PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly’s Secretariat has refused to share recruitment details with the anti-corruption establishment (ACE).

The ACE had asked the PA secretariat for those records after receiving in April ‘a source report’ about the alleged corruption, irregular appointments, and misuse of power at the assembly’s administrative unit.

A senior ACE official told Dawn that an inquiry into those allegations was ordered with the inquiry officer being tasked with coming up with a detailed report about them.

“We took up the issue and wrote a letter to the secretary KP Assembly on April 11 and sought all records of the recruitment,” he said.

ACE holding probe into alleged corruption and anomalies in appointments

The letter, a copy of which is available with Dawn, read that the complaint was being followed by the ACE’s Special Investigation Wing and that the ACE sought recruitment details under Section 3(3) of the KP ACE Rules, 1999.

“We asked the assembly’s secretariat for the recruitment advertisements, candidate attendance sheet, signed working paper of candidates, their academic records, appointment orders, personal numbers, and salary slips,” the official said.

He said the ACE also requested the secretariat to produce the attested copies of the relevant records within three days for further action.

However, the official said relevant officials of the provincial assembly’s secretariat “verbally” refused to share any details saying they could do so only after receiving formal orders of Speaker Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani.

He said that last year, too, the assembly’s secretariat refused to share the same records with the Provincial Inspection Team (PIT).

A PIT official told Dawn on condition of anonymity that on Dec 29, 2022, the inspection team wrote a letter to the PA secretariat seeking recruitment details.

He, however, said that the secretariat didn’t respond to the communication.

The official said that the PIT sent the secretariat another letter on January 3, 2023, and third on Jan 5, 2023, but didn’t receive any reply.

He said that the inquiry was later closed by the PIT.

On April 26, the Peshawar High Court issued notices to the speaker and the secretary of the KP Assembly seeking their response to a petition, which challenged appointments to the assembly over the alleged violation of the principle of merit.

The petitioners requested the court to declare the appointment of other candidates illegal and sought the court’s orders for the assembly’s secretary to scrap the entire recruitment exercise before starting it afresh in line with the principle of merit by considering them and other candidates with high marks in the test.

Secretary of the provincial assembly Kifayatullah Khan could not be reached for an official version on the matter despite repeated attempts by this correspondent.

Published in Dawn, June 8th, 2023

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