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PESHAWAR: In its first major move, the newly-elected PTI government has decided to do away with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ehtesab Commission established by its predecessor four years ago, insisting that the accountability body has failed to come up with the goods.

The decision was made during the cabinet’s maiden meeting, which took place here on Wednesday with Chief Minister Mahmood Khan in the chair.

The KPEC was set up in 2014 in line with the ruling PTI’s electoral promise of establishing an independent accountability body.

It however remained largely dysfunctional afterwards.

Cabinet insists accountability body has failed to deliver; NAB, ACE to be strengthened

The last PTI government didn’t appoint the successor to its first director general, retired lieutenant general Hamid Khan, after he stepped down in Feb 2016.

Also, a constant tug of war between its two organs, including directorate and commissions, and amendments to the law governing it virtually paralysed the accountability body.

Spokesman for the provincial government Shaukat Yousafzai and finance minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra later informed reporters about the cabinet’s decision about the KPEC abolition.

Mr Yousafzai said since the commission was not delivering the goods and therefore, the government couldn’t continue to spend money on it besides the National Accountability Bureau and anti-corruption establishment.

He said the law department would decide about the cases pending with the KPEC and other relevant issues.

The government’s spokesman denied that the KPEC’s creation was a waste of the taxpayers’ money.

“It’s a big organisation and the PTI had to create it as the NAB didn’t perform well,” he said.

Mr Yousafzai said the NAB and ACE would stay put and the newly-elected government would strengthen them.

He said the cabinet discussed the government’s plans for first 100 days and decided to set up task forces for their implementation.

The spokesman said the government would extend the Sehat Sahulat Programme to all those aged above 65 and the people with disabilities.

He said KP’s local government system fared far better than other provinces’ and therefore, it would be replicated in the provinces ruled by the PTI.

Mr Yousafzai however hinted at some changes to the provincial local government law and said the LG department would propose those amendments.

He said the government had done a considerable work in technical education sector and would seek the help of the Aman Foundation for further improvement.

The spokesman said the government was fully committed to eradicating corruption from public health, irrigation and communication and works departments and would establish monitoring cells for the purpose.

He said the cabinet also discussed police reforms in the province and decided to address deficiencies in the law on police affairs and consult the Peshawar High Court’s chief justice on judicial reforms.

Mr Yousafzai said the province would ask the centre to fund the Chashma Right Bank Canal irrigation project to turn around the province’s agricultural sector.

He said the provincial government would discourage the launch of housing societies to protect agricultural lands.

The spokesman said the government would make efforts for the early completion of the Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit and Swat Motorway, plant trees in cities, and harness the province’s hydel power potential.

A statement issued here said the cabinet was briefed about the government’s first 100-day plan to improve quality of services, ensure speedy dispensation of justice, improve local government system, extend different departments to the tribal districts, and strengthen police in the province.

It quoted Chief Minister Mahmood Khan as saying Fata’s merger had created challenges for the province like infrastructure development, efficient services and extension of existing institutions to the tribal districts, and more importantly the mainstreaming of those districts and provision of basic facilities to their people.

Published in Dawn, September 6th, 2018