PESHAWAR - Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak has launched the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Women Empowerment Policy Monday and announced to give autonomy to the Provincial Commission on the Status of women Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (PCSW-KP) which would enable the commission to implement the policy in a smooth and independent manner.

Offering generous funding for new women empowerment schemes, he made it clear that the financial allocations already made for schemes will not be allowed to utilise for any other purpose.

Speaking as chief guest at launching ceremony of (PCSW-KP), the chief minister informed that there were no constraints on allocation of funds for social welfare and women empowerment plans. The policy was formulated by PCSW-PK in collaboration with the social welfare department to ensure social, economic, legal and political empowerment of women of the province especially those related to rural and isolated areas, minorities as well as vulnerable situations.

Special Assistant to Chief Minister on Social Welfare and Women Empowerment Dr Mehar Taj Roghani also addressed the ceremony while Chairperson of PCSW-PK Neelam Toru highlighted prominent features and implementation mechanism of the policy. The function was also attended by women members of the provincial assembly, members of PCSW-KP, women activists of the civil society, provincial general secretary of the PTI Khalid Masood, certain UN delegates and officials of Social Welfare department.

Assuring full support on part of the provincial government for not only protecting the rights of women but also empowering them, the chief minister was of the view that there was no gender discrimination under the Islamic and constitutional provisions but unfortunately we had been deprived of such environment in the country wherein men and women should have enjoyed equal rights.

He told that all women MPAs of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, irrespective of their political affiliations, were being given their due share in developmental schemes as the provincial government was facing no shortage of financial resources for this purpose.

He, however, said that his government was more concentrating on bringing about reforms in government departments and enacting laws for autonomy and empowerment of public service institutions through an efficient and transparent system. Admitting red tapism in disposal of official business of the departments, the chief minister said that process of devolution of the provincial government's powers to autonomous bodies of the public sector education, health, industries and other facilities as well as local bodies was extensively underway, adding such arrangement would help redress the complaints and grievances against the government machinery.

He was confident that there will be no hurdle in making PCSW-KP an independent institution. He said that the women legislators are enjoying full powers available to them as member of the provincial assembly. He said that legislation is prime duty of elected representative but unfortunately they, in the past, indulged themselves in undesirable practices of transfers, recruitments of government officials and petty civil works which, he added, tarnished the image of the country besides a huge social, economic and political destruction embraced Pakistan.

He said that the people voted the PTI to power to get rid of such politicians who always preferred their vested interests. Khattak also referred to the reforms, legislation and policies introduced from transforming the government system and said that the monitoring and check and balance measures taken in several departments helped improve governance and reduce the crime rate and level of corruption. He said that all proposals meant for welfare of common people are considered seriously by his government. He informed that certain opposition colleagues were trying to oppose our endeavors of change but we will not get discouraged by such elements and shall not allow violation of law, merit or system at any cost.