Proof in the pudding: Khattak says bank has no evidence against minister

CM believes advertisement against Muzaffar Said is ploy to save his own skin

Fawad Ali April 21, 2016
Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak PHOTO: ONLINE


Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has said Bank of Khyber (BoK) Managing Director (MD) Shamsul Mulk failed to bring any evidence against Minister for Finance Muzaffar Said. He added the entire episode was “a drama staged by the MD” who published an advertisement to save his skin as a corruption enquiry was underway against him.

Khattak was speaking to reporters at Markaz-e-Islami on Thursday. The chief minister said action would be taken against anyone held responsible by the enquiry committee investigating the publishing of the advertisement in the media.

He said the committee would present its report by 9pm on Thursday (yesterday) after which action would be decided.

To a question about the government’s reluctance to form a judicial commission to look into the matter, he  said there was no allegation of corruption. He said the MD had accused the minister for finance of political interference.

Expressing his confidence with the finance minister, Khattak said he has never differentiated between his party’s ministers and those of PTI’s coalition partners.

“I have complete confidence in the finance minister and the managing director has published the advertisement to save his skin,” he said. He said the board of directors has the authority to make appointments of Class-IV employees.

Without differentiation

Regarding PTI’s alliance with Jamaat-e-Islami, he said there were no differences between the parties and the alliance will continue to exist till general elections scheduled for 2018.

“No party in K-P has been reelected, but PTI and JI will change history and win the next round,” he said.

The CM also welcomed the chief of the army staff’s statement asking for across-the-board accountability and institutions for this purpose were active in the province.

Besides, it is the ruling coalition’s responsibility to root out corruption from the province and make the institution strong.

“There is no threat to democracy from anyone except tax evaders who are threatening the democratic set-up,” he said.

According to insiders privy to the development, the committee will be probing the issue further and submit an enquiry report by Friday (today) as the documents made available to the committee were still being examined.

Tight spot

Earlier, murmurings were abound that the CM had taken a delegation to JI’s party secretariat to convince its leadership not to resign from government. A large number of TV and print reporters rushed to the Markaz-e-Islami.

However, the CM’s visit to the secretariat was planned last night at a dinner between the CM and a JI delegation led by the latter’s provincial chief Mushtaq Ahmad Khan. The finance minister was also present.

The BoK issue has put the CM in a difficult situation, especially at a time when annual budget is likely to be presented after two months. There were rumours that some bureaucrats in the finance department threatened to resign if unilateral action was not taken against the MD.

Senior activists of both parties believe the CM is in a tight spot as he cannot afford to take action against anyone at a time like this.

On the other hand, the JI was also interested in remaining in government, but that would raise questions over its ‘corruption-free Pakistan’ agenda if no action was taken against the MD.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd,  2016.