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February 1, 2018

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PTI MPs, ministers running businesses besides holding govt positions

PESHAWAR: Contrary to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Chairman Imran Khan’s claims, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s several parliamentarians, provincial ministers and government office holders are simultaneously running their private businesses, whereas the provincial government has restricted the chief minister, cabinet members, speaker, deputy speaker and their staff from conducting private businesses. Against this backdrop, the provincial assembly has approved a bill, titled “The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Prevention of Conflict of Interest Act”. But, the PTI government big wigs declared that the relatives of these government officials are exempted from this bill; which allows some provincial ministers and government officers to run business in the name of relatives. Earlier in Faisalabad, PTI chief Imran Khan had claimed that after the PTI would form provincial government, laws would be introduced to prevent holder of government office from doing business. Exactly opposite to his claims, the PTI members holding government offices in KP are running private business —even when the PTI is running the government for almost five years now.

The KP Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser is not only running a school-college system called “Quaid-e-Azam School and College” in the province, but he is also serving as its director. Even his name is available on the school’ website, which clearly mentions that he is a serving director. The Quaid-e-Azam School and College network is also present in Mardan, Swabi and Peshawar.

The PTI's provincial Higher Education Minister Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani is also the owner of Pine Hills Public School and College System. The Jamaat-i-Islami’s provincial Finance Minister Muzaffar Syed is running two schools called Islamia Model School and Pakistan Cadet School. He is also serving as the school principal. Parliamentary Secretary for Law Arif Yousuf is the owner of a famous fast food chain called “Johnny Cone”.

Provincial Health Minister Shahram Khan Tarakai and his father Liaquat Khan Tarakai, who is also PTI’s Senator are the owners of Imperial Cigarette International Private Limited, Gloria Jean’s Coffee International, Unitube International Manufacture of Tobacco, Food.com Private Limited, Cakewalk Private Limited, Islamia High School Swabi and Crown Plaza and Hotel.

Similarly, KP chief minister’s parliamentary secretary Shaukat Ali Yousafzai is the owner of a local newspaper “Surkhab”; and his brother is running its operations. Provincial Education Minister Atif Khan is a partner with his brother in a medicine company called “Fox and Rules”. The PTI member assembly Iftikhar Khan Mashwani has a furniture business.

Speaking to The News, KP’s Parliamentary Secretary for Law Arif Yousuf clarified that he owned property and business before becoming part of the government and now he helps his father to run the business.

He further added the speaker and provincial ministers’ schools and colleges were functional even before they became part of the government. However, since they are part of the government now, their schools and colleges are being managed by their relatives.

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