for health sector development, its utilization is only 24%. Same is the case with the elementary and secondary education department where the utilization is hardly 20%, and the condition of population and labour department is almost same. These figures depicts the gloomy picture, while PTI chairman claims on daily bases that education and health departments have been revolutionized.

The low utilization of development budget shows incompetency and bad governance. Government money is blocked which can be utilized for other important projects and is in serious violation of government financial rules which also attracts the objection for audit.

Credit must be given to Pervez Khattak, CM of KP for utilizing more than allocated budget for road projects, which by all means is preparation for jumping into the election ring. Whereas his Chairman, Imran Khan thinking is that prosperity doesn’t come from construction of roads and metro and repeatedly call them gimmicks. The CM KP is concentrating in the opposite direction to his Chairman’s theory.

Pervez Khattak has only been a contractor knowing wheeling  and dealing with the contractors. He has consumed more time sitting outside the offices of communication and works departments and Public Works Department offices. Now he has turned into a pragmatic politician.

A large number of videos are available on social media about police torture and bribes. PTI Chairman daily talks on media  and in public meetings that KP police has now converted into people’s friendly police. The KP police from day one has been better than police force of any other province in public dealings, due to Pashtun culture and tradition.

In May 2015 during local bodies elections in the constituency of PK-13 (that of Pervez Khattak), PTI’s official candidate for district and tehsil members of the councils in District Nowshera lost to independent candidate after which CM engaged himself for damage control mission and asked the independent candidate to join his camp. In one of ceremonies, video of which is available on social media, the elected independent member while joining the PTI asked the CM ‘what reforms PTI is talking about the police, this station house officer (SHO) is asking for bribe money from me when I came to rescue the poor common man which is in police custody’.

PTI government with tall claims established Ehtisaab Commission and a retired army officer at the rank of Lieutenant General was appointed the chief of the organization. The commission’s first political arrest was former minister and PPP leader Liaqat Shabab from Nowshera once a friend, a political master and colleague from District Nowshera of the Chief Minister Pervez Khattak. Another was Ziaullah Afridi, a PTI minister from Peshawar. It was reported in media that Ziaullah Afridi, minister for mines was reluctant to give favor and grant of licenses to CM’s relatives for mining in Nowshera, the home town of chief minister, due to which heated arguments and exchange of inappropriate language between CM and minister for mines took place in presence of Imran Khan at Bani Gala, which ended after physical engagement between the two. Afterwards Afridi was arrested. Both Shabab and Afridi were released by Peshawar High Court, afterwards.

KP government also handpicked political appointments to the lucrative entities like PEDO in the past.

Not asingle hospital has been established in the current government of KP. The hospital which was recently inaugurated in Nowshera for which PTI claims all the credit, was initiated in PPP government in 1995. Later some work was done by MMA government. It was only completed recently.

Reports indicate that hospitals were handed over to a relative of Imran Khan, Mr. Burki, who travels from USA to preside over board of governors meeting on government exchequer. The hospitals’s state of affairs was exposed by TV anchor Mubashir Luqman in one of his show.

When dengue hit the KP in general and Peshawar in particular previous year, the PTI government was unable to control the situation and a team of doctors from Punjab was called on for help in which one of the doctor lost his life fighting the epidemic.

There is not even a single Forensic Science Laboratory in KP and the samples are sent to Lahore whenever needed. Is it really that hard to establish a forensic science laboratory or the government just doesn’t care about it?

And if we talk of education which the PTI government claims is best in the whole country, statistics shows that 2.0 million children at the age of 5-7 are not enrolled in school.  Chairman of PTI was claiming that parents are now taking out their students from privates schools and admitting them in the  public schools due to the high standard of education there. I think we all know the truth. Reality on ground is that in 10th grade exams of different education boards result depict gloomy picture of government institutions. None of the students on the top ten list from government schools, rather private schools owned and run by government minister and speaker KP assembly topped the board exams. It also reported in media that one student hailing from private school of KP minister got 110  numbers out of 100 marks in  mates paper. Such marvels happen in good governance. From the last four and half year, the PTI government is unable  to produce a single student of reputable private school in Peshawar presented before the media to substantiate the PTI chairman claims.

