The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government on Friday night removed Ikramullah Khan, who was recently instated as the Peshawar Development Authority’s (PDA) director-general, from his position over his past involvement with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
His predecessor Israrul Haq had been fired on Wednesday over a damning report pertaining to the delay in Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project. Consequently, the provincial leadership had issued a notification, explaining the installation of Khan as the new PDA DG.
However, upon learning of the new PDA DG’s case with the NAB, KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan ordered that Khan be instantly removed, his spokesperson Shaukat Yousafzai said.
“A neat and clean senior officer will be appointed as the director-general [of the PDA] very soon,” Yousafzai noted.
The spokesperson added that according to the documents provided by the NAB, Ikramullah Khan had been arrested back in 2014 for having assets beyond means and had then voluntarily paid the anti-graft body a sum worth Rs21.4 million.
Launched by former KP CM Pervez Khattak during his tenure, the BRT project, according to its official website, is hailed as a “world-class transport service” aimed at generating “greater economic activity and prosperity in the city”.
Construction on the BRT line — a 26-kilometre east-west corridor designed to move thousands of passengers per day — began in October 2017 but work on the fixed-rail continues to present day. Further, the cost of the corridor also shot up from Rs49 billion to Rs66 billion.
Wednesday’s report had highlighted a multitude of technical errors, faulty design, and inept planning that caused heavy losses to the exchequer.
Following the concerning report, KP Transport Secretary Kamran Rehman Khan was also removed from his post apart from the then PDA DG Israrul Haq, with Dr Muhammad Fakhar-e-Alam Irfan, a senior member of the Board of Revenue given additional charge as the province’s new transport secretary.