Media co-op sought to weed out corruption
MIRPUR: AJK Accountability Bureau newly appointed Chairman Rafiq Mahmood Khan said on Wednesday that he had fixed the priorities to eliminate corruption, malpractices and irregularities from all the government departments in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.Addressing a news conference in his office, he revealed that reports had been sought regarding ongoing development projects which have not been completed despite expiry of their stipulated period.
Senior officials of the AJK Accountability Bureau including Director Brig. (r) Saleem and Engr. Tanveer Qureshi were also present. The chairman declared there was no impediment in the way from the AJK government or any political party to eliminate corruption. He declared that the Accountability Bureau has the powers to take action against the government institutions involved in abuse of power.
He said that he was visiting all the AJK districts to inquire about the non-completion of the ongoing development projects. “The district heads of all the departments have been directed to explain the schedule including preparation of feasibility, announcement of tender, signing of agreement, award of construction work and the causes of non-completion of the projects within the stipulated period,” he said.Quoting his preliminary investigation into the alleged ugly state-of-affairs, the chairman disclosed that it has emerged that none of the development projects was completed in any part of AJK within the stipulated period and resultantly nor was handed over to the department concerned.
“Most of the projects were found incomplete coupled with the process of preparation of revised schemes by the departments to show their performance to complete the projects,” he observed. He added that that the objective of the action by the Accountability Bureau was aimed at unearthing the defaulters.The chairman asked the media to assist the Accountability Bureau in unearthing and nabbing the elements involved in corruption in the government departments.
“Media should pinpoint the unlawful activities of the government departments to make them accountable,” he suggested. “Media could perform as the backbone to keep the administration on right path,” he observed. To a question, the chairman observed Azad Jammu & Kashmir Legislative Assembly did not adopt the proper procedure while abolishing the suo-moto power of the Chairman of the AJK Accountability Bureau through an amendment deleting the concerned section in the Ehtesab Act of Azad Jammu & Kashmir.
“In the past, the AJK Ehtesab Bureau had the powers of taking suo moto action against any of the government functionary in the State over any unlawful practice and ill deeds,” he recalled, adding that these powers were later abolished by the AJK Legislature through deleting the concerned section from the Ehtesab Act.Rafiq Mahmood Khan, a seasoned jurist, was recently posted as Chairman of the AJK Accountability Bureau replacing Justice Hussain Mazher Kaleem, the sitting Justice of AJK Shariat Court, who had been assigned the additional responsibility as Chairman of the AJK Ehtsab Bureau.
It may be recalled that the additional assignment as Chairman AJK Accountability Bureau was withdrawn from Justice Kaleem in the row of the issue of falling of the AJK Council and its subordinate departments in the jurisdiction of the AJK Accountability Bureau for exercising the accountability over complaints of corruption and malpractices in the AJK Council and its subordinate functionaries.