PHC orders release of Afridi on bail

Tariq Saeed

Peshawar —Peshawar High Court (PHC) Tuesday ordered the release of former provincial minister and PTI leader Ziaullah Afridi after accepting his bail application.
A two-member bench of the high court, comprising Justice Waqar Ahmad and Justice Qalandar Ali Khan heard the bail application of Ziaullah Afridi, who is in the custody of Provincial Ehtesab commission facing charges of corruption and misuse of power while he was holding the portfolio of provincial minister for Mines and Minerals.
The Counsel for Afridi, Shomail Butt told the court that Afridi was arrested in July 2015, however no decision had been taken over reference against him. The counsel said that under the amended Ehtesab commission act, Afridi had right to be released on bail. The Ehtesab commission prosecutor opposed the bail application. However, the court accepted the bail application of the former minister and ordered his release on bail.
It may be recalled that supplementing the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government’s agenda of good governance and No to corruption, the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Ehtesab Commission had held many big fishe including a sitting minister of the provincial government under the charges of corruption and misappropriation of the Government funds.
On July 9, 2015 the Ehtesab Commission arrested the PTI’s provincial minister for Mines and Minerals Ziaullah Afridi under charges of corruption and misuse of power, a move which the PTI chairman Imran Khan had said would not be resisted and consequently the arrested PTI minister had to lose his ministerial slot.
The Ehtesab Commission said it had received evidences which established that provincial minister for Mines and Minerals Zia Ullah Afridi was involved in financial corruption and misuse of power that caused huge losses to the exchequer, had elaborated Zia Ullah in his capacity as provincial minister for Mines was found involved in corruption in the award of three major leases of the mines. It was than when the PTI chief also quickly removed his MPA from the ministerial slot.

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