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The unusual U-turn of the PTI

ISLAMABAD, June 19: The education department Khyber Pakhtunkhwa took a U-turn, restoring the female district education officer (DEO) Chitral on Thursday after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan grilled the provincial education minister for taking the wrong decision on mere gossips. The PTI chairman took serious notice of the education minister’s decision to make the woman DEO as officer on special duty (OSD) after he was sent tweets by this correspondent. Muhammad Atif Khan, the provincial education minister, had turned the guns at the lady officer on the verbal complaints of Sajjad Ahmed Khan, a local PTI leader, who was accused of pressuring the female DEO to recruit his man as a Class-IV employee. The decision to make the woman official sent shock waves in the area with different political parties condemning the step taken by the provincial government. But the concerned authorities had nothing to substantiate the punishment to lady officer when Imran Khan himself took notice of it after it was flashed in the media. “How can I restore her [Zohra] as I’ve told Khan sb [Imran] that there are complaints against her. I’m not going to restore her at all,” the minister was quoted as saying when a senior JI leader approached him to revisit his decision. The local PPP leadership, including Bibi Fozia, the PTI MPA on seats reserved for women, who had accompanied Sajjad Ahmed Khan and Haji Sultan and met the education minister, also made hectic efforts for the restoration of the official but all in vain. The sources said PPP MPA Sardar Hussain had lost all the hopes and made a humble appeal to the KP government on the floor of the provincial assembly to replace the DEO with a competent woman. However, a tweet sent to PTI chairman Imran Khan by ChitralToday, stating: “People of Chitral humbly request you [Imran] to personally look into the matter as Atif Khan is hell-bent to destroy girls’ education by trying to accommodate their own people on key posts,” worked and the woman official was finally restored on her post. The political parties, civil society, educationists especially the women and schoolgirls of the area highly thanked Imran Khan for restoring of Ms Jalal as DEO (female) and termed the move a step forward towards promoting the girls education in the mountains of Chitral. By rejecting the falls allegations against Ms Jalal by none other than a handful of opportunists within his own party, they added, the PTI chairman had proved his party believed in motivating honest and efficient officers who perform their duties with honesty. “With the restoration of a competent officer like Zohra Jalal despite all the conspiracy from the local PTI leadership, Imran Khan has proved there is no room for those who still want the status quo to prevail”, said Sardar, a local teacher. The people also expressed the hope that the local leadership of PTI, a good number of whom have been exposed after they were found involved in illegal cutting of green trees, must refrain  from misguiding the senior party leadership like they did in this particular case. At the same time, they also called upon Ms Jalal to come up to the expectations of the people, as any sort of favour, favoritism or political like/dislike will spoil her reputation. They said that she must undertake her official duties with full honesty without bowing to the pressure of the political parties, adding she should pay full attention to ensure the attendance of teachers in girls’ schools and eradicate the menace of cheating.]]>

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