Ehtesab Commission seeks help from Islamabad police to arrest ANP Senator Sitara Ayaz
The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Ehtesab Commission has sought help from the Islamabad police to arrest Senator Sitara Ayaz of the Awami National Party (ANP) for her alleged misuse of power and corrupt practices.
Citing a procedural hiccup, Islamabad’s inspector general of police refused to arrest Sitara, who currently lives in the Parliament Lodges, without prior permission from Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani. A police spokesperson told The Express Tribune that they have written a letter to the Senate chairman seeking his permission. Before her election to the upper house of parliament, Sitara was a social welfare minister in the ANP-led government in K-P between 2008 and 2013. The K-P Ehtesab Commission has accused her of misuse of authority and corrupt practices during her tenure as provincial minister.
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The K-P home department informed the federal interior ministry about the arrest warrants issued by the Ehtesab Commission against Sitara. And subsequently, an Ehtesab Commission team approached the capital police to seek their help in the matter.
Sitara has denied corruption allegations against her. Instead she alleged that the Ehtesab Commission was victimising her. Apart from Sitara and her spouse, several other ANP leaders are facing charges of corruption and misuse of powers. They include former chief minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti, his adviser Syed Masood Shah, and former education minister Sardar Hussain Babak.
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Hoti has expressed serious reservations about the functioning of the Ehtesab Commission, established by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led government in the province, alleging that the anti-corruption watchdog was being used ‘to humiliate’ political rivals. “We will continue our legal and political struggle, despite such baseless allegations,” said Hoti who, along with other ANP office-bearers, addressed a news conference a few months before.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 18th, 2015.