Gilgit-Baltistan: AAC in Action Against Corruption in GB

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GILGIT (ET): The Awami Action Committee (AAC) has said it will foil the government’s attempts to undo the decisions taken by former Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) chief secretary Younus Dagha against corruption and corrupt officials in the region. Dagha, who was replaced by Sikandar Sultan Raja in April this year after serving as the region’s top administrator for around nine months, had initiated enquiries against corrupt elements in various government departments.
As a result, nearly 700 employees who were appointed after allegedly bypassing protocols over the years were sacked and those responsible for their hiring were suspended. The purging of government officials in G-B who were appointed under dubious circumstances, however, was disliked by the rulers and resulted in Dagha’s reposting. “We will not allow this to happen,” said Ehsan Ali, a senior leader of the AAC – an alliance of around 23 religious, nationalist and political groups that rose to prominence recently over its protests against the increasing prices of wheat.
“Attempts are being made to stop the enquiries and restore all those appointed over the years in violation of merit,” Ali told reporters on Sunday.
In Skardu, senior AAC leaders Maulana Saqib and Syed Ali accused the government of plundering national wealth and warned of agitation if steps are not taken to end corruption. Instead of expediting efforts against corruption, attempts are being made to stop the ongoing enquiry which is regrettable, said the leaders.
In January this year, Chief Minister (CM) Mehdi Shah’s office issued a letter to then chief secretary Dagha asking him not to conduct any enquiry without prior permission from the cabinet. There were reports of the CM not being happy with Dagha’s ‘over-arching’ action against corruption which led to his removal from the post. A number of decisions taken by Dagha were reversed as soon as he was posted out of G-B while many others are expected to be overturned in the coming days.The officer now serves as the federal secretary of Housing and Works.
Meanwhile, the CM has vowed to take decisions on merit in cases put forth in light of the enquiries.
“Injustice will not be meted out to anybody,” stated a press release issued by the CM’s Secretariat recently, adding that merit will be followed in making decisions based on the enquiry and decisions will not be made on the wishes of certain people.


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