PESHAWAR - To probe the alleged nepotism in earthquake relief funds, Acting Speaker Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Dr Meher Taj Roghani Monday referred the issue of distribution of relief goods in the quake-hit Upper Dir area to the standing committee while the issue of criteria of Zakat Committees’ members was admitted for debate.

The matters of nepotism in the distribution of relief goods among affected people of earthquake of November 26, 2015 and distribution of zakat funds on political likes and dislikes were taken up by PPP lawmaker Sahibzada Sananullah.

He complained that the Rehabilitation Department has failed in provision of complete details regarding the distribution of relief goods after earthquake in Dir Upper. However, Special Assistant to KP Chief Minister insisted that a detail reply was given of his question.

He said that the relief goods were distributed on the recommendations of a committee constituted by the district administration, which also comprised the representatives of Pakistan Army and local government and dispelled any impression regarding discrimination with anyone in this regard.

The mover, who is elected MPA from provincial assembly constituency PK-93, Upper Dir complained that though the number of affected people in his constituency was in thousands but only a few hundreds were given relief goods. Therefore, the matter should be referred to the concerned committee of the house.

Bakht Baidar, a QWP MPA from Dir Lower also took the floor and alleged misappropriation in the distribution of relief goods among the earthquake affected people and demanded inquiry into the matter.

Mufti Said Janan of JUI-F and Raja Faisal Zaman of PML-N also put their weight behind Sahibzada Sanaullah and pleaded referring of the issue to the standing committee. Sardar Hussain Babak of ANP urged the treasury benches for not opposing referring of the matter to the standing committee to prove any nepotism or misappropriation in the distribution of relief goods.

Fazal Elahi, a PTI legislator also supported the PPP MPA and said that they are against corruption and anyone involved in such practices will be made accountable. He said that he has already handed over proofs in this regard to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The house also admitted another question of Sahibzada Sanaullah regarding the qualification of the members of Zakat Committees for detailed discussion. The mover said that most of the members of zakat committees do not fulfill the criteria of merit.