PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has ordered inquiry into the appointment of nurses in tribal district after receiving complaints that most of the newly-recruited persons belong to the settled districts.

The chief minister ordered the inquiry after it was revealed that a large number of the newly appointed nurses had come from his native Malakand division. Health Minister Taimur Jhagra denied foul play and insisted that the nurses were recruited on merit.

A statement said that the chief minister also suspended the appointment process and asked the inquiry committee to furnish him findings within a fortnight. The committee comprising secretaries of law, establishment and planning departments have been directed to ascertain as to why most of the appointed nurses belong to settled districts.

The health department recently appointed 482 nurses to serve in the hospitals of the tribal districts but most of the lawmakers and local people raised objection and staged protests against the process and alleged that those positions were meant for the residents of the merged districts only.

The committee would examine the terms of reference for the recruitment and would determine if the rules were followed or not and why the people of settled districts were appointed.

The chief minister instructed the committee members to probe whether the appointments were made through transparent process. He asked to him to report to him within two weeks. The panel has also been tasked to go through the documents, including academic qualification, training, ages and experiences of all the selected candidates and come with the conclusion if the laid down procedure was followed or not.

The committee would also make recommendations regarding changes in the policy to ensure appointments of majority domicile holders of merged districts in the healthcare outlets. The report, according to the statement, would be made public.

The chief minister said that government believed in transparency and merit in the recruitment process. He added that strict action would be taken against the responsible ones in case of any violation of merit and the set criteria in the instant case.

Published in Dawn, September 13th, 2021

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