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February 11, 2019

Conspirators’ out to curtail KP CM’s powers

National

February 11, 2019

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai denied any differences in the PTI leadership and said Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has been taking decisions independently amid reports that certain influential people in the bureaucracy in the centre and province were trying to appoint some officers on important positions against his will.

“I don’t think any major transfers and postings can be done without the consent of the chief minister. He is the chief executive of the province and Prime Minister Imran Khan has given him full authority to exercise all his constitutional powers,” Shaukat Yousafzai said.

He said Chief Minister Mahmood Khan would not spare any bureaucrat if found involved in creating hurdles in government affairs.

The reports claimed that efforts after being made to appoint Shahab Ali Shah as principal secretary to the chief minister and his close relative Ikramullah Khan as commissioner Peshawar despite Mahmood Khan’s unwillingness.

Shahab Ali Shah is presently serving as commissioner Peshawar while Ikramullah Khan is the secretary Home and Tribal Affairs Department.

Sources in the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) told The News that both the officers had held important positions in the past, apparently due to their connections in the political circles and bureaucracy.

According to sources, former caretaker chief minister Justice (R) Dost Mohammad Khan had written against three government officials including Shahab Ali Shah, commissioner Peshawar, Ikramullah Khan, secretary Home, and Mohammad Tahir Khan, former Inspector General of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police.

He had blamed them for not complying with the decisions taken in the meeting held at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat on July 11, 2018.

“Shahab Ali Shah, Commissioner Peshawar division was proposed for his transfer and posting to the Establishment Division, government of Pakistan. He is an unwilling worker and was placed at the disposal of federal government for further posting. Earlier, before this, the incumbent officer was posted and his services were placed at the disposal of government of Balochistan by the Establishment Division but it was not acted upon,” the former caretaker chief minister had mentioned in an official letter, a copy of which is available with The News. The caretaker chief minister had expressed almost similar remarks about Ikramullah Khan and Mohammad Tahir.

“In view of the above and to maintain high profile of security regime and the duty, after consultation with the competent authority at the federal level (both the ECP and PMO), Mr Mohammad Tahir the incumbent IGP may be immediately relieved of his duty and he should report to the Establishment Division government of Pakistan Islamabad immediately,” the then chief minister had written about ex-IGP Mohammad Tahir.

Other senior officers were transferred and posted but Shahab Ali Shah and Ikramullah Khan’s transfer orders were cancelled.

It had shocked chief minister Dost Mohammad Khan and sources close to him claimed that he had made up his mind to quit along with his cabinet members about 15 days before the general election.

However, according to sources, Dost Mohammad’s close friends and family members requested him not to resign.

After the July 2018 general election, IGP Mohammad Tahir was transferred but Shahab Ali Shah and Ikramullah Khan continued to occupy their positions they held before the polls.

According to PTI leadership in Peshawar and Islamabad, they had informed Prime Minister Imran Khan about the negative role of some of the party people and senior civil servants in the province and federal level against Chief Minister Mahmood Khan.

“There are certain players constantly working to weaken Mahmood Khan as they wanted him to act upon their dictation. The chief minister is aware of these conspirators but he is very simple and down-to-earth person,” said a senior PTI leader and cabinet member in Peshawar.

He said Mahmood Khan would never be able to deliver if he was not given a free hand to take decisions for betterment of the province.

He said a senior bureaucrat close to Imran Khan in Islamabad was also supporting a faction in the PTI that was out to weaken Mahmood Khan and his government in KP.

According to the cabinet member, the same bureaucrat was using his influence to appoint Shahab Ali Shah as principal secretary to the chief minister, Ikramullah Khan as commissioner Peshawar and Arshad Majeed as secretary information.

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