PTI chief Imran Khan would be soon giving a go-ahead for axing two women MPs of his party from KP assembly on charges of selling out their uplift funds to a lawmaker of rival JUI-F.
But the more troubling thing Khan is that this transfer of grants went through the office of Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, a man handpicked by the former cricket captain for his being a seasoned administrator.
The transfer of funds by the two women lawmakers to JUI-F MPA from Lakki Marwat has rocked PTI triggering Imran Khan to call meeting of parliamentary committee of his party and to order disciplinary action against them. The scandal comes at a time when JUI-F chief Fazal Rehman and Imran are deemed to be two leading arch rivals on political landscape of the province.
Documents available with The Nation reveal that Nargis Ali, elected as MPA on reserved seat of PTI from Abbottabad has transferred her quota of development budget worth Rs8 million to JUI-F MPA Anwar Hayat Khan, who represents Lakki Marwat (PK-74) constituency. Similarly, Nagina Khan, PTI assembly member from Malakand, has doled out her share of uplift budget worth Rs10 million to the JUI-F MPA.
Interestingly, the bogus transfer of fund has not been unearthed by KP government but by some loyal supporters of Khan, who revealed the scandal to him during a private meeting, besides complaining about the fragile governance by Chief Minister Pervez Khattak.
Interestingly, the uplift funds of both women MPAs have been transferred to the JUI-F MPA "on the directives of chief minister", as per record, and the money transfer to the opposition MPA took place through the CM Office - something that has raised many an eyebrows among PTI leadership on the role of the provincial chief executive Mr Khattak.
The Parliamentary Committee of PTI has questioned the KP administration over its failure to ask the JUI-F MPA about the source of funds when he advertised tenders for launching uplift schemes in Lakki Marwat. "How is it possible for opposition MPA to ask municipal authorities for floating tenders for development projects when PTI lawmakers have been crying for funds? We have explained this issue in detail to Imran Khan," a PTI lawmaker in National Assembly said.
The Nation has reliably learnt that the gap between party chief Imran Khan and KP CM Khattak widening and it would be Khan himself, and not the chief minister, who would show the door to the women MPAs. Mr Khan according to PTI sources was angered over the absence of CM Khattak during President Mamnoon Hussain's speech to joint session of Parliament on June 2 and had discussed the issue with senior party members.
"The chief minister had come to KP House in Islamabad and was all set to show up at Parliament on June 2. It is still a mystery as to why he changed his plan at the eleventh hour. It was embarrassing for Imran Khan to see the seat of his handpicked CM vacant when all chief ministers were present in the house," a PTI leader recalled the moment. PTI leadership according to sources is abuzz with rumours that the tall yet lean chief minister was becoming a chronic trouble for Imran Khan and he, in words of a senior lawmaker, was acting like "an unbridled top dog".
"Imran Khan cannot dare change portfolio of Mr Khattak at a time when strength of forward bloc of PTI has reached to 20 while the independent candidates in KP Assembly are also obliged to the chief minister for bestowing them with ministries and special assignments," a source said. He went on to say that Imran Khan was helpless in front of the chief executive as even a minor disciplinary action would send the wobbling PTI in KP to opposition benches, particularly when JUI-F and Aftab Sherpao-led groups were eying to overthrow the incumbent government.
As many as 36 PTI MNAs during a meeting held recently with Imran Khan expressed reservations over appointment of Amir Khattak as PSO to chief minister despite a charge sheet against him by fact finding report under the then Chief Secretary Arbab Shahzad on D I Khan jailbreak last year.
"Amir Khattak was D I Khan DCO when Taliban insurgents stormed the city's jail freeing over 200 wanted terrorists. The then chief secretary had held him responsible for negligence, besides other officers. Today Amir Khattak is the most powerful person in CM House," a PTI MNA said. He said Khan had been told that Amir Khattak had helped JUI-F candidates in Lakki Marwat and Tank to win bye-elections. "Imran Khan is very much on board. But the CM has slipped out of his hands," he maintained.