Pledges to ensure fair, transparent polls
A seasoned jurists and former Chief Justice of Peshawar High Court Justice Dost Muhammad Khan was Wednesday sworn in as the Caretaker Chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, pledging to dedicatedly fulfill the responsibilities assigned to him by the Election Commission of Pakistan to hold free fair and transparent elections and that too on time.
Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Iqbal Zafar Jhagra administered the oath to the former SC Judge at a simple but impressive ceremony at the Governor House Peshawar. The outgoing Chief Minister KP Pervez Khattak, who headed the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), led coalition government in the province, top civil and military officials, senior lawyers and other dignitaries from the province also attended the ceremony.
Justice Dost Mohammad Khan who is considered as a steadfast jurist heaving to his credit refusal to take oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) on November 3, 2007 where former dictator Pervez Musharraf imposed emergency in the country, it may be recalled was named to head the caretaker setup of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by the Election commission of Pakistan on Tuesday after the six member parliamentary committee had failed to develop consensus over the issue and had had put the ball in the ECP court by recommending four names, that besides Justice Dost Mohammad Khan also include two senior retired bureaucrats and a business tycoon from the Khyber agency.
Known for quick disposal of cases and stance for across the board accountability, Justice Dost Mohammad as Chief Justice Peshawar High Court issued key directions for the recovery of missing persons and hundreds of people were recovered due to his efforts. He introduced many administrative and judicial reforms in the Peshawar High Court including establishment of Human Rights Cell, mobile courts and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) system.
He was a member of the Supreme Court’s special bench which disposed of about 5000 criminal petitions and acquitted many death row inmates. He was widely appreciated among legal fraternity for his landmark verdicts and providing speedy justice to inmates languishing in jails for years.
He remained Chief Justice of the Peshawar High Court from 17 November 2011 to 31 January 2014. Justice Dost Mohammad served as a judge of Supreme Court of Pakistan from February 2014 to March 19, 2018.
Talking to newsmen after the oath taking ceremony Justice Dost Mohammad Khan vowed to fulfill the responsibilities assigned to him by the Election Commission of Pakistan with utmost sincerity and dedication. The caretaker Chief Minister expressed the resolve to ensure holding free, fair and transparent elections on time.
He also vowed to provide maximum relief to the people of the province during his short tenure utilizing all his potentials.
In the meanwhile, the caretaker Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Justice Retd, Dost Muhammad has sensitized the bureaucracy for facilitating the peaceful, free, fair and transparent conduct of general elections in the province. “We have a limited mandate commanded by the Constitution and we should be loyal to our responsibility till the transparent conduct of general elections. Everyone should be loyal to the country and extend full support to the Election Commission of Pakistan”. The caretaker CM stressed while addressing the provincial bureaucracy that included Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary and other administrative secretaries soon after taking oath of the Caretaker Chief Minister of the province at the Chief Minister Secretariat Peshawar.
The Caretaker Chief Minister called upon the bureaucrats to be loyal to the country brining the whole governance system under the constitution putting some safeguards against misuse of power and authority and the public servants should perform their responsibilities with sincerity and devotion. We have a limited time to deliver and to deliver with focus on the common people who are the neglected part of the population adding that his government agenda would be supported by an economy drive. The government machinery would ensure drastic cuts and would be allowed for the minimum justifiable expenditure only, there will be no Eid Milan and Iftaar parties and the resources incurred thus could be diverted to improved schooling and efficient healthcare in the province. We would discourage unnecessary expenditure and would ensure minimum spending and that too would be justifiable. He also directed the Chief Secretary to sensitize the district administration for the operational responsibilities included the public welfare.
This country suffered both manmade and natural calamities in the recent past and the government machinery would provide extra ordinary security for the public processions and public gatherings as a part of security measures in the election’s process.