Mardan’s 50 low-paid employees going sans salaries for a year

As many as 50 Class-IV employees have been going without salaries for a year due to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s alleged inability to conclude and submit an inquiry report into the actions of a former officer.

The chief secretary had ordered an inquiry against the then district health officer (DHO) Dr Kachkol Khan for allegedly giving people employment in Class-IV positions.

Furthermore, there were claims that many individuals had paid bribes to secure these jobs, prompting the government to initiate an inquiry against Dr Kachkol Khan.The officer was removed from his position as DHO in 2022 and suspended during the investigation.

Initially, the Health Department initiated the investigations, but reports emerged suggesting that the secretary of health at the time was allegedly supporting Dr Kachkol Khan. Consequently, the caretaker chief minister formed another inquiry committee to thoroughly investigate the allegations against him.

Nearly a year has passed, and the inquiry committees have not managed to conclude their investigations and submit reports.Dr Kachkol Khan had previously faced suspension and inquiry for alleged mismanagement during the COVID-19 pandemic and irregularities in vaccination efforts. However, he was later reinstated and directed to resume his duties.

Influential figures within the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) allegedly supported his continued tenure as DHO of Mardan despite several complaints from healthcare workers.He faced suspension again during the PTI government, and this time, his supporters within the government were unable to protect him. Concrete evidence was shared on social media, revealing that 50 individuals had been appointed as Class-IV employees in positions that did not exist, with no budgetary approval from the government.

An official from the Health Department, speaking on condition of anonymity, disclosed that Dr Kachkol appointed the individuals without prior government approval or involvement of the district selection committee.

Despite the suffering of these 50 employees, who are performing duties, Dr Kachkol Khan has managed to secure his position. The official added, “He continues to enjoy the support of influential people. Not only was he reinstated, but he was also appointed as the medical superintendent of the DHQ Hospital, Charsadda.”When contacted for an official statement on the issue, DG Health and Services Dr Shaukat Ali declined to comment.

2023-10-02

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