Major (retired) Harris Khan Khattak, the director of Zamong Kor — Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government's "model" home for street children — resigned from his post on Wednesday while levelling allegations of corruption against the home’s board of directors (BoD).
Khattak alleged that the chairman of Zamong Kor’s BoD, Imtiaz Gillani, used the school funds to buy a car worth Rs2 million, adding that other members of the board were also involved in embezzlement of the organisation's funds.
According to Khattak, he has also informed the KP chief minister of the situation.
Gillani, on the other hand, dismissed the allegations while talking to Dawn and said that all of the organisation’s decisions were taken according to a set procedure. “The car was bought through the board’s approval as well,” he said, adding that Khattak was “not taking enough interest in the organisation’s affairs”.
Zamong Kor: false starts and 'vanity' allegations
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's had launched the first-ever institute for street children in the province in November 2015.
At the launch, Khan had praised Reham Khan — his ex-wife and former ambassador for street children in the province — for highlighting the problems of local street children.
At the time of the launch, the KP government had said that the home would accommodate 1,000 street children and provide them with education, health, recreation, sports, boarding, food, career, psychological counselings and other necessary facilities.
An additional 100 kanals of land had to be acquired by the government to build a sports grounds, an auditorium and a cricket academy for the Zamung Kor children.
By May 2016, even though the project wasn't functional, it was surrounded by controversy.
Questions were raised about how the funds were allocated and spent; meanwhile, activists of children's rights had termed the initiative a ‘vanity project’ by the PTI.
“Provincial governments should consult with child right experts before launching these kinds of projects,” Arshad Mahmood, a child rights activist in Peshawar, had told Dawn.com in 2016.
According to the home's official website, it was formally inaugurated on November 25, 2016.