International review

Director of Zamung Kor resigns citing corruption as reason

Major (retired) Haris Khan Khattak. Source: Twitter.

This material belongs to: Geo TV.

PESHAWAR: Major (retired) Haris Khan Khattak, the director of Zamung KorKhyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s model facility for street children – has resigned citing corruption by the institution’s board of directors (BoD).

Khattak said on Wednesday he had resigned from the post while alleging that the chairman of Zamung Kor’s BoD, Imtiaz Hussain Gillani, used school funds to buy a car worth Rs2 million ($18 974). The retired major said other members of the board were also involved in embezzlement of the institute’s funds.

Gillani, however, refuted the allegations, saying that the director had instead been fired by the board following recommendations from the KP Planning and Development Department.

Major (retired) Haris Khan Khattak with a child at Zamung Kor. Source: Twitter.

The latest incident is yet another in a series of corruption-related controversies which have surrounded Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) government in KP province.

Ever since the PTI announced the launch of the ‘model home’ for street children in the province in November 2015, the project has faced controversy with regards to allocation and expenditure of funds.

In recent months, some of the party’s own members have come forward with allegations of corruption against the provincial government. A former minister of PTI, Ziaullah Afridi, alleged that KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak was involved in illegal hiring in the Bank of Khyber, while the party chief Imran Khan was “concealing” his corrupt activities.

The bank scandal had surfaced in April 2016 when its managing director levelled allegations of interference in the bank’s affairs against the provincial government through newspaper advertisements.

Earlier this month, former PTI member Ayesha Gulalai also levelled corruption allegations against the KP government, in particular, Pervez Khattak.

Zamung Kor

Zamung Kor is the first-of-its-kind live-in shelter and rehabilitation centre in the country for street children and orphans.

At the facility, young children have access to free schooling, food, lodging and counselling services.

Bankrolled by the provincial government, Rs430 million ($4 078 318) have been earmarked for the project of which Rs157 million ($1 489 234) have been released as of July 2017.

Most of those at the institute are orphans. Others are categorised as children at risk, vulnerable children, children without parental care, children of the street and children on the streets. They are brought to Zamung Kor after Child Protection Units refer them here.