The Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) report is a balance sheet of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) performance in the province. It is a document that clearly shows the ineptness of PTI in handling such projects. Quite ironically, the report also reveals that massive kickbacks in the process were received by some people under the nose of PTI that is fighting the so-called war against corruption that has plagued every other department of the government machinery. Even reading the report is painful.

According to the report, the project is a waste of public money. Do we now reserve the right to question PTI’s performance? Or the supporters of the party still want to live in denial! Is BRT the mess of the previous governments – an argument one often hears from PTI members and supporters alike whenever anyone dares to criticise the party’s performance or failure to deliver on its provinces? It is the project that PTI initiated in the capital city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). How is PTI going to explain this multi-faced failure: kickbacks, poor planning and feasibility, frauds?

While the government has released the investigation report on BRT after the media’s consistent pressure, it is about time for the government to move ahead by taking the next step. The next step the government must take should show some action against those who are responsible for the failure of this project. First, the state should initiate criminal charges against the ones involved in all illegal activities in the project and civil charges against the contractors and construction firms who failed to follow the standard procedures.

Moreover, accountability should not stop with this. The government is also required to suspend the experts and officials who supervised this incompetent travesty. Also, the process of accountability will remain incomplete if Imran Khan’s PTI tries to provide “NRO” to the politicians who pushed this through – the ones who decided to make the BRT on a route that had recently been widened and beautified and did not need BRT at all.

In the process of accountability, the state should spare no one. All responsible for playing havoc with public money by rushing the project for achieving political mileage before general elections and the ones who awarded the project to untested contractors and blacklisted firms should also be brought before the justice. PTI’s mantra of accountability and making a Naya Pakistan free of corruption and corrupt politicians are being tested in their backyard.