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February 7, 2016

KPEC chief may quit

Peshawar

February 7, 2016

Amendments to Ehtesab Act 2014

PESHAWAR: An extraordinary situation is looming large for the provincial government as the director general of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ehtesab Commission (KPEC) Lt Gen (R) Mohammad Hamid Khan has made up his mind to quit if the government made its desired amendments to the Ehtesab Commission Act 2014 to clip his powers.

A close contact of Hamid Khan on Saturday quoted him as saying that he would opt to resign than to act as a powerless dummy head of the Ehtesab Commission.

The retired general’s acquaintance also confirmed that he owned the letter he purportedly wrote to Chief Minister Pervez Khattak on February 4 pleading him to drop the proposed amendments to the Ehtesab Act 2014.

Hamid Khan in his letter, the copy of which has been shared with The News, said that the original Ehtesab Commission Act 2014 was passed with the sole intent of improving governance by curbing corruption in public service and as a consequence of the act an independent entity was formed in 2014.

The DG Ehtesab Commission wrote to the chief minister that since its inception the KPEC’s performance has been repeatedly hailed by Imran Khan, chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), as a singular achievement of the PTI-led coalition government in the province.

He informed the chief minister through his letter that in less than two years, the KPEC conducted 90 inquiries and 43 investigations and filed 13 references. He added that for the first time powerful ministers and bureaucrats have been put behind bar on the charges of corruption.

The letter said the credibility of the accountability process in the province would be jeopardised if the proposed amendments were made in the Ehtesab Commission Act.

“The changes would make the accountability process of the bureaucrats subservient to the executive,” it argued.

It added that the amendments would circumvent the powers of the KPEC to proceed against the parliamentarians accused of corruption.

The letter said that at a time when the Ehtesab Commission was pursuing probe into corruption allegations against senior ministers, advisors and bureaucrats, the amendments to the act to clip the powers of the director general would lead to concerns about the intent of the PTI government to pursue the anti-corruption agenda.

The DG Ehtesab Commission in his letter asked the chief minister to withdraw the proposed changes to the act as this would undermine the fundamental principle of independent and transparent accountability process in the province.

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