Although a “change” does occurred in higher education, when  a PTI MNA from Swat appeared in exam in Peshawar University and passed the semester exam in a one hour in one day. This scandal landed in Peshawar High Court too. One news report said that fake degrees are on sale in “KP university”.

Let us not discuss the deadly attack on Church in Peshawar, Army public School Peshawar, Baacha Khan University Charsadda, but how can people ignore the role of police on the brutal murder of Mashal Khan, a student of Abdul Wali Khan university in Mardan in the presence of police in the campus. This incident shocked the entire nation. It is also reported in the media that principal accused has gone outside the Pakistan with the assistance of local PTI leadership on February 7th. ATC awarded death sentence to  one of the accused and set free 26 other and  some are convicted to jail. The  principal accused said to be PTI of councilor Arif khan and two other are declared as absconders. The acquittal is the outcome of poor and weak prosecution at the part of the KP govt. The father of Mashal Khan Iqbal Lala while talking to BBC in London showed displeasure over it.

The most pathetic incident happened in Dera Ismail Khan in October 2017 where a gang of 8 to 9 people stripped a girl naked and forced her to run in front of them. According to her brother, his sister later took refuge in nearby house but the suspect dragged her out. He claimed that the SHO first delayed the registration of FIR and later on booked FIR against us. It was reported in media that Amin Gandapur of the Honey fame, a local PTI leader and minister allegedly supported the suspects. This was claimed by PTI MNA from Tank DIK. After the incident, the PTI MNA Dawar Kundi sent letter to PTI chairman. He alleged that KP minister Ali Amin Gandapur was sheltering the culprits. In this case, principal accused are still not arrested and the Peshawar High Court’s two member bench directed  police to expedite the process and efforts to ensure the arrest of the principal accused and asked for progress report on next date. Qazi Anwer Advocate who appeared on behalf of the woman informed the bench that Basharat, the SHO, had taken the mobile carrying the video of incident and was trying to destroy the evidence in the case.

The recent incident in Kasur Punjab is deplorable and need exemplary punishment to the culprit, which exposed the good governance in Punjab. However such horrific incident of minor girls and boys took place in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but largely go unnoticed in media.

As such incidents are not getting media attention due society structure in KP. No political leader visited the victim family. One MNA from Mardan visited Kasur, but did not have the courage to visit a victim of his own district, where a minor at the age of six year was molested in Mardan. In 2nd week of January, a minor girl was killed after sexually assault on her in sugarcane field in Mardan. In 25 days police was unable to trace the culprit until DNA report reached KP police from Punjab forensic lab. It speaks the efficiency of police. In suo moto case, Supreme Court of Pakistan took the KP police to task. The Chief Justice observed, “we have heard a lot of that KP police have become very efficient in the province, but your incapability has made you dependent on others that’s why a lot time is being consumed.”

And recently, a female medical student was killed few examples of KP model police. The chief justice remarked that the suspect was said to be relative of a PTI leader and questioned how he was able to flee the country.

All these failures of police really makes one to question in Kohat but the culprit is still at large and KP police is still not been able to trace him down. With such incidents, how can Imran Khan and Pervez Khattak claim that KP police is best. Best in what? We need answers.

Now for the first time chairman PTI and chief minister KP is on NAB raider,  for unofficial use of KP government helicopter for 74 hours. The two helicopters were used on cheaper price by misuse of authority. If hired, these helicopters from private firm rate could be from one million to 1.2 million, where the KP government charges only 28,000 per hour. This is another example of good governance. The trips mostly initiated from Bani Gala and the ride was not only enjoyed by Imran Khan but his staff like Naheemul Haq,Fazal Javed, and singer-turn-politician Ibrar ul Haq.

Now when the PTI government in the KP is on last leg of its tenure, enough questions are assembled in the mind of KP people, which need answers.