Axe falls on 3 fisheries dept officials

Officers found guilty of embezzling funds at Pakistan's oldest trout hatchery

Our Correspondent April 21, 2024
Devastating disease claims the lives of countless Trout fish in Kaghan Valley. PHOTO: EXPRESS


A significant case of embezzlement has come to light in the procurement of fish and fish feed at Pakistan’s oldest Trout hatchery in the Kaghan Valley.

Once the inquiry confirmed the allegations, the K-P Secretary of the Livestock and Fisheries Department initiated further action by suspending the deputy director, research officer, and a watcher implicated in the case.

Recently, farmers engaged in the Trout farming business in Kaghan Valley have suffered significant financial losses of millions as a result of a disease outbreak. Sources said to add to their troubles, officials have been involved in embezzlement activities instead of carrying out their duties diligently. The oldest hatchery in Pakistan is also standing on the verge of destruction due to a lack of interest.

As per reliable sources, officers from the district fisheries department were involved in large-scale embezzlement of funds through the purchase of fish, feed and chemicals at the trout hatchery.

As per the statement released by the Secretary Livestock, the inquiry report conducted by the inquiry officer, Deputy Director Fisheries Faheem Khan, Research Officer Qaiser Javed and Watcher Javed Haroon have been found guilty of corruption. The three have been directed to report to the Deputy Director's Office.

Notably, extensive fish farming has been practised in the Kaghan Valley for the past several years. Unfortunately, after a few years, an unknown disease began to plague the trout fish population, resulting in substantial suffering for the farmers.

The authorities were found to be involved in embezzlement rather than doing their job by implementing measures to control the disease. Farmers are urging the chief minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to take action.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 21st, 2024.


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