During the 2013 general elections campaign, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan promised that if voted to power, his party PTI would eliminate corruption within 90 days.
PTI’s Pervaiz Khattak, chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, endorsed the party policy and claimed he would eliminate major corruption within 30 days while talking to the Express News on June 03, 2013.
CM spokesperson Sheraz Paracha told Truth Tracker, “We formed complaint desks in every department and people can register their complaint without any hesitation.”
In addition, the party manifesto recommends the following points (on pages 10 – 11) to reduce corruption and make the accountability process more credible:
- Revise the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) ordinance to make NAB a completely independent body. The head of the NAB would be a person of unquestioned integrity while other members would be from the higher judiciary, retired civil servants, eminent lawyers and citizens with unblemished records. The post of chairman NAB shall be provided constitutional protection;
- NAB shall function under the administrative control of the Judicial Commission;
- Strengthen the role of Public Accounts Committees in monitoring government financial transactions;
- Discretionary funds at the disposal of high officials will be subjected to proper audit by the PAC;
- Make the government contract awarding system transparent by making the concerned regulatory authorities autonomous, effective and efficient;
- Reduce the role of the government by revising rules and regulations and doing away with ineffective and unproductive government departments.
Khan believes corruption has become the major issue of Pakistan. While campaigning for the general elections, Imran Khan strongly criticized Pakistan Peoples Party and Muslim League Nawaz for massive corruption and alleged, “Zardari and Nawaz are kings of corruption.” Khan maintained, “I will hold PML-N and PPP accountable after coming to power as these kings of corruption won’t hold each other accountable.”
“Nothing has changed but the faces,” a police constable in Swat told Truth Tracker on condition of anonymity. He clarified that as a matter of procedure, police must get a medical expert opinion if there are any physical injuries in a squabble, which is also a primary document for a legal procedure. That is why each party is trying to bribe doctors to make the reports favorable to their stances. “They are paying Rs. 10 to 50,000 to doctors in some cases,” he recalled. “I witness such corruption in daily life.”
“I paid Rs. 150,000 to an agent who assured me an office-boy job at the Saidu Group of Hospitals,” a resident of Swat told Truth Tracker on the condition that his name not be mentioned. He said that his appointment letter, along with 17 others, had been issued by the Health Ministry, but the job was on hold pending the approval of the medical superintendent who was asking for a bribe which the man said he couldn’t afford.” In response to the question of why he was not filing a complaint, he said: “It’s an open secret, everyone knows who is getting the money and for whom,” he said. “I will lose the job as well as the money if I dare bring it to an open forum.”
“Police and excise departments are illegally generating about ten million rupees every day on the GT road (Peshawar to Attock) from illegal goods trafficking,” a government employee revealed to Truth Tracker on condition of anonymity. “The money is distributed among officers of all tiers.”
“They promised to chalk-out a detailed policy for transferring government employees, but have failed so far,” Sardar Hussain Babak, the parliamentary leader of ANP in KPK Assembly, told Truth Tracker by phone. “Most decisions regarding transfers in this government are based on political reprisals or for financial interest. When they failed to unite their members, they created 32 parliamentary secretary positions, which itself is a sign of corruption.”
“We have introduced the compliant desks in almost every department of the province and people can register their complaints if they have any,” Sheraz Paracha told Truth Tracker by phone. “The Right to Information Act and the accountability system will fix the rest.”
Paracha reiterated the party stance, “No one can dare indulge in corruption if the head of the department is fair.” Admiring the services of Inspector General Police, Paracha said, “our existing IGP is a man of integrity and we are sure that the rest of his department will follow in his footsteps to eliminate corruption.”
Parcha claimed, “no one can raise a question about the credibility of the chief minister and his team and we have already eradicated major corruption at the top level, which is what we promised to do in 90 days.” However, he conceded that it would take time to implement the policy at the grassroots level. He maintained, “We have a mandate for five years and people will observe a visible change during that time.”
Analyzing independent views, on-the-ground realities and the public reaction, Truth Tracker has found evidence that PTI has compromised on its promise.