Monday December 06, 2021

Charges against CSO, govt officials found baseless

August 02, 2021

PESHAWAR: An inquiry conducted by the Directorate of Social Welfare, Special Education and Women Empowerment, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has found the allegations levelled by a transgender person against a civil society organisation (CSO), government officials and public representatives as baseless and recommended punitive action to discourage such practices in future.

Arzoo, a transgender person, whose birth name is Amanullah, had levelled allegations against Blue Veins, a CSO, that works for the vulnerable sections of the society, officials of the Social Welfare, Special Education and Women Empowerment Department and some KP Assembly members.

Speaking to the media during a seminar, she had accused the CSO of misusing the funds received for transgender community from government and international organizations, bribing the Social Welfare Department officials and facilitating public representatives to curry favour with them.

The allegations were carried by a section of the print media, aired by some private TV channels and posted on social media.

The Directorate of Social Welfare, Special Education and Women Empowerment constituted a two members inquiry committee to look into the allegations.

The probe body comprised of Muhammad Khalid, Deputy Director, and Nadia Shah, Assistant Director (Registration). The committee summoned Arzoo and Qamar Naseem of Blue Veins.

The committee in a six-page report concluded that Arzoo denied levelling allegations despite the documentary evidence placed against her.

Qamar Naseem appeared before the committee with proof, added the inquiry committee, saying charges were levelled to defame Blue Veins.

He said his organisation had neither received funding from KP Assembly, Social Welfare, other government departments nor from the United Nations Development Programme or OutRight Action International.

Qamar Naseem told the inquiry committee Arzoo was never expelled from Blue Veins board of governors and completed a three years tenure during which she was not entitled to any salary.

He said Blue Veins or government officials had never misused funds allocated for transgender persons, adding the organisation did not bribe government officials.

The inquiry committee concluded that allegations against Blue Veins, officials of the Social Welfare Department and public representatives were baseless and ill-intended.

The findings said Arzoo was given a hearing and asked to produce proof in support of her allegations but she failed.

It concluded that the allegations were part of a malicious campaign to discredit non-profit organisations and defame the government departments and public representatives.

The committee said the accuser was an employee of the Local Government Department and was also running Manzil Foundation as its president which was registered with the KP Industries Department.

The inquiry committee recommended approaching the relevant office for disciplinary proceedings against the accuser and asking the Industries Department to suspend activities of Manzil Foundation.

The accuser was asked to tender a written apology to the Secretary Social Welfare, KP Assembly speaker and Blue Veins chairperson for levelling groundless allegations against them.