At long last: Law adopts strict stance on public office holders

Bill passed to prevent them from getting unlawful financial gains. PHOTO: FILE

Bill passed to prevent them from getting unlawful financial gains. PHOTO: FILE

PESHAWAR: The PTI-led coalition government of the province has finally passed the much-delayed and has streamlined K-P Prevention of Conflict of Interest Bill, 2016, the definition of public office holder around which the law revolves.

The chief minister called passing of the law a “proud moment” for the assembly and the K-P government.

The bill is aimed at preventing a public office holder from using their official position to get any unlawful financial advantage for themselves or their family. The bill was tabled in the house in June 2014 and was referred to the select committee of the house twice, but was now finally passed by the house.

In the law

Under this law if public office holders violate any of the provision of it, they would be publically declared to have committed conflict of interest and that declaration shall be used to initiate of disciplinary or penal action or both against the public office holder. It also has a provision of monetary penalty.

The bill was not disclosed and distributed among the assembly members and journalists unless Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser asked Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Imtiaz Shahid Qureshi to present the bill and a minute before the latter could forward a resolution to pass the bill in the house.


The select committee concerned includes governor of the province, chief minister and his cabinet members including the ministers, speaker of the assembly, advocate general, political secretary, consultant to the chief minister and people who have held the position of provincial ministers in the definition of the public office holder. The definition also includes the chief secretary, additional chief secretary and administrative secretaries to government and the special secretaries.

The chief minister said they had to reduce the spectrum of the act as the earlier version had all the government officials, lawmakers of the provincial assembly and nazims and naib nazims of the local council, therefore it would clog the workings of the government.

Acts passed 

The house also passed the controversial K-P Universities Amendment Act, 2016, after it was presented by a select committee with amendment by a lawmaker, Muhammad Idrees. The qualification criterion for a vice chancellor has been relaxed and his removal procedure has also been made easy – the governor can terminate the services of a vice chancellor for 90 days and can completely remove as well.


Besides, an argument took place between Minister for Public Health Engineering Shah Farman and Jamaat-e-Islami lawmaker Muhammad Ali over shortage of potable water in his constituency, PK-92 to which the relevant department had not responded.

The department had replied to written questions of Ali, stating streams and river water in his constituency are safe for drinking. “I wonder which laboratory has certified that the river and spring water in my constituency is clean for drinking,” he questioned. “Farman should not mind it. I have not seen him in three years in his office…”

To this, Farman said his department has limited schemes for drinking water that are distributed on the basis of need.

However, the chief minister intervened and directed the ministers to discuss questions with lawmakers before they reach the agenda of the house. “If the ministers do not contact the MPA concerned before the questions are brought on the floor of the house and it creates misunderstanding, then the minister will be responsible,” Khattak said.

Moreover, Ali also raised the issue of Sheringal Rural Health Center which lacks staff and a portion of it has also been encroached upon by the levies.

To this, Minister for Health Shahram Tarakai said the chief secretary should be directed by the chief minister to evacuate the hospital.

